Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Kids do the darndest things

These kids frequent the little playground in front of our apartment building. They also “guard” cars at one of the local supermarkets, and I pay then about US$0.75 to watch over my car when I’m there. I can’t figure out if they are street kids or if they actually have a place to sleep. Even if they don’t sleep on the streets, they certainly don’t have any adult supervision. They are very sweet kids, just without any support emotionally or financially. Sad and all too common.

Last Friday I was sitting on the playground benches with my neighbor Stella, watching her 20 month old son play with the boys. I tried to secretly take pictures of them, but as soon as they saw the camera they went crazy. They started doing these crazy hand signs, and I was a little afraid they were throwing gang signs. I asked them what the signs meant and I just got confused looks. One said, “It’s Os Nigas!” and they got all excited and started to scream “Os Nigas! Os Nigas!” I had no clue what they were talking about so I asked one what Os Nigas meant. He got really embarrassed because he clearly had no idea what Os Nigas was and the other ones started to laugh at him. An older boy, clearly a leader, said, “They are rappers!” And it suddenly dawned on me what Os Niga meant in Portuguese. (Add another “g” to the word and you’ll get it.)

I tried to convince them not to say that word, that it was very bad, but to no avail. Just another American cultural export, unfortunately.

This is how they look when they are not trying to be OGs.

1 comment:

Sir Chancelot said...

Can't see the photos here.