(TICO BULL) Costa Ricans, locally referred to as Ticos, are non-confrontational. The Pura Vida way of life is laid-back and considered extremely impolite to raise your voice or take a firm stand on anything. I mean anything.

This obsession to politeness, non-confrontational and non-committal is part of the desire to please others, make a positive impression.

No is a concept unfamiliar to Ticos. They will prefer to respond with a “puede ser” or “tal vez”, both meaning maybe. And in the worst practice, saying “si” (yes), when in fact they really don’t mean it, again, just to avoid saying “no”.

So, it is extremely rare to hear a Tico use the word ‘no’, and when they do, it always comes with a but.

This cultural idiosyncrasy wasn’t missed on the announcement made by Teletica (Televisora de Costa Rica) pulling out of the Miss Universe.

Ignacio Santos, the on air voice of local channel 7 and backed up by a statement by Televisora president, Rene Picado, the station will not send a contestant, nor air the Miss Universe pageant. (Televisora owns the franchise rights in Costa Rica for the Miss Universe.)

The same statement was made by Univision, first, then NBC, Televisa and a number of Latin personalities and beauty contestants in Latin America, who felt strongly about the comments of Mexicans by Donald Trump, that for those who aren’t aware, owns the Miss Universe and is running for the U.S. presidential nomination.

But, in Costa Rica the “no” came with a but. As Santos said and backed by Picado, if Donald Trump apologizes or removes himself completely from the Miss Universe organization, then the no may be cancelled.

Now, we all know that if Donald did either or both, very unlikely, Univision and the others would change their mind and get on board with the program.

The difference is that, in everything I have read, seen or listened to, none ever said “but”. We’re out and that’s that.

So, why do the Ticos have to put the but?

Because that is the way of the Tico.


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