By Fausta Rodriguez Wertz
My friends at New York Latin Culture have been doing a countdown of New Year’s traditions to celebrate the arrival of the new year around the world. Among the traditions, is
wearing yellow underwear at the moment when New Year arrives. According to beliefs, doing so brings wealth and prosperity in the coming year.
Colombians and Venezuelans both like to greet the New Year in yellow undies.
New yellow undies.
Colombia’s economy has been doing well lately
Annual inflation fell to its lowest rate since 1955 last month, even as the economy grew at the fastest pace in the Andean region.
Colombians can find a wide array of any yellow undies they need.
Venezuela’s economy, on the other hand, is a disaster, with the government hiding the numbers while claiming an official annual inflation rate of 54% when the implied annual inflation rate hits 261%. Additionally, shortages of consumer goods in Venezuela
stem from price controls meant to make basic goods available to the poorest parts of society and the government’s controls on foreign currency.
Yellow undies are no exception: Agencia Carabobeña de Noticias (News Agency of Carabobo, ACN) reported that this year, Yellow Underwear is Rare and Costly, with panty prices increasing by 73% and 185% (depending on the shop) since 2012. Bra inflation was worse, with prices increasing by 300% to 500%. Men’s underpants doubled in price (the article doesn’t specify jockeys or boxers). ACN also itemized the rise in prices in the foods traditionally served on New Year’s Eve, with similar results.
Is the underwear shortage and inflation a regional occurrence? El Siglo sent out its reporters, who came back not only saying there was a wide variety of styles and prices available in Maracay (without mentioning actual prices), they even found shoppers who swear by its effectiveness. El Siglo, on the other hand, bills itself as a Bolivarian newspaper, which I interpret as loyal to the ruling party.
In brief: Disastrous economic policy hit the New Year’s bottom line.
Wishing you a happy and prosperous 2014,