At the end of October Western Christians celebrate the day of the dead. In Colombia this holiday goes just crazy: it is extremely popular over there. Schools and universities, malls and houses are decorated accordingly. Students have a Halloween week at school to demonstrate their creepy costumes. A lot of entertainment events are planned on the 30th and 31st of October. All the cafes, restaurants, bars and clubs have something special to offer.
One of the biggest events in the city is a Zombie March on Septima (carrera the 7). And tonight it will be held. It will be the first Zombie March for me here in Bogota, and honestly, I have no idea what to expect from it. The most annoying thought I have in my head for the last several days: as displaced people love to participate in street concerts on Septima so much, would it be possible to tell the difference between a Zombie dressed citizen and a participating for fun Homeless?
It is clear how mean it sounds, but this refers to Colombia’s extremely important problem: the problem of revenue misdistribution that becomes a reason of the worst poverty in Latin America and probably in the whole world. I, personally, have never ever seen so many street habitants in my life!
Colombia is one of the most socially stratified countries in the world. Its social stratification from 1 to 6 that divides all the cities in the country into low and high revenue neighborhoods was implemented in the 1980-s and was made into the law in 1994 to grant subsidies to the poorest citizens.
Stratum 1: Lowest income.
Stratum 2: Low-Middle class.
Stratum 3: Middle class.
Stratum 4: Upper middle class.
Stratum 5: Upper class.
Stratum 6: Wealthy. (Only the 5% of Colombian people fit this category.)
This system is organized so that strata 5 and 6 people pay for services more than the lower strata people.
People living in Bogota are mainly from 2, 3 and 4 strata: around 68 per cent here live in 2 and 3 strata. The poorest population of the city is concerned in the south and south-west of Bogota, the neighborhoods considered as the most dangerous ones.
Richer people are mostly living in the north of the city. So, due to the stratification system of Colombia, people from the south pay less for electricity and water and people from the north have to pay more to cover this difference.
As the main street of Bogota is situated at the center of the city, where street dwellers are concentrated the most, tonight it will be a real show: zombie dressed people mixed with homeless ones and you, walking side by side with them and not able to define who is who.
Happy Halloween, Colombia!