Palabras de Peru: Causa

During my first week in Lima, I had a delicious food by the name of Causa. I comes in several different forms, but is without a doubt a great symbol of Peruvian cuisine.

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As I started befriending Limeneos during my travels, I started learning slang from the barrios and in the Hip Hop communities. One of the first words I relearned was “Causa,” a word that can also be equivalent to the US slang, “homie,” or a close friend. A friend who is really fresh in their thinking or style is a “elegante causa.” Although these words are not used widely they are very frequent in the Hip Hop community. I shared that word with someone who works in Lima and identifies themselves as well to do after they complete their professional education in Lima. He told me that this would is a word only “street people” use and I should not call anyone that I am befriending in Miraflores that, because it would disrespect the person or myself. This surprised me because it showed a divide between classes for the first time for me. This was a connection of how people can be stigmatized from the barrios and higher economic classes. The gentleman continued to talk to me about music in Miraflores. He told me that salsa, electronic and cumbia were common in many clubs, but hip hop, reggae and reggaeton were not preferred as much. I understood this as the divide with Euro-centric and Afro-centric identity in neighborhoods in the city of Lima.

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