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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Los Aves y las Abejas

Romance, for the Panamanians, begins early in life. Even little girls here are amazingly proficient at the art of coquetry. As they enter their teens the object of their fluttering eyes and big smiles is less their fathers or grandfathers and more the boys their own age. Overwhelmed with rapidly awakening sexual desire, the boys chase the girls for sex. The girls do too, but also for children – if a boy gets a girl pregnant, it’s still traditional here that they will get married. That doesn’t slow down the sexual romps of adolescents, nor does the frighteningly increasing risk of serious venereal disease, including AIDS, succeed in slowing down the quick change of partners.

The traditional Latin chauvinism is very much the way of the game here, as it has been for centuries, from before the Conquistadores set out in their ships. The young men are always quick to flirt with any reasonably attractive young women. Even the younger bus conductors and the stock boys in the grocery store are quick to whisper sweet nothings in the ear of a pretty female, putting their hand just past the girls neck and leaning into the wall behind the girl, their faces just about touching.

It’s all lies, it’s all posturing, and it’s all designed simply (for the males) to maximize the number of sexual partners and (for the females) to select the best future mate; I am reminded of many species of fowl and wild bird and monkey in this land, all doing pretty much the same thing. As they get older, marriage seems to be mainly a practical consideration, with love not really a factor, but for the females stability and income; for the males, it’s about looks and status. (Thus, only occasionally do they even consider a Ngäbe Buglé partner, even though these people are often astonishingly attractive.)

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2 comments:

  1. The two of you are such a blessing to each other and to us. Andrea is truly beautiful on all levels! Love to you both...

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  2. Thank you, dear brother-in-spirit Yossi! :-)

    ReplyDelete