Customs, Cuzco Neighborhoods

Gossips Abound in Cusco

Chismosas in the Plaza

In the city of Cusco we live calmly and well. The people who live on its various streets are friendly and always concerned about other people. This is especially true of women. They tend to observe day in and day out all that happens on their street or in their neighborhood.

People say that the women like to know all about their neighbors and family members. They are always sharing this information with their friends who listen and observe other people. These women are called chismosas, gossips, or comadrejas.

They are called chismosas because they are concerned about what might be happening to the people around them. People say they do not always speak the truth but exaggerate in their comments.

In every neighborhood we have this kind of people who like to be up to date about other people. The majority are said to be women although in some cases men also participate in the gossip.

The bad moments and bad things that might strike one is the background for those chismosas. They love to divulge all the problems that other people have. That is why bad news travels faster than good news.

Gossipy persons are characterized by listening in to conversation that do not otherwise concern them. They look out their windows to see what people are up to. They are always interested in knowing the details of other people’s lives. They tell it all to other people adding things that are generally bad.

Good news is slow to arrive since for these famous chismosas it is not pleasant to speak well of others. They always want people to know bad things about you. When they get to know good things about someone they do not share them very quickly if at all.

The chismosas are also known as the “bad tongues”. They are found throughout the city. For example, where I live there is a woman who is always on top of what all the neighbors are doing. She is the first to find out if someone has bought a car or if there is someone new in the neighborhood. She knows if someone has had a fight. She seems to always know everything and freely shares it all with her friends who cannot wait to hear what is going on with other people.

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