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What Does ‘No Se Chonguea’ Mean and Why Is it Everywhere Right Now?

Who's behind the guerrilla "Día del Amigo" campaign?

By | [email protected]com | July 19, 2019 3:43pm


It’s kind of hard to define what chonguear means in Argentina. It derives from the word chongo which is typically translated to mean “boy toy,” those disposable dates that are painfully obvious will not evolve into anything serious long-term. Chonguear would be the verb use for chongo and it has a much broader reach as it extends to both men and women and doesn’t just cover informal relationships but formal ones as well (at least formal ones without including marriages).

Ok, with semantics out of the way, it’s time to talk about those signs that have been appearing all over the country, from Buenos Aires to Corrientes, from Córdoba to Rosario, with a simple message: “On Friend’s Day (July 20th) #NoSeChonguea“, meaning that Friend’s Day is only to be spent with friends and not chongos or anything in the chongo-sphere whatsoever. They went all in with an aggressive pasacalle campaign (for more on pasacalle culture read this piece we wrote about it a while back).

Here’s a glimpse of what they’ve been up to, in case you haven’t already bumped into it in any of your daily commutes:

Quick thought before we go any further: not sure if you knew this, but Día del Amigo was created by Enrique Ernesto Febbraro, an Argentine dentist/musician/broadcaster who got inspired by (get this) the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969. That’s right, Día del Amigo, that day you choose to get drunk with your friends and eat pizza like a pig, derives from a guy putting a US flag on the moon, something that Febbraro understood to be an accomplishment signified brotherhood between men and women of every creed, religion, and ideology. It’s not very clear if Febbraro knew the meaning of chongo or if he explicitly had a problem with them, but over time the antichongo idea became an unspoken rule of Día del Amigo and bringing a partner to the celebration meant heresy.

Back to the #nosechonguea thing. It turns out this was all part of a campaign by Brahma which unleashed a series of videos that try especially hard to achieve the all-important diversity standards that our current society craves (girls on girls, boys on boys and heteros). This whole thing concludes in the most spectacular of bashes: Brahma will be throwing a party on July 20th in an actual albergue transitorio, which is one of those motels (you might know it as a telo) ideal for… well, for chongueo obviously!

The parking lot of Hotel Vos y Yo (excellent choice) located at Emilio Lamarca 893 is the selected location for this shindig and anybody 18 years or older is invited. I’d love to say I’d meet you guys there, but I’m actually married and justifying a trip to a telo’s parking lot might be too tall a task at this point in my life. So, have fun!