Todo bien? Todo bien!

I remember the first time I heard, “todo bien?”  Argentine tango dancers were on tour in Chicago, and one of them always greeted me with those two words.  I knew enough Spanish to understand the question, but what I didn’t know was the importance those two words have in daily porteño life, especially in the milongas.

Todo bien translates — all good.  It doesn’t include a verb.  Todo esta bien translates to all is well.  Spanish speakers abbreviate the language just like English speakers do.

Gregorio approached my table in Lo de Celia with a big smile.  He hadn’t been around for some time, and I wanted to know that all was well with him.  He confirmed it was and added how good he feels in the milonga where everyone is happy and nobody has any problems.  We come together to dance each week and leave with smiles on our faces and tangos in our hearts.

It’s todo bien! in the milonga.

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