Wednesday, July 2, 2014

In the beginning there was Pura Vida

When in Costa Rica you will hear and see the words pura-vida everywhere!

Pura Vida (pronounced POO-rah VEE-dah) literally means “Pure Life,” but the meaning of the phrase goes well beyond its simply translation. In fact, it has many loose translations to go along with its direct one. It's used to say, farewell, thank you, descriptor, and state of being. It represents the idea of living a peaceful, uncluttered existence amongst nature, family, and friends, and that life, no matter how much or how little you have, is wonderful.
But where did it come from?

In 1956, a Mexican film called Pura Vida featured Antonio Espino, as a character who unfortunately couldn't seem to do anything right. Wearing baggy pants, jacket sleeves long, three-cornered hat he uttered the phrase Pura Vida over and over again as a way to express his optimism. Fans of the movie began to use it in their conversations at home, and eventually it fully caught on and was used throughout Costa Rica in the 1970s.

So if you find yourself on vacation in Costa Rica try the phrase on for size.  It is totally acceptable for tourists to get in on the action while visiting.  Locals are very proud of Pura Vida, and will be happy to hear you use it.

“Pure life!”   “Excellent!”    “Full of life!”
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