My Name is Not “Psiu”

Knowing and appreciating all the warm and cordial manners of brazilians it still has to be said that they do indeed have an unfortunate way of calling people’s attention.
While still struggling with the portuguese language, there is one word or rather a sound, whose signification you will discover pretty easy: psiu

Noticing this sound and thinking that its purpose is to call one of the mutts that are populating the streets of the favela, you may eventually realize that this slightly irritating noise was actually used to call you.
“Psiu” when people want to give you a wave on street, “psiu” when they want to tell a story, “psiu” when they need your help…
It can be frustrating that your by your parents so carefully chosen name, is replaced by that random sound. Just know that although for foreign ears it sounds impolite or even rude, the intention of brazilians is not as such.

So although you might from time to time feel the need to turn around and bark like a dog just to display your irritation about being “psiued” or at least answer with an ironical “what is it, shhh?”, keep cool, remember it’s not meant to be rude but a common brazilian thing which can be found all the way from the streets to the lyrics of Larissa Manoela, and lastly just start to call your friends “psiu” as well. Because like it is the case with most things that annoy you, the irritation about being “psiued” might fade as you participate in the act.

Lina Selg, Sarah Schmid


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