The inhabitants of Medellin, Colombia are often called Paisas, a name which some suggest comes from the coffee growers. The term Paisa comes from the word paisano (fellow countryman). Paisas make up one of the five different regional cultures within Colombia. The Paisa region includes the states of Caldas, Risaralda, Quindio and some towns of Valle del Cauca and Tolima.

Although Paisa culture is dominant in Medellin (the “Paisa Capital”), the city is becoming more cosmopolitan, now offering music from other regions of Colombia (Vallenato and Champeta), and a variety of restaurants including Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Arabic, French, Cuban, and Argentinian.

The Paisa culture has a Spanish background, and is traditionally Catholic, entrepreneurial, hard-working, and famously hospitable. Paisas are said to speak softly and quickly, to smile easily, and to love bullfights, rodeo, music, poetry, soccer, bargaining in the markets, and parties. They are proud of their city. The Medellin weekend nightlife, in discos, pubs, parks, and certain dedicated streets, is traditionally called rumba.

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