¡Que Chuntaro!

Is being a Chuntaro (Choon-tah-ro) bad? 

I hear the expression all the time   sometimes in a good way, others in a bad one.  ¡Hay no, que chuntaro!  ¡Ese chuntaro esta bien guey. ¡¡Orale, que chuntaro!!  Surprisingly, a lot of young people of Mexican descent like being characterized as chuntaros, or knowing the activities they are taking part in could be described with this adjective. 

Perhaps in the same way non-Mexicans enjoy the term ghetto(i.e. That’s so ghetto, ghettofabulous, etc.)

Frequenting Spanish-only clubs that play straight musica norteña and rancheras, as well as dressing up in boots, cowboy hats, and large belt buckles are among the activities that could deem these young people chuntaros, at least those are the defining attributes they factor into the equation.   

The online Urban Dictionary actually defines chuntaro as a Mexican slang word, or synonym, for naco: a.k.a. 1) an Indian or Indian-looking Mestizo or 2) an uncultured or lower class person.  Yet, for the most part, when we use the term chuntaro we don’t mean it in such a disparaging way.  More often than not it’s used as a satirical expression of something or someone we find amusing. 

Even when used as an insult the translation is not so literal. 

For example, if a Mexican tells you you’re dressed all chuntaro they usually mean you’re appearance is less than appropriate for the place/event you are at.  Perhaps you’re wearing a prom-looking gown to Sunday mass, you could be wearing unintentional holes in your jeans or shoes, or just maybe the shimmer on your shirt or blouse is so strong it reflects the sunlight onto a nearby wall. 

By the same token, if you are at a specific location with a Mexican and they describe it as chuntaro they simply mean it is not up to their particular standards.  It might be a kid’s birthday party where there are more adults drinking than there are children playing, perhaps a quinceañera where the second-floor dance floor is so small and crowded it feels like the whole party might come crashing down onto the first floor at any given moment, or it could just mean the Mexican you are with is a little snobby.

Herein lays the problem of using the word chuntaro.  Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, what I consider appropriate and up to my standards could be hideous and very chuntaro in your opinion.  So I am sad to say the fights / debates about what is or isn’t chuntaro will continue. 

On the flip side there are a lot of “chuntaro, and proud of it” folks out there, myself included.      

What do you consider Chuntaro?

15 thoughts on “¡Que Chuntaro!”

  1. Millions of chuntaros are found at escapade 2001,chaparral,portal,far west,etc.lmao..this is too funny.hahaha…

    1. Ridedculo… Conversa do che1cha, desde a poledtica de “fraternidade de classe”, ate9 ao imarpielismo, “luta pela emancipae7e3o”, “colectivo” no campo da mfasica, etc. ahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, hoje se3o um bando de pane7udos com negociatas aqui e ali e que nem sequer hesitam muito em enroscar-se nas coisas obscuras da SPA.

  2. Ay 2 clases de chuntaros. el q nace y el q se ace chuntaro el q nace no tiene remedio si qiere cabiar se buelve naco y el q se ase es. Natural chuntaro

  3. I myself have asked many people this question, since I’m not Mexican. I’m still not entirely clear on it but I have decided Chuntaros have a lot in common with us “briars” (that’s what we’re called where I’m from). People who says mean things about us secretly wish they weren’t too inhibited to be a man wearing beautiful sensuous boots or a woman who knows how to holler, because you know what, we have much more fun at our plastic-cup gatherings than fancy folk have at what they call a party. I like the Chuntaros because basically they’re wearing their hearts on their sleeves. Botas picudas: I need a girl and I’m not afraid for anyone to know it (as a female, I think it is absolutely wonderful to see a guy just up and admit it!). Sombrero chiquitito: I’m Mexican and I don’t even care if you understand. I love the chuntaritos!

  4. En si todos tenemos un poco de chuntaro. Solo que hay quien lo admitimos y hay quien lo trata de esconder. El que lo trata de esconder le da verguenza ser criticado oh ser puesto en ridiculo. Arriba los chuntaros!!!!

  5. Beth, I love your comment! One of my all time favorites… en serio, and you’re right, we have way more fun at our chuntaro-briar parties with our plastic cups and rowdy kids running around like a bunch of loquitos, jajaja! Thank you for putting a big old smile on my face…

    And Rosa! Oh yeah… no hay que tener pena de ser lo que es uno. Arriba los Chuntaros y que!!?? lol

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