First, it is necessary to understand that there are two names for the people of Bogotá. There are the cachacos and there are the rolos. But what is the real one? What is the difference? Before April 9 it would have been very easy to write about what it means to be a Bogota citizen. On one side were the cachacos of the Windsor coffee, the quintas of Chapinero, La Magdalena. El Nogal and La Merced, with their English cloth suits cut to size, their elegant manners and witty humor. The rest (90 percent, the inhabitants of the slums) simply did not exist, except that in the watercolors that Edward Mark painted on the market days, and the cachacos wanted them so invisible that the houses of the Bogota families had a separate entrance for the service and service staircase so that they reach the kitchen and the clothes patio without crossing with the home owners or the visitors.
But after April 9, Bogotá grew so much and so many people from abroad arrived, that what they call “cachaco” is nowadays an exotic species in Bogotá. An ethnic minority For that reason, it is never enough to notice that one thing is a cachaco and another a rolo.
The cachaco is (or was), above all, provincial and exclusive. He likes to refer to people who are not from Bogotá with the expression “divinely hot earth people”. Many times, believing themselves more English or French than Colombian and they love digging in rancid genealogies in search of illustrious ancestors.
The Bogotanian , or rolo, however, is a confusing mixture of Andean cundiboyacence with Paisa, Tolimense, Santandereano, Vallecaucano and llanero, which simply responds to the genre “inhabitant of Bogotá”. It should be noted that Colombia has 32 departments and 6 regions, which the mixture of someone from Bogota with any other region, department or city, makes it immediately a rolo. A rolo can be blond or brunnette, with blue or black eyes. You can speak the dialect “gomelo” being of the highest class in Bogotá, or of Kennedy City to the south.
Of course, as the city is large and the climate is sometimes cold and gray, is reflected in our way of relating to our neighbor. Sometimes we lose our temper. But in those we do not differentiate ourselves from a costeño or a paisa, much less a santandereano. We lack the gift of hospitality that characterizes paisas. We are not as entertaining as the Cali people. Maybe that’s why we have earned the reputation of unbearable. But that happens everywhere. The inhabitants of the cities where you work and generate wealth, such as Milan or Sao Paulo, carry the same bad reputation as we rolos. For many rolos the city has a not so nice name (Who would have thought to change the name Muisca Bacatá for Bogotá?) And that the city is not Paris nor is London despite the vain pretensions and illusions that our grandparents had cachacos But we love the cold of dawn and dusk, the green parrot color that the hills of the city acquire in the last half hour of the afternoon when it is sunny.
And above all, we love Cundinamarca. Almost nobody talks about the beauty of the apartment that we had in luck. We do not have coffee plantations converted into hotels, such as El Eje Cafetero, or towns packed with compulsive buyers of handicrafts and university students in the rumba plan, such as Boyacá. But we have the savanna and its surrounding moors; the average climate with its shady coffee plantations; forests of fog, rivers that descend towards the Magdalena, towards the plains … we only need a snowy peak and a couple of beaches to feel (we would not need to say it, it is not our style) that we live in the most beautiful department of the planet.
If you want to know more about our culture rola, or the old cachaca, look for an excellent tour that will be full of history and landscapes.
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