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Every day life in Venezuela


Cuaima, definition: 1. an aggressive snake. 2. a jealous and impulsive woman

By WHA, Venezuela Report: Life in Venezuela
Friday August 21st 2009
Can someone explain to me the Venzuelan concept of the cuaima? In any case, this photo depicts Snake charmer Khum Chaibuddee kissed 19 highly poisonous king cobras in an attempt to set a world record at Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum in Pattaya, Thailand in 2006. One by one, the cobras were released onto a stage, where the 45-year-old snake charmer kissed each beast and then moved onto the next.

Can someone explain to me the Venzuelan concept of the cuaima? In any case, this photo depicts Snake charmer Khum Chaibuddee kissed 19 highly poisonous king cobras in an attempt to set a world record at Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum in Pattaya, Thailand in 2006. One by one, the cobras were released onto a stage, where the 45-year-old snake charmer kissed each beast and then moved onto the next.

Before you blast me, that’s not my definition. Here it is from the Urban Dictionary:

1. cuaima
The nickname of an aggressive poisonous snake, Bothrops lanceolatus. Also, used in slang to define a very jealous and impulsive woman.

“Here comes your cuaima dude.”

2. cuaima
In Venezuela (spanish), a very poisonous snake, also the wife, the women in general.

Be careful, in this area there are “cuaimas”; How is your cuaima (your wife); The cuaimas aare heving a meeting (women are having a chat).

I actually looked it up because of a recent post by the Chica Extranjera, author of “Adventures in places I do not belong.” Her post is titled, “1950 comes to Caracas” and she writes:

I just read a book that I (wishfully) thought would be a constructive critique of cuaimas but is actually a full blown celebration of the cuaima.

If in 300 years an alien comes to Venezuela and reads this book, it will think that the life of a woman passes no further than her house, her child’s school, and her church, and that her self worth depends entirely on making her children lunch and ironing her husband’s shirts. The author forgets to feed herself breakfast while making elaborate meals for her husband and children, labels her plastic surgeon a “magical god” and seeks guidance from a priest who informs her that the habits of her egoistic and alcoholic husband are something for which she needs to “be stronger”. And that the “strong” friends she really needs are the one that also cry when she goes to them with repeated sob stories about her husband’s behavior.

The narrator’s “breakthrough” moment is when she realizes that she doesn’t need to “clean what is already clean” (como se le occure hacer eso??) and that she can, in a motion of self discovery, take a walk outside with her friend, go window shopping at the mall or go to the gym to pursue a “beauty routine”. Amazingly, even if she does not clean the house that day and pursues these “independent activities”, the house will still probably be as clean as it was yesterday, so worry not.

Throughout the book I found myself hoping for a sign that it was all a farce: that the author understood the nature of her codependent existence and wrote all that drivel as a form of mockery, or at least as the “what not to do” section of a corny advice column, or that the book was a reprinted version of the 1950 edition, but no.

I recently had a discussion with gringas and venezolanas about dating/ gender stereotypes here. Highlights:

-One friend was asked by an older woman, on three separate occasions, if her boyfriend was indeed single and not married to someone else.

-After getting a haircut, one friend was complimented that if her boyfriend was married he would leave now indeed leave his wife for her. Congratulations.
-One friend’s mother regularly tells her that if she does not stay pretty and cuidar a su novio then he will unquestionably leave her.

But alas, things are the way they are, and no point in getting pissed off about them. Off to bed.

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2 Responses to “Cuaima, definition: 1. an aggressive snake. 2. a jealous and impulsive woman”

  1. Jouin says:

    I live in the country and cuaima would be a woman with such confidence and independent aura, one to be fear of. A feisty woman I’d say.

  2. Anonymous says:

    AGREED!! VENEZUELAN WOMEN THEY ARE INSANE!

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