Colombia is known for cumbia, beautiful women, drug trafficking (unfortunately), and now soccer. Upon visiting the South American country, though, one might also notice some rather peculiar, lesser known things.
Here’s a list of the top 10 most bizarre aspects of Colombian culture.
1. Cheesy hot chocolate
The Colombian custom of putting pieces of cheese in one’s hot chocolate tastes as bizarre as it sounds. The first few sips are chocolatey enough, but once the cheese and chocolate have had time to mingle, a distinctly pungent flavor emerges.
2. Donkey porn sold on the street
Forget discreet stores with blacked-out windows where people can purchase their fetish porn in private, here in Colombia they sell all kinds of bestiality porn on the street. Want to buy some rural donkey porn while you’re waiting at a traffic light? No problema!
3. Gay Catholics
This seems like a contradiction in terms considering “Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind,” but in Colombia it is not uncommon to meet devout gay Catholics.
4. Salsa rosada
Some enterprising Colombian took two perfectly good condiments, ketchup and mayonnaise, and made them into one sauce; “salsa rosada” (pink sauce). Gone are the days where you have to mix the two things together yourself.
5. They eat ants with big butts
Known as “hormigas culonas” (or ants with junk-in-the-trunk), these insects with sizable behinds are fried and sold on the street as salty snacks.
Catching the ants isn’t an easy task; the “hunters” must wear protective boots and move quickly. According to ant hunter Edgar Vargas, “You can earn a day’s wage by selling a kilo of ants,” reported La Informacion.
The ants must be kept alive and frozen until the moment they are fried otherwise they’ll end up tasting bitter, according to La Informacion.
6. December is one heck of a celebration
Unlike many other countries where Christmas is strictly a religious (and consumerist) holiday that’s over within 24 hours, in Colombia the party starts in early December and goes right through the month.
The “Day of the Little Candles,” in which entire neighborhoods are lit up with candles, starts in the evening of December 7 and runs right through the night until the sun rises on December 8.
Once the hype of Christmas day is over, Colombians still make the most of the festive season by celebrating “The Day of the Innocent Saints” on December 28. It is a day dedicated to playing practical jokes on one’s friends and family.
7. Store mannequins have ginormous boobs
8. You can pay a guy to electrocute you
A man walks around Medellin, challenging people to hold two electrocuting rods. If one can hold the rods for a sufficient amount of time, congratulations. However, if you fail, you must pay him.
9. People sell cellphone minutes on the street
Given how expensive it is to call people via cellphone in Colombia, a thriving business of small-scale “minute sellers” has emerged. On the street you can use someone’s cellphone to make personal calls from between 5 to 10 cents per minute.
10. Colombia’s World Cup quarterfinals match a public holiday for government employees
It appears that soccer trumps all in Colombia during the World Cup. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos declared Friday afternoon a public holiday for all government employees because of the Colombia vs. Brazil World Cup soccer match.
But don’t worry, the “special services” such as security and health would remain active and on duty, while others would be granted the day off.