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Gringita: a name often used to describe a woman foreigner/tourist of western or European descent by the people of Latin America. I am asked a thousand times a day, ¨Where are you from? There are perks and there are downfalls living as an ex-patriotic woman in South America.
The perks are obviously engaging in a new culture, experiencing a life completely different from my own and living a life astray from the linear path that I am used to from the United States.
After living in South America for over a year, here is my take on being a gringita and the rules of dating in South America. You ask…It is a common phrase used to describe men of Latin America who act like a, ¨Macho man¨ often exhibiting behaviors such as possessiveness, aggressiveness and an overall attitude that they It is a common topic in conversation here and some women have become so accustomed to it, that they accept it as normal.
I have dated a few men who were machisimo and if I had not recognized the signs in the beginning it could have ended very badly. Exhibiting stalker behaviors like showing up at your house without your approval or spreading nasty rumors when you decide that you need some space.
Another big sign is when you have heard through the grapevine that they have been machisimo with other partners as well.
This rule is not just exclusive for men; women can become very jealous and overbearing as well.
Is that hand on your knee a flirtatious come-on, or a culturally distinct approach to personal space?
Latin America, though, is rightly renowned for its fiery passions and beautiful people, and to miss out on this side of the region’s culture through fear is far more unforgivable than embarrassing yourself with culturally inappropriate body language.
So, to guide you through this minefield, Nearshore Americas caught up with some American and British expats, currently living in Latin America, to seek their advice on the ways of cross-cultural Latin love.
For the business-tripper looking for love, the first challenge is knowing where to look.
It is common to greet others by kissing cheeks, hugging, patting on the back, shaking hands and also saying ghelloh.
We also say ghelloh (but not hug or kiss) when a person enters an elevator, bus or some other place, even if the person is a stranger.
Love, whether a life-long partnership or a night-long fling, is never easy.