Colombians seem to have a natural talent for dancing, something which probably comes from living in a culture which considers dancing just about the most fun you can have standing up! People start dancing young in Colombia, and it doesn’t take much to get a Colombian out of their seat. In terms of enthusiasm and love of dance, there can’t be many countries that can compete.
Colombia produces some of the best coffee in the world, and Colombians certainly love a cup of coffee. The combination of perfect climate and geography with the fact that all of Colombia’s beans are handpicked means that Colombians are pretty amazing at growing world-class coffee. They also have the act of drinking coffee down to a fine art: a Colombian will always offer you a cup of coffee at any meeting or social event, and people seem to be able to drink coffee all day and into the evening without suffering any ill effects.
Colombian people really do have a remarkable ability to be happy and positive, often in spite of their situation. No matter how tough life gets – and it is tough for many people in Colombia – you’ll rarely find a Colombian anything less than happy, smiling, and welcoming. Regularly voted the happiest country on earth, Colombia is home to people who are great at being happy and positive.
OK, so technically Colombians aren’t in control of this one, but if there’s one thing that Colombia does remarkably well it is biodiversity: it’s the second most biodiverse country on earth, and the most biodiverse in terms of area. In spite of all the amazing coffee, friendly people and unique landscapes, the real jewel in Colombia’s crown is its biodiversity, and Colombians are rightly proud of that.
If the art of waiting in line patiently is an English skill, then the ability to move effortlessly to the head of a queue is surely a Colombian one! There’s no real malice in it; it’s simply seen as a way to get ahead and save yourself some time, and there’s almost a grudging respect afforded to those to manage to skip to the front of the line. If there were a World Cup for queue-jumping, Colombia would lift the trophy every time.
If it can be eaten, Colombians can add cheese to it: bread, fruit, hot chocolate – the list goes on and on and becomes ever more outlandish and unusual, the less used you are to Colombian culinary quirks. Hot chocolate and cheese is usually the one that most shocks visitors to the country, but a generous sprinkling of grated cheese on a fruit salad comes a close second. And don’t even get us started on serving soups with a banana on the side!
Colombia has a staggering 18 public holidays every year (it’s one of the countries with the highest number of national holidays in the world) and if there’s one thing Colombians really know how to do, it’s enjoy a holiday! And they really have those three-day weekends down to a fine art as well, with many people heading out of the cities to country houses in hot parts of the country, where they spend a few days enjoying swimming pools, a few rums and beers and some relaxation. After living in Colombia, it’s hard to move to a country without so many holidays!
If you’ve never been on a chiva party bus, then you’ve missed out on one of the fundamental experiences of travelling or living in Colombia. Traditionally used as public transport in rural areas, Chivas are brightly coloured buses which have been converted into giant party buses in many cities. There’s live music, plentiful rum and the unique experience of being in a nightclub on wheels!
It’s not as if Colombians are more passionate about supporting their national football team than any other people on earth, it’s just that they follow La Seleccion with such dedication and enjoyment. On the day that Colombia are playing, you can walk through the streets of any Colombian town or city and see every second person sporting the bright-yellow kit of the team. Throw in the pure outpouring of emotion that takes place whenever Colombia scores or wins, and you have the recipe for just about the most passionate supporters you’ll ever meet.
Just as Colombians are the best at public holidays, they are also surely the best at festivals. There are probably enough festivals in Colombia that you could visit a different one every day for a year, and there’d still be a few you had to skip! From classic festivals like the Barranquilla Carnival or the Pasto Blacks and Whites Carnival, to unusual festivals dedicated to fried snacks and fruits, Colombian festivals are as diverse as the country itself.
Colombians have suffered through some truly awful violence and horror over the past decades, and yet the people almost seem to forge ahead with a smile and a positive attitude. The resilience and strength of Colombia and its people are truly unique.
Why not pay a visit to the best hostel in Colombia?