I’ve been waiting to see if anyone else will post about this, but I haven’t seen anything in the Gringos living in Chile blogosphere. If you’re in Chile, I’m sure you’ve heard of him unless you’ve been living under a rock. I mean, I don’t even have a TV and I know about him. But for those of you outside of Chile, here’s a peek.
Who is he?
Victor “Zafrada” Díaz, from Iloca, Chile.
Here’s the video that started it all (with English subtitles):
There are many funny, charming things about this little boy. First of all, he mispronounces the word “frazada” (blanket) and says “zafrada” which has now become his nick name. His mannerisms are so adorable. As one of my students said, he’s like a young old man. I love the part where he talks about the food in his school cafeteria and says “Es medio mala!” and then smiles.
So Zafrada’s popularity has skyrocketed. They brought him to Santiago last week and he was on the TVN morning show. They gave him a laptop, they gave his Dad a new boat. President Sebastian Piñera went to visit Iloca and brought him (among other things) a “zafrada”. They found Susana, the girl he talks about liking in the video, and they were reunited (only come to find out, she’s 5 years older than him!). They re-built his friend Benja’s store. Iloca was one of the (or perhaps THE) first town damaged by the earthquake/tsunami to get a temporary school.
I’ve heard mixed commentaries about Zafrada’s stardom. Some people say that the media is taking advantage of him to get people to donate to the earthquake relief efforts. Others say it’s not fair that he has gotten so many things, and by extension that Iloca has gotten so many things when so many are in need. Some have said that it doesn’t matter, that it’s good that people help no matter what their motivations are.
I’m not really sure where I stand. I think this little boy is adorable, and I’m glad people are helping him. I hope everyone who needs help after the earthquake is getting it too.