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Costa Rica “Pura Vida” – A Foreigner’s ViewPoint

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Wikipedia says it best: “Pura vida literally means Pura = pure and vida = life, but “Pure life” in Spanish would be “Vida pura” instead, so the real meaning is closer to “plenty of life”, “full of life”, “this is living!”, “going great”, “real living”, or “cool!”[1] It can be used both as a greeting and a farewell, to express satisfaction, to politely express indifference when describing something [1] or even to say “thank you”. The phrase has become widely known; this highly flexible statement has been used by many Costa Ricans (and expatriates) since 1956.[2] Some foreigners view the phrase as an expression of a leisurely lifestyle, of disregard for time, and of wanton friendliness. However, Costa Ricans use the phrase to express a philosophy of strong community, perseverance, resilience in overcoming difficulties with good spirits, enjoying life slowly, and celebrating good fortune of magnitudes small and large alike.”

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