Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Tico Matrimony

Ticos, although very Catholic in a number of ways, stray from traditional Catholic values in their marriages...in that they often don't exist. Many Ticos will refer to their live-in boyfriends and girlfriends as mi marido or mi mujer, respectively. This kind of pre-marital co-habitation happens all the time in Costa Rica. Instead of casados the two parties are considered juntados. They use the verb juntarse to describe formation of these uniones libres, as they call them. I found it very surprising that these arrangements are not only common, but are also widely accepted in the mainstream culture. It makes you wonder what it really means to be Catholic. Obviously it differs from one culture to another. More deep thoughts to follow...

2 comments:

Ralph said...

What about novio/a? Does that have the same casual implication in Costa Rica? I've been watching some films from Mexico, and I get the impression novio/a is used in just that way there.

Thomas Carmona said...

Novio/a can still be casual, but most Costa Ricans, especially in more traditional towns and old-fashioned families, take "courtship" much more seriously than Americans. This is true of most places in Latin America (at least in my experience). To help make my point, let me remind you that fiancee and fiance are novia and novio in Spanish, respectively.