Saturday, April 23, 2005

Galinya dji dozi miu
This was the title of a recent op-ed piece about the effects of globalization on the Mozambican chicken-rearing industry. The four words really say it all - they are a literal translation of ´A Chicken for 12,000 meticais´, as said in a heavy Brazilian accent. The article bemoans the fact that, since import restrictions were loosened, the local market has been flooded with incredibly cheap frozen chickens from Brazil. The writer asks ´how can the wholesale price be so low (about 60 US cents) when they have to raise, slaughter, pluck, package, freeze the chickens and then ship them 5000 kilometres across to here?´. Its a good question, and the writer suspects that the ´galinhas´ arriving in Maputo are of a quality that would never be allowed into Europe.

Quite apart from the fact that the surge of imports is slaying yet another local agricultural industry. The author wryly notes that if the trend ever expanded to ducks it would be a different story, as the new president himself, who somehow became very wealthy over the last 15 years, famously attributes his success to his duck farms.

Language note: the title phrase in ´proper´ portuguese would be written:
galinha de doze mil
...which in Mozambican accent would be pronounced
galinya di dozi mil

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