Top 8 Colombian Culture, Customs and Etiquette

Thanh Thao Nguyen 82 0 Error

The culture of Colombia is a fusion of its various and diverse roots, and it has many features of its rituals and traditions that are exclusive to its coasts ... read more...

  1. In Colombian society, it's advisable to refrain from bringing up politics or the ongoing armed conflict in public unless you're speaking with trusted friends or family members. The majority of the time, people will not respond violently to opposing viewpoints, but when Colombians remember all the casualties of previous and present political and drug battles, their hearts break.

    As a result, avoid bringing up the topic of drug wars or political unrest in your first conversation with a Colombian because doing so can really get on their nerves. Colombians are well aware of their nation's negative reputation, so making crude comments about its violent past could result in a snide remark about your country of origin and an abrupt end to the conversation. However, Colombians will eventually become willing to discuss these topics once they feel comfortable enough with someone.

  2. There is a "Pot Gathering" in Colombian culture (El Paseo de Olla). Families in Colombia are encouraged by this beloved tradition to assemble by their local river and eat a traditional dish: Sancocho. It is typically eaten with rice and avocado, this stew combines chicken, pork, or beef ribs with platanos, potato, maize, cassava, tomato, and cilantro. Reuniting family and friends to celebrate milestones, hear about accomplishments, or just to have a reason to get everyone together is the goal of the event.

    The "Pot Gathering" is a significant custom or ritual in Colombian culture that is especially well-liked in rural communities. Colombian families are encouraged to assemble by their local river for this beloved custom and to share the national dish. The "Pot Gathering" picnic's goal is to gather together family and friends to celebrate achievements, commemorate milestones, or simply to give everyone a reason to get together.
  3. In Colombian culture, there is a traditional remedy for every ill, thus visitors are frequently offered one if they experience any problems. These time-honored practices include the use of hierbabuena or spearmint teas for aches and pains and chamomile infusions for difficulty sleeping. Another favorite is boiling calendula to treat inflammation, wounds, and scars.

    Aloe vera is a plant that grows all across Colombia. Its gel may be used for cuts, sunburns, and even dandruff. Aguapanela, which is produced from concentrated cane syrup, is the most well-known Colombian tradition and every Colombian grandmother's go-to remedy for treating a cold, sore throat, or a severe case of the blues.

    Lemonade with guapanela is definitely the grandma remedy that Colombians prefer. When someone appears to be getting a cold or complains of a scratchy throat, aguapanela is created from panela, a by-product of sugar manufacture (it's essentially concentrated cane syrup), and is cooked with hot water and lemon.
  4. When you first meet someone, shake their hand. It's only appropriate to kiss someone on the cheek when you already know them. When you yawn, cover your mouth. Speaking while having your hands in your pockets is considered impolite. Having your mouth open while chewing gum is considered impolite. In hotels, offices, even at home, refrain from putting your feet on furniture.

    Do not casually throw items at someone to pass them to them. In hotels, offices, even at home, refrain from putting your feet on furniture. Do not point with your index finger at others. Instead, call by waving your fingers or entire hand while keeping your palm down.

    Both men and women in Colombia place a high value on appearance. Although it's not always the case, Colombians place a high value on appearance, pleasant scent, neatly manicured nails, and clean shoes. Mid-range and high-end restaurants and clubs adhere to tight dress requirements and have reserved entrance privileges in major cities like Bogota, Cartagena, Cali, and Medellin.

    Shorts, sandals, running shoes, hats, flip flops, and other attire are typically not accepted. In Colombia, unless it is a commercial meeting, punctuality is seldom strictly enforced. Delays or being later than the scheduled time by up to an hour can be considered usual for social and informal events.
  5. Be mindful that table manners are important to Colombians when dining with us. Keep your elbows off the table and your hands visible. Make sure you wait until your host invites you to sit down and begin eating. It is ready to begin eating, as indicated by the phrase "Buen provecho" (enjoy it).

    It is improper to eat with your hands, so always use cutlery. Talking and making noise while chewing your food are not acceptable. It is customary to sample every dish on the menu. Leave a modest amount of food on your plate after you are done eating to signify that you are satisfied. When seated at the table, avoid using a toothpick.

    Before taking a drink, they salute each other by clinking their glasses and saying "Salud!" (to your health). Always look the other person in the eyes when doing this. When going out to eat, the inviter will probably be asked to cover the bill. Although it is not the norm, it is typical. Colombians typically don't drink heavily or rapidly to get wasted. They typically consume alcohol more tastefully and leisurely with their meals. Never fail to express gratitude to the host or the one who extended the invitation.
  6. It might be polite to bring a little gift, such as wine, chocolates, or flowers, when visiting Colombians in their homes. People frequently chat with onlookers while sitting on their porches or verandas. Close relatives and good friends can drop over for a visit without prior warning. An invitation is typically anticipated in other situations.

    It is common to serve coffee (tinto) to visitors while they are there. Turning down a home invitation is seen as being unfriendly. A rejection could be construed as a lack of interest in developing a relationship with that individual, as such an invitation is typically sent in an effort to form a personal bond. Saying you won't be available on that particular date and then attempting to reschedule is OK. If you are not invited, stay out of other rooms and areas of the house such the kitchen, studios, and bedrooms.
  7. On significant events like one's birthday, Christmas Day, Epiphany, christenings, and weddings, gifts are presented. Sometimes someone will ask for "lluvia de sobres," which is money given to the person in an envelope and is literally translated as "envelopes rain."

    A girl's 15th birthday is seen as a significant milestone in Colombia. Avoid giving marigolds, lilies, and other yellow flowers if you're giving flowers. At funerals, they are utilized. Gifts that are unavailable in Colombia include specialty goods, pricey chocolates, and imported alcohol (spirits). Gifts are typically not unwrapped in front of the giver.

    Bring fruit, a plant in a pot, or premium chocolates while visiting a Colombian's house as a hostess gift. Sending flowers in advance is recommended. Lilies and marigolds should not be given as they are typically used during funerals. People enjoy roses. Gold is the customary gift on a girl's 15th birthday. Spirits in particular are incredibly expensive imported booze that makes great gifts. When gifts are received, they are not unwrapped.
  8. Top 8


    When it comes to dating Colombians, there are numerous "cultural standards" and traditions. To help you learn the Colombian dating culture, we wrote a comprehensive article titled "All you need to know to flirt and date with Colombians." The culture of Colombia is still somewhat traditional. Usually, it is men who you ask women out on dates with, and men are expected to pay.

    Men opening doors for women is thought to be courteous. Keep your manners at all times. Get a quality cologne or perfume. That is popular in Colombia! Always strive to smell good. Although it's cliche, if you're a guy, arrive on time but don't anticipate her doing the same. After the date, thank them.

    It is a commonly known fact that a single women in Colombia with a job must be looking for a date. The rate at which foreign girls living and working in Colombia are matching up with native men in Bogotá and throughout the rest of the nation is astounding.

    The young English females, who are 6,000 miles from home for the first time, and the Colombian guys, who are attracted by foreign women, seem to be a match made in heaven. That combined with the idealized portrayal of a Latin lover popularized by Harlequin romance in the West, and presto! You have a match!

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