We live in times in which language works as a lens by which we see (or not) reality. It was previously thought that a word only served as a tool whose sole purpose was to describe an object. Today we know that the words “create” things, people and even feelings . For example, in the Middle Ages there were no children. And this was not because “really” there were no kids running around the countryside, but because there was no word to differentiate them from adults. In the Middle Ages, regardless of age, they were all considered big people. The same thing happens in the province of Missions . There are no boys or girls there, but gurises and guainas.
A word that transcends borders
Guri is not an exclusive word for Misiones. It is a term used in argentinian coast and much of Uruguay and Paraguay. The word comes from Guarani Ngiri and it means “boy or boy.” However, although in other regions the female of gurí is “gurisa”, in Misiones it is called “guaina”. On the other hand, the plural masculine noun of gurí is gurises and the plural female noun of guaina is guainas .
The guaraníes were originally settled in Brazil, Paraguay and northeastern Argentina. There are currently descendants indigenous people which maintain their original language, homes, schools and their own identity. If there are gurises in Misiones, that's all thanks to them.
Much more than a name
In Misiones you don't say “come, boy” or “come, child”, it says “come, gurí”. When a missionary enters a house with children, he asks: “How are gurises doing? ”. But guri and child are not the same thing. The gurises of Misiones live in contact with nature . Many are seen walking barefoot at nap time. His red feet from the red earth and his hands laden with lemons torn from the trees of the sidewalk. The guri is obedient to the elders, although sometimes he is maimed. The guainas, on the other hand, maintain traditions. They accompany the mother shopping, cut her nails or comb the grandmother. Missionary gurises, for better or worse, still live in a traditionalist society. However, even though one of them can journey far from his homeland, he may lose his name, but never his identity .
Misionero y argentino por elección. Profesor de Historia (UBA), aficionado a la astronomía y a la ciencia ficción. Soy docente en el nivel medio y superior, pero antes fui maestro heladero, librero, administrativo, encuestador, mozo y hasta repartidor de películas de VHS. Mi pasión es escribir. Tengo unos cuantos cuentos y unas cuantas historias para contar. Como dicen por mi zona, solo “entre, pase y pregunte”.