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#57965 - 10/12/00 03:31 PM Spain vs South America
steveaqui Offline
Member

Registered: 09/01/00
Posts: 76
Loc: Inglaterra
I’m interested to know what you Americans think of Spanish speaking South America as compared to Spain. I ask this because I am conscious of the fact that travel to the South of America would appear to be easier, quicker and probably cheaper. Also there is a wide range of choice from Chile to Cuba etc.
I would like to visit a few of the South American countries and as I said I am interested in comparisons between a place where all visitors to this site appreciate, namely Spain and South America.

Thanks,
steveaqui

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#57966 - 10/12/00 04:40 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Nicole Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/24/00
Posts: 583
Loc: Los Angeles
I have lived in Colombia, Chile and Spain, actually (as well as FRance, but that's not really important), and traveled extensively in Peru, Argentia, Uruguay and Brazil. To be honest, besides the obvious language connection between Spain and South and Central America, I think it is really impossible to compare. I cannot speak for Mexico or Central America, but every south American country that I have been to has an incredibly unique ethnic make-up and culture, and therefore, appeal.

When I decided to do a year abroad I chose Spain for its proximity to other European countries, because although I was interested in the language, I was also interested in doing more traveling in Western and some of eastern europe. I came to really love Spain. I chose to go to Chile after college because I wanted to continue with Spanish and wanted a different experience.

I happen to be absolutely fascinated with history, so I looooove Peru, and was thrilled to get the chance to go back and spend some time in Cuzco and Machu Picchu (which I never spell correctly). Argentina, particularly Buenos Aires, is very Italian - you can hear it in the sopanish and can tell from the clothes and physical characteristics of the people

[This message has been edited by Nicole (edited 10-12-2000).]

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#57967 - 10/12/00 04:50 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Nicole Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/24/00
Posts: 583
Loc: Los Angeles
sorry, had to do something else for a minute. As for travel, it is easier and cheaper to get to Europe from a lot of places in the States, than it is to get to southern South American countries. We can't [legally] go to Cuba as U.S. citizens, so I don't know about that. I made reservations for a trip to Cuba from chile, but someone told me that there was a possibility that the US gov. could confiscate my passport if they found out, I said no. However small the chance, I love to travel too much.

Anyway, the nice thing about a lot of South America is that it is still a little bit off the beaten track, and you have more a sense of specialness about your experiene. In Europe, you are fighting the crouds all summer. That said, I am a big art lover, so I am more than happy to be in a place where I can peruse museums all day. I think in general, Americans see Spain as more sophisticated than South America, because it is a European country. I do not happen to believe that is true, but it is generally more cosmopolitan than SOME South american regions.. As i said, I cannot speak for Central america (yet).

I could go on and on about my perceptions about the countries I have visited, but I won't bore you {unless you really want me to}. Besides, your destination is never the most important part of a trip. It is really the people you meet. Find some one that loves a place and it usually some one that made some great friends, lovers there..

[This message has been edited by Nicole (edited 10-12-2000).]

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#57968 - 10/13/00 09:49 AM Re: Spain vs South America
Brian Goldthorp Offline
Member

Registered: 07/06/00
Posts: 43
Loc: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Steveaqui -

I see you're in the UK. I would think the Spain/Latin America connection would be similar to the UK/US-Canada-Australia connection. That is, there is a common language (up to a point "hehehehehe") and common history but the cultures have gone their separate ways over the centuries, both from the mother country and from each other. No?

As for travelling to Latin America, as a Canadian we don't have the U.S. problem about Cuba so it is a cheap vacation destination for us (along with the Dominican Republic and Mexico) - lots of package tours. South America itself would be fairly expensive, though. Flying from Toronto to Buenos Aires, for example, would be longer than a flight to Europe and more expensive.

[This message has been edited by Brian Goldthorp (edited 10-13-2000).]

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#57969 - 10/13/00 12:49 PM Re: Spain vs South America
sevilla Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/13/00
Posts: 6
Great site madridman!!!!!!
Spain and southamerica are very different. The only thing we share is the language, or at least the base of the languaje, and some years of history when we discovered America. We don't have the same customs, or culture, history... is like saying that USA and England are the same because both speak English. Honestly, I don't like when Southamerican say they are Spanish, they are Americans, or Mexicans or Cubans... and they should be proud of being independent form Spain. Is like if the Americans said they are English...

[This message has been edited by sevilla (edited 10-13-2000).]

[This message has been edited by sevilla (edited 10-13-2000).]

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#57970 - 10/14/00 10:41 AM Re: Spain vs South America
steveaqui Offline
Member

Registered: 09/01/00
Posts: 76
Loc: Inglaterra
Interesting information and thoughts, what I find particularly odd is the way that the US Govt. can stop its citizens from visiting Cuba. I don’t think we would take kindly to such a ban here in England.
I also find very interesting the comments about it taking less time to fly to Europe and also the fact that it’s cheaper.
Nicole, you really are well travelled!

Well got to go now and I’ll be back to the board in a week with some comments on my stay in Madrid.

Hasta luego a todos

steveaqui

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#57971 - 10/18/00 10:05 AM Re: Spain vs South America
brianvc Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/03/00
Posts: 20
Loc: texas, usa
i have never been to south america, but i have certainly met lots of people from there . most of these were rich people visiting here in texas. i am talking here about South American countries and not Mexico.
they looked castillian-ish, meaning that they looked like they could have walked off a street in barcelona or madrid. it seems the rich down there are rarely the indigenous peoples. i watch their soap operas sometimes and it always shows white european types living some tragic, rich existence. the mestizos and or indians are usually the servants. i would love to hear more about race relations down there...it seems it is similar if not worse than here in the US.

i would also like to note how hard it is to understand some south americans because i am used to the language as spoken in northern spain. it always throws me off when south americans dont pronounce the letter S! but this makes it all the more interesting i think. and i would love to visit that continent.

a note (and then i will stop) on the Cuba thing. yes, the US has an illegal position on trying to bar unauthorized travel to cuba. but we also have to blame the cuban immigrant lobbying groups who push for this sort of stuff. i take offence to people who were born in another country trying to tell me i cant travel somewhere, because of politics. but our government is to blame also.

please note, cuba DOES want americans because of our dollars ("los washingtones" they say). they reportedly will stamp a separate form rather than your passport if you so desire. thus leaving no trace of your visit!

woo! sorry, damn long i must say. apologies, brian

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#57972 - 10/18/00 10:43 AM Re: Spain vs South America
El Boqueron Offline
Member

Registered: 06/09/00
Posts: 421
Loc: UK
BrianVC - I'm not sure how happy the typical "Barcelones(a)" in the street would be to find themselves described as Castillian!

[This message has been edited by El Boqueron (edited 10-18-2000).]

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#57973 - 10/18/00 11:32 AM Re: Spain vs South America
connie Offline
Member

Registered: 07/05/00
Posts: 153
I have never been to South America, but I know quite a few people from there who are doing postgraduate studies in the US, and they all claim that the US strucks them as being much more racist than their own countries. They say that there is no black-white dichotomy such as here in their home countries and that mestizaje was and is considered a desirable concept, there were political movements promoting it already at the beginning of the last century and no prohibitions of inter-racial marriage existed. Therefore, they find it weired that sometimes like in the US census there is mentioning of White hispanics and black hispanics because they do not define their own identity in those terms. On the other hand, they admit that there was an element of racism- albeit more subtle- in the mestizaje idea because there was an idea of "whitening" of the population inherent in the concept, with immigration from Europe encouraged as opposed to immigration from other parts.
But all in all, they said there is a lot of discrimination based on class, but not on race in a comparative extent. Peru has a president of Japanese origin--independently on what you think about him, it is a good sign in terms of diversity and tolerance for minorities.
On the other hand, what is true is that most of the people that I spoke to DID look like Spaniards. But still, they brought a lot of examples from their countries' history that seemed as if there was more racial tolerance. Any more opinions about that?

[This message has been edited by connie (edited 10-18-2000).]

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#57974 - 10/18/00 12:38 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Nicole Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/24/00
Posts: 583
Loc: Los Angeles
The whole categorization of race is a strange thing really. The US believes in the one-drop theory - "one drop" of African blood makes you "black." Which I think is odd. Other countries have hundreds of distinctions depending on your ethnic make-up. That doesn't necessarily mean that they are less racist though.

Through out every South American country I have visited, your social class is inherently tied to your skin. In chile, all of the Gerente Generales were very light skinned, and the lower you go down in job status, the darker people's skin were. It was a literal skin pigment ladder in the microcosm of my jobs there. It is a complex issue. An individual's economic status is largely determined by family, literally, your last name (look at the people in government anfd economic positions of power and you see certain apellidos repeated inpartciular circles) - obviously your family has a lot to do with your ethnic background. In Brazil the wealthy neighborhoods are filled with Portuguese looking people, poor neighborhoods - african and native american. In Lima,I stayed with friend of my parents - two separate neighborhoods and social classes, same thing.

I think if you ask a Spanish looking, wealthy South American if there is a race problem in his or her country, they will say no. But, you can bet that their family gardner and servants were dark skinned.

I also think if you ask the average American white person what the racial problems are in the States, he or she probably won't know - a lot of people simply deny that a problem exists and insist that people are just exagerating. It isn't until you become really good friends or have a relationship with some one not "white" that you begin to see the enormous and wide reaching manifestations of prejudice. At least that has been my experience..

I think one difference regarding race between S.A. and the U.S. is that a whole lot of people are really poor in S. America, and maybe when those countries start to be more stable, and people see that the pie isn't being divided fairly, you might see more action in the direction of changing race relations. At the end of the day, they are each different coutries, and simply handle race in a way that mirrors that culture..

Sorry this was so long, but it is a really interesting topic to me.

[This message has been edited by Nicole (edited 10-18-2000).]

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#57975 - 10/18/00 01:07 PM Re: Spain vs South America
sevilla Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/13/00
Posts: 6
Hi,
When I was in Spain I didn't understand why North America is so racist, but now that I am living here I understand. I don't think that is a skin problem, I think is a behavior problem. I am very open to all cultures, skin color, religious background... but I've seen here that many black people don't behave in the right way and they are very proud of being "bad guys". They way the talk, move, act is very agressive and that makes you think that all blacks are dangerous. On the other hand I have black friends that behave but people don't like them because of what other black people do, as we say in Spain "pagan justos por pecadores". Same with hispanics, most of them don't want to blend with American, they have their own neighborhoods, stores, they don't respect american customs but want their customs to be respected, they don't follow the american rules (like don't tell to an unknown woman in the middle of the street how "hot" she is), they don't learn to speak English... Of course not all of them are like that , but my experience in this country is that they don't try to be accepted. Same thing is Spain with gipsys, they say that we the "payos" (white people) don't like them, but they are the ones that are racist against whites. They don't want to go to school, work, live in houses, pay taxes... and the rest of the Spaniards have to pay to the goverments so they can use that money to build free houses for gipsys.
I think that no matter what race you are you will be accpeted as long as you try to blend and follow the basic rules. I am not saying that all of us have to act the same way, but there are rules that we have to use in order to have a peaceful life together and my experience is that some races are not willing to do so. I try to keep my Spaniard customs in USA but I celebrate Northamerican holidays too because I am a guest in their country. All races have an identity that we want to keep and that is fine as far as we are nice to other people, specially if we are living in their country. One of the communities that I like the most in USA are the Asian communities, they know how to keep their customs and how to be happy in a foreigner country and at the same time they are very respectful to Americans.

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#57976 - 10/18/00 01:15 PM Re: Spain vs South America
missmadrid98 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/26/00
Posts: 289
Loc: Madrid
but "white" people whatever that is, have suffered in countries all over the world and still do, it always amazes me that the world seems to believe that white people are rich folk with no problems, or don't suffer from prejudices. White people recieve racism just like anybody else all the time just like all the other people. I think the thing in america is no one says "i'm american" people always ask you so what are you, or what is your nationality and people say: japanese, chinese, guatamalen, peruvian, vietnamese, no one ever says i'm american, cause people won't take that for an answer, they are like, ya but what are you? on forms there should be a box that you should check that says american, along with pacific islander, african, hispanic........... people don't say i'm american here, they say i'm mexican, i'm irish, i'm cuban, and they are not, they have never left their city or their country, and have NO idea what it is like to be cuban or mexican or irish thay just say that cause along time ago their family may have come from there along with the other 6 nationalities they might also posses. it's a very hard thing here cause it's like you have to be something, you just can't be american. What happens when you are white with blonde hair and blue eyes and freckles and have a fully hispanic name and your family came from a hispanic country, or if you are black and your family came from puerto rico, it's like what are you black or hispanic, what do you check? why can't we just be an american, being the fact that is what we are. It is very irritating sometimes cause sometimes you just can't classify people, they don't even know where their family is from or they are 10 different nationalities and they have to say they are something, not "oh i'm american" to me it's been very irritating cause why can't we just be people.

[This message has been edited by missmadrid98 (edited 10-18-2000).]
_________________________
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#57977 - 10/18/00 01:43 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Nicole Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/24/00
Posts: 583
Loc: Los Angeles
Sevilla, this is in reponse to your post.
I have spent the last two years resettling refugees from vietnam, iraq, cuba, east and west africa and the former yugoslavia. Every single nationality moved into a neighborhood specifically to be near people of their own community. "Asians" don't assimilate better than any other ethnic group - at least, not in my experience. Go to any mid to large size American city and you will find ethnic ghettoes. period. As an American abroad, the expatriate community did the exact same thing. It has been rare to live in other countries and find Americans, etc. that made strong attempts to learn the language of the place.

As for Hispanics in the US, the large majority of people that came to our evening English classes at my job were Hispanic immigrants who were trying to learn English in order to adapt better. One thing that made it difficult for a lot of them,is that many times they didn't have a lot of formal education in their countries, and that make learning another language particularly difficult. As a Spanish teacher too, I can attest to that (if some one has literacy problems, sitting in a class room to learn a language can be an overwhelming undertaking).

I think you are applying some pretty wide stereotypes without a lot of knowlege. The way people talk and act is about environment and culture, and not about who someone really is inside. There are also a lot of different cultures in the us -east coast, west coast, north, south, urban, rural, blue colar, white collar, etc. There are plenty that have offensive and scary behavior regardless of race.

I am a white female that grew up in a very sheltered neighborhood. It was not until I worked at my last job that I really got any in depth exposure to poor urban america. There was an alternative high school upstairs with teen agers from the neighborhood. Through knowing them, as Indivuals, I developed alot more empathy and understanding for what a large chunk of the American population goes through. There was a lot I simply didn't know and that affects the way people behave. Believe me, it is not the same life AT ALL.

Getting back to spain and this board, this is really too large a topic to address here, but it is pertinent. The reason I loved Spain and didn't spend a year complaining about its people, its customs and way of life - like most of the other Americans that were in my group - is because I wanted to be open to the experience. Because of that I made great friends and gained a deeper understanding of what it is to be Spanish in Castilla y Leon.

The same applies to any other place I have been or people I have come to know. The way people speak and act is just surface crap. When you get past that, your really get to the wonderful part of the human connection. some individuals you will like, and some you won't no matter their ethnic background.

Anyway that is my thought for the day... back to work. Have great day all you fellow Spain lovers.

[This message has been edited by Nicole (edited 10-18-2000).]

[This message has been edited by Nicole (edited 10-18-2000).]

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#57978 - 10/18/00 01:43 PM Re: Spain vs South America
laduque Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 10/02/00
Posts: 596
Loc: San Diego, CA, USA
Our country was founded with the western European perpective, the mores, ethics and cultures of those countries. Since the beginning then, it has been the "norm" to fit into that "culture". The "melting pot" is an outdated concept. We are asked to leave our heritage at home, or to disown it all together and learn to "fit" in. I understand this for our society's sake. But isn't our diversity what makes this country such a great place to live?!
Yes, I don't deny that we have our problems here and they come from both sides, the oppressors and the oppressed, but when Sevilla comments and makes generalizations about the Blacks that don't want to cooperate, or the Mexicans that don't want to assimilate, just perpetuates the problem. Intead of really looking for answers we just point fingers-from both sides.
I know we are all "Americans", but I am proud to tell people my heritage. I am a light-skinned, blue-eyed American of Spanish descent, my family has been here for generations. (NO i'm am not Mexican claiming to be Spanish). But I get questioned and pressed all the time to define my ethnicity, I assimilate very well on both sides of the coin, but i want it to be clear where I hail from.
There is no easy solution to the racial injustices that take place everyday. It has to start with the individual. As a teacher, I value the individual, one must look past the color of the skin and see what each person has to offer this world.

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#57979 - 10/18/00 02:11 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Nicole Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/24/00
Posts: 583
Loc: Los Angeles
amen

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#57980 - 10/18/00 03:04 PM Re: Spain vs South America
sevilla Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/13/00
Posts: 6
What I meant to say is that not only white people have to work to accept other races but all of us have to try. What I've seen here is that minorities complain all the time about how racist is this place but they don't try to open theirselves, they don't show to the rest their best qualities. I believe that racist comes from the fact that we are ignorant of other cultures and it is our task to get to know other cultures, but it is the task of other cultures to let the rest of the world to know them. So, my point of view is that we might have not enough interest to konw other cultures and other cultures might not be interested in being known.

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#57981 - 10/18/00 06:40 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Leche Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/00
Posts: 257
Loc: Boise, Idaho
Nicole..you said "The way people speak and act is just surface crap".

Are you kidding?? These are reflections of what the person wants to be. I think what our Spaniard friend was saying about blacks is that they are almost perpetuating the stereotypes that the media (yes, us!) has put forth about them. The typical black person that everyone sees on TV is trying to "act all bad" and "dangerous". Is this something positive that would urge me to stike up a conversation at the supermarket with the black guy wearing a huge parka during the summertime with gold chains and a handerkerchief tied sideways on his head? It's a form of isolationism they are practicing. I understand that the person is probably very nice but when you hear him talking like he's on MTV you don't even want to approach that kind of a person just for safety reasons. I see this a as the fault of the media and that person. It's definetely a drawback that will keep that person from getting the job they probably could get otherwise and will eventually serve to harden that person against the majority because they "don't understand him." The funny thing is....it's not even his ethnic culture at all! Africans don't act that way. It's something that's been completely make up here in the USA and is now widespread all over the country and exported to the world through media outlets. It's sad really.

Leche

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#57982 - 10/18/00 06:47 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Leche Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/00
Posts: 257
Loc: Boise, Idaho
laduque - and I understand what you're saying about wanting to hold on to your diversity. That is a good thing. But to me the most important is finding that balance to embrace the countries' customs where you find yourself. To me that is what this board and website are all about...embracing the spanish culture, understanding it and making it a part of ourselves through our journeys and interest in Spain. I have see too many hispanics that have lived in this country for YEARS and never bothered to learn English. They get catered to by US with options to do everything in Spanish like voting, ect. Do you think this is right? Can you see this type of thing happening in Spain or anywhere else? of course not. I agree with the Spaniard who posted that she felt like a guest here in the USA. That's how I felt living in Spain for 2 years and that's how I feel whenever I go back. I esforzarme to understand and accept what I see in Spain, even if it's different from what I'm used to here in Idaho. That's part of being a part of the world community wherever you are.

Leche

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#57983 - 10/18/00 07:39 PM Re: Spain vs South America
laduque Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 10/02/00
Posts: 596
Loc: San Diego, CA, USA
I realize that in order to assimilate and prosper in our country, one must learn the language, laws, and idiosyncracies that everyday life is about, but not at the expense of sacrificing your own heritage. I realize there are people who do not chose to participate in "mainstream America", I have no answer for that.
I, too, when in Spain, try my best to speak the language, live the life and absorb all that that great country is about.
We must remember that Spain is, for all intents and purposes, a homogenous society, while, we, in the U.S. are a heterogenous society with people from all over the world, in a "new" country, trying to adapt. The U.S. is a relatively young country in comparison, no?
Yes, Spain has autonomous communities and don't forget that the Basque country and Cataluña embrace their own appropriate languages. Remember the bilingual road signs. You see this all over the north!
When addressed by a waiter in Barcelona, it is usually in Catalan. There, we find it charming, here, we are annoyed.
All I mean is that we have a long way to go.

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#57984 - 10/18/00 07:49 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Nicole Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/24/00
Posts: 583
Loc: Los Angeles
Sorry leche. I just tend to take a different view.

I do believe that we are all responsible for how how we represent ourselves, but we are also all products of our culture. It's like telling someone from the south that they need to stop speaking with a southern accent or people will think their stupid/slow (that is a sterotype a lot of northerners have).I just don't think that stuff is something you turn off and on, unless your parents and community teach you how to that.

Along with working with refugees, I did some work with welfare-to work candidates. One of the candidates had such an attitude the first day I wanted to slap her. Nonetheless, we sat down and wrote out her resume, and I pumped her up, and I think, helped her see some of the qualities she never thought she had. She hugged me and cried when we were done. She masked her insecurity by being really agressive. We worked on how she presented herself to people, so she would do better in interviews. It was a loooong, tender process, she had/has a lot of hurdles to get over. She is one of many people I met, white black hispanic in the neighborhood who had a parent on drugs, in prison, abusive, etc. It's pretty hard to think about how to talk right so you can get an upwardly mobile job, when you are straddled with a community where drugs are the norm your dad smacks you around every night, as much as you might want to. We all need a little more guidance than that.

Most of the kids that I dealt with at this particular place knew literally NO ONE in their community that had gone to college, and had jobs. I guess I figure that most of us are not such extraordinarly human beings that we can completely divorce ourselves from our environments and re-create ourselves. At least not overnight...

I figure, I know what my prejudices are, and often their sources, but it is still up to ME to continue working on them. That has a lot to do with me trying to be the person that I want to be. I want to be compassionate and open. My attempts to be that kind of person have provided me with some pretty extraordinary experiences in my short life. I also think that is a life long and continual effort. I often dissapoint myself, but have been able to grow enormously from getting to know diverse folks in my life. I have really come to love people that I never thought I would talk to or be able to identify with.

One main point for me is that when prejudice exists, anything negative that happens serve to reinforce that in a lot of people. It is always "well this hispanic guy came up to me and.... what about the other 20 thousand hispanics that didn't?" I lived with a family in Spain my first semester that were continually telling me I needed to lose weight and that I shouldn't eat dinner (I was 5'4" and 115 pounds, not skinny but not exactly fat either - I later realized that this was because they wanted to keep as much of the $$ the institute gave them to house me- they also had all kinds of food locked up in the living room for the family where I got the cold spaghetti for dinner). Their son was extremely hostile and perpetually attacked me for being american, which was particularly frustrating, because I couldn't speak Spanish well enough to defend myself. Nonetheless, I never said, nor believed Spaniards are cheap/jerks/unapproachable and that they are anti-American. It probably would have been harder for me not to think that way if I already held that stereotype beforehand.

At school I had a friend gang raped by a bunch of white fraternity guys. On other occasions, frat guys stripped a woman naked down when she passed out and wrote on her body and left her outside in mid Iowa winter in front of the House. I don't say, nor do I believe that white guys are bad and that frat guys are bad. I don't feel a shiver of fear when I see a white frat-looking guy, because the stereotype hasn't been pumped into my head - despite the fact that there are plenty of statistics that should give me at least a little pause (these are not even close to the only examples of that stuff that went on at MY campus - let alone others.

That is the difference with groups that are discriminated against. Exceptions are used to "prove" a rule that dehumanizes people. Essentially, you let it prove to you that it is okay to continue thinking the way you do.

Besides, it is not (to me) about having your stereotypes proved wrong, because a lot of times we actually have elements of those characteristics in us - as well as a lot other stuff that doesn't fit into the stereotype people may have of us. I am a blond, blue eyed American, and it always seems to shock people that I speak spanish. I don't look like I would. I do have some serious stereotypical upper middle class American woman traits in me though. Can't help it. It is an indelible part of who I am, as well as much much more. Who knows what sort of things people think about me before I even open my mouth. It doesn't mean I am worthless or more worhy than others.

Anyway, that is my humble opinion, leche.

[This message has been edited by Nicole (edited 10-18-2000).]

[This message has been edited by Nicole (edited 10-18-2000).]

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#57985 - 10/18/00 07:56 PM Re: Spain vs South America
laduque Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 10/02/00
Posts: 596
Loc: San Diego, CA, USA
Nicole,
Well said, I couldn't agree with you more!

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#57986 - 10/18/00 08:21 PM Re: Spain vs South America
missmadrid98 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/26/00
Posts: 289
Loc: Madrid
dude............ i don't know anymore hahahahahah, i'm like all lost right now in emotion.
_________________________
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#57987 - 10/18/00 11:52 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Diana Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/00
Posts: 506
Loc: Pennsylvania, USA
Wow, this is a great thread.

I'm doing some graduate work now (along with a few million other things), and just last week I read an incredibly good book that deals with most of the issues brought up in this thread. It's called "Why are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria" and Other Conversations About Race, by Beverly Daniel Tatum. If you feel passionate about race issues in the U.S.(and it sounds like some of you do!) you've got to read it - it's amazing. It's not long, it's an easy read, and you may even find your local library has it. If I had time, I'd tell you more, but you can read a whole bunch of reviews on it at Amazon.com. (BTW, it's not only about Blacks and Whites - it's also about Latinos, American Indians, multiracial families, etc.)

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#57988 - 10/19/00 10:06 AM Re: Spain vs South America
mclarke Offline
Member

Registered: 09/19/00
Posts: 179
Loc: Arlington, VA
Diversity, assimilation and culture are very sensitive and interesting topics. As a mother of 3 children: son-25 years old; daughter - 20 years old and son - 16 years old, these issues are part of our everyday life. The United States is really a very unique place because of the diversity of people who make up the population. Often diversity creates some misunderstanding in school when a child first encounter someone outside of his race, family and comfort zone. For example my children comes from a mixed marriage (Black-Hispanic/Spanish/Asian) and we are the only non-white in our community. My children have attended an all-white school since Pre-K. Whenever they are asked what are you? They always remarked, "do you have time to listen for me to enumerate my ethic background". Often they just say I am American. Parents and school must start early in children's life to familiarize respecting other cultures. One way of doing that is by travelling. When my children were young, we traveled often to places quite different from our U.S. environment. They saw places, lifestyle and people quite different from their comfort zone. Often I noticed at social gatherings I have attended, people who have travelled often outside the U.S.A show more respect and tolerance to diversity and culture. One time, we were in Hongkong and ended in a restaurant where we were the only non-Chinese. We felt uncomfortable being different and to top it all not able to speak Cantonese or Mandarin. We survived the ordeal by asking who among at the restaurant spoke English. My daughter who presently is in Madrid studying, noticed that the most of the U.S.students in her program do not try hard to speak Spanish, understand the Spanish Culture and seem to forget the purpose of their stay in Madrid -- to practice their Spanish and learn about Spain. They complain about everything and making comparison between US and Spain. Because there is no effort on these students to assimilate in their new culture, life has become miserable to some. My daughter made extra effrot to make friends with other Spanish students and spend more time with Spaniards rather than her fellow U.S. students. She has been invited by her Spanish friends to their farm or home. She has eaten and tasted food foreign to her palate. She now eats and talk like a Madrilena. She is enjoying Spain very much because she understands and appreciates the Spanish culture and practices. One fo the One of the experiences she encountered that reminded her of the U.S. is visiting the African section in Spain. Shen noticed that these Africans are unfriendly because they poor and uneducated. Ignorance sometimes is caused by lack of education and exposure and sometimes money. One needs money to travel and to do differenct things like going for different tapas. This webboard is very educational and interesting. I have enjoy reading everyday messages of differenct topics

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#57989 - 10/19/00 11:14 AM Re: Spain vs South America
Leche Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/00
Posts: 257
Loc: Boise, Idaho
Nicole - I am understanding your point. If a young black man grows up in the inner city of say, Chicago, NYC, ect he will be influenced by his surroundings. So should we say, oh, "it's not his fault he acts like a gangsta and all dangerous"? no. He still made that decision. I am around people all day that I feel are very different from my lifestyle and way of thinking. On the other hand, when you see a black guy as I described flaunting his stuff in Idaho or some other state hundreds and hundreds of miles from any "inner city" can you assume that it's his environment gave him the motivation to go out of his way to behave like this? of course not. He got it from the rap culture he sees on TV, ect. This was my point, this isolationism is creating a chasm inbetween people. It's one thing to see someone who looks different from white (like a hispanic) walking down the street. Many people would of course feel like they could easily overcome any internal prejudices and approach that person. But a black guy acting all hard? not a chance. It's a lifestyle where they are trying to promote aggresiveness, abuse to women, and not caring about life. This may be what it's like to live in the hood in east compton but not in Idaho, oklahoma, montana, ect....but you can find these types all across america. And white kids doing the same thing for that matter! So you see, it's not about race, but about trying to alienate yourself from the society. But why are most kids like this black? ask yourself that question.

bottom line is, both sides must make honest effort to be an outgoing society (like in spain).

Leche

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#57990 - 10/19/00 01:00 PM Re: Spain vs South America
sevilla Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/13/00
Posts: 6
I hope that I am not sounding like a racist because I am not. My first sentence was that I didn't understand American's racism until I came here, and the reason why I understood them is because almost all the scary people that I've seen here are foreigners. Again, I've seen very nice people who are foreigners. But, honestly, what kind of people you see when you go to the bad areas of the city? How many whites are there? Someone has told me (and maybe is just a tale that they tell to foreigners) that there is a neighborhood in Chicago where all of them are blacks and they have guns and if you go there and you are white you won't leave alive.
See? The problem is that in the bad neighborhoods almost all of them are blacks, or hispanics so people think that they born being bad persons when actually is their way of life what make them to be thieves or drugs dealers or whatever. I don't think that anybody here is right, all of us have good points so none of us has the truth on our hands. I can understand that Nicole defends other cultures, but you cannot be blind, the numbers are there, most of the criminals are not white. The point is that blacks/hispanics/white/indians... are not all good and they are not all bad, but some races are luckier than others and the ones that are not lucky have to find a way to survive and usually that way is not being nice but agressive. The right thing to do is help the "not lucky" races to get a better life.

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#57991 - 10/19/00 01:01 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Nicole Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/24/00
Posts: 583
Loc: Los Angeles
What really troubles me is when Sevilla states that because some blacks "act scary" it justifies racism against everyone that is black, and that an entire races of people (hispanic, black) "are not trying." It is such a ridiculous generalization. Once again, it is a refusal to view the individual as a human being instead of part of some from a group you have arbitrarily lumped together and decided to dislike. One: there is not is A black or A Hispanic culture in the US. What is Hispanic anyway- mexican, puerto rican, peruvian, honduran, etc. I can tell you from working with both Mexican immigrants and Cuban refugees, there is a heck of a cultural difference between the two groups. -and differences among them. You cannot say that there is a A white American Culture either - or even an american culture. LAst year I went to dinner with a couple from South Carolina, and they would not stop talking about the differnces between the food, language, culture between S.Carolina and Kansas City.

When I was in Spain I got into a discussion with some one about the U.S. This person had spent one week in L.A. and came back with all of these weird stories about what the United States was like. I told her that one of the things I really loved about this country was the fact that it is impossible to generalize about it. New Orleans is so different from Minneapolis, which is so different from Miami, which is different from Seattle..etc.

You know, that is the same thing that made me fall in love with Spain. It was such an unexpected dicovery for me. I thought it was so neat to go to Galicia and hear bag pipes when you walk down the streets. Head down to the south and look at all the moorish influences in the architecture, go up to Barcelona and try to make out what the Catalan menu on wall means, and then head over to San Sebastian and listen to Euskadi on the radio.

Leche, I think you obviously dislike this culture you have tried to define. I just wonder how well you actually know or understand it. I am not an expert by any means, but I have found that when you make an effort to get to know a particular culture, you come up with things that you like and things that you dislike. When some one has an overwhelmingly negative view about a particular culture, it usually means they have had very little meaningful contact it. That is why stereotypes/ prejudice are so interesting. They are never actually based on knowlege and information. It is based on fear and or suspicion of the unknown. It continues on when you view the few people you have gotten to know as "exceptions to the rule." Shoot, we are all exceptions to the rule, once you get in deep enough...

I think we could go round and round, and would never quite arrive at the same place. I think we are writing from and about totally different things. But, it is healthy I guess to have a forum in which to discuss it...

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#57992 - 10/19/00 01:06 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Nicole Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/24/00
Posts: 583
Loc: Los Angeles
sevilla, if you actually look at crimes committed, it is not that the people committing them are not white, we just don't put whites in jail as often as we do people of color. I am sorry, but you might want to investigate it a little further and you will find that I am right.

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#57993 - 10/19/00 01:23 PM Re: Spain vs South America
missmadrid98 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/26/00
Posts: 289
Loc: Madrid
i'm sorry sevilla, but this whole thing about a neighborhood you have heard of that if you are white and you go there you never leave, is like something that came out of a movie or something. If you base your argument on that, it doesn't hold any water, that just sounds very ridiculous. Yes there are very bad nieghborhoods in this country, like everywhere else in the world. yes there are some places where you shouldn't just go to at night, i've lived there, but i am VERY disturbed when people say that's it's mainly other ethnic groups besides white people, which i would really like someone to define for me, what is a white person? There are MANY white people that are felons and that are in jails, you have to be out of your mind to think that's it's mostly other ethnic groups. You know there hasn't been any other race on death row besides a white man? give me break. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOo many white people committ crimes, other races committ crimes. everybody does, everybody.



[This message has been edited by missmadrid98 (edited 10-19-2000).]
_________________________
Spain Page!! Check it out! http://www.geocities.com/missmadrid98

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#57994 - 10/19/00 02:39 PM Re: Spain vs South America
mclarke Offline
Member

Registered: 09/19/00
Posts: 179
Loc: Arlington, VA
Sevilla,

I came to the US when I was 24 years old. Now I am 50 years old. I have met people from differenent cultures, color and economic backgrounds. In my travels to several countries, one thing I have seen, the poor and desitute neighborhood are alike, that is crime is everywhere and dirty. You mention that "blacks" behavior scares you. I too, would be scared if I where in a bad neighborhood not because they are blacks. I would be scared in any bad/poor neighborhood. My daughter who is currently in Spain told me that she does not see the Africans walk along the streets of the family she is staying. Why? because she said lives in very representative section of Madrid. Why are there no Africans in her neighborhood because of the Africans in Spain are poor and uneducated. In the U.S. especially where I live Washington D.C. metro area - Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia, you will see affluent Hispanics, Blacks, Whites and Asian living in the same community. What are their similarities -- they all have money and are educated. My youngest boy whenever we would go to do some shopping at an Asian store in Virginia, he reacts with fear becasue of the Asian teen age gangster in the area. When we have to do our shopping at a Spanish community, he reacts the same -- presence of Spanish gangster. When we go fishing in an area in Viriginia, my son has the same reaction - presence of "poor whites". When we visit our friends who live in the heart of Washtington, D.C., my son reacts the same - presence of blacks gangs. As you can see Sevilla, I live in an area where we bad elements of every race in different parts of the area but there are also areas where different races live together in a beautiful neighborhood because they have money and education. My children are very lucky to be exposed to both elements, bad and good people from different races and nationalities. In my former country, we are homogeneous but are separated by economics. The poor people live in a bad community like the one you described where blacks live. The well-to-do and upper class people live in a very nice and safe community. USA is country that is so diverse. Have you been to the Appalachian? Try to go there and you will see white americans living in horrible condition. They are poor. Are they poor because they are white? Of course not! They are poor because of lack of opportunity and education. The world is coming to a point where people will be divided according to education and money. It is showing in my area. The highly educated folks live in a particular area regardless of color. There is this place in Maryland called Potomac. Doctors, lawayer and accountants live there. You will white, blacks, asians and hispanics.

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#57995 - 10/19/00 02:59 PM Re: Spain vs South America
esq Offline
Member

Registered: 08/31/00
Posts: 55
Loc: miami,fl
brianvc__I take offense to your unwarranted coments about the "cuba thing". I am a cuban born, US citizen, US Army veteran, and an practicing attorney for the past 26 years in Miami, and I seriously doubt that you have done more for your country than I have. It is obvious that you have fallen victim to the Castro Propaganda, and have not taken the time to research why there is a travel ban to the communist island nation. Our government has not taken an "Illegal Position" as you stated, quite the contrary, there are laws enacted by our Congress and ratified by our President that address our policy towards Cuba. If you dislike lobbying groups, maybe you can write to your congressman to see if something can be done about them, and while you are at it, don't forget to mention the Pro-Castro lobby, the Insurance lobby, the NRA lobby, the Jewish lobby, the NAACP lobby, the American Medical Association lobby, the Tobacco Industry lobby, and so on, and so on, for like it or not, there are all part of our Democratic form of Government.
With respect to your comment about the willingness on the part of cuban officials to not stamp your passport, in my humble opinion you may be inciting people to break the law. A rather Un-American thing to do!!!
Sincerely Esq.




[This message has been edited by esq (edited 10-19-2000).]

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#57996 - 10/19/00 03:17 PM Re: Spain vs South America
missmadrid98 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/26/00
Posts: 289
Loc: Madrid
can't we all just get along!!!!!!!!!!
_________________________
Spain Page!! Check it out! http://www.geocities.com/missmadrid98

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#57997 - 10/19/00 04:01 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Leche Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/00
Posts: 257
Loc: Boise, Idaho
Nicole, et al. I think I am guilty of not clarifying my opinions. This bad attitude towards life and others is not BECAUSE the person is black. All races are involved within this lifestyle. and I have known black africans in Spain who know nothing about all this gangsta stuff and who are among some of the most humble people on the earth. So it comes easy to say it's the BLACKS who are doing this because most of the people you see in this lifestyle are blacks (even though there are others). I have nothing against black people at all. But a few of them that behave badly put fuel to the fire regarding generalizations though, you have to admit that. So instead of saying blacks I should use more words to describe the attitude. But when the majority of the people you're describing are black the definitions get similar.

Leche

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#57998 - 10/19/00 04:13 PM Re: Spain vs South America
connie Offline
Member

Registered: 07/05/00
Posts: 153
I think you just cannot compare the US and Spain and ask Americans to behave here as in Spain- Spain is a much more homogenous society, and then, it is one thing to ask people to adapt to the customs of a country they are visiting and quite another to ask people who have been living here for generations, like African Americans and Asian Americans, to behave as the mainstream expects them to do. Some postings sound as if the "standard" for America was the way of life and the expectations of the white population, but does not that imply that it would somehow be more the country of the white population than that of the minorities? Don't minorities have an equal right to shape this country's culture?
Sevilla, in your first posting you mention your appreciation of the Asian communities in the US and you say "they are very respectful to Americans". I am sure you did not mean it in a bad way, but this statement implies that Asian communities here are Asians and not Americans. I have close friends who were engaged in the Asian American movement and this is exactly what they told me what really hurts them- the assumption that they do not really belong to this country. Like people asking them: How come you do not have a Chinese accent? Where are you from, I mean, where are you REALLY from? and they were born in this country, as were their parents, and always felt to be Americans. And Leche: why do you mention that in Africa people do not act like African Americans? Why should African Americans behave like Africans? Why would "their" culture be African culture?

Can you really blame African Americans for trying to assert an own identity in view of a history of discrimination and even segregation? And why would there be an unevitable link between rap culture and aggressivity?
As long as there is still racial profiling, injustices in the criminal system, unequal distribution of poverty and opportunities, lack of diversity in positions of power etc., I guess tensions will remain between the different racial groups. And admitted that there are a lot of whites who are equally not well off, there is a history of injustice against minority racial groups, and I guess it takes much time and effort to get over it. Surely, it requires efforts from both sides, but it still seems weired to me to put the blame on the minority groups in the first place.

[This message has been edited by connie (edited 10-19-2000).]

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#57999 - 10/19/00 05:25 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Leche Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/00
Posts: 257
Loc: Boise, Idaho
"Can you really blame African Americans for trying to assert an own identity in view of a history of discrimination and even segregation?"

I don't think the rap culture kids were around before and during the 60's. They are now perpetuating their own sad stereotype.


"And why would there be an unevitable link between rap culture and aggressivity?"

You must be joking Connie!!! Have you ever seen MTV??? The rap culture is about acting like you are better than everyone, easy women in thong bikinis who are substandard and objectified by these types, and flaunting money drugs and violence. These "artists" treat women especially terrible. Referring to your girlfriend as your woman, your lady, or your [censored] is not acceptable in my book.

Asserting your own identity is fine, but behaving like an uncivilized animal is not. I think you will find that's why alot of us are here on this board, because we don't like what we see around us here in the USA and Spain is a much more attractive option.

Leche


[This message has been edited by Leche (edited 10-19-2000).]

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#58000 - 10/19/00 05:32 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Zzeus11 Offline
Member

Registered: 09/08/00
Posts: 56
I am an immigrant, I have an accent,I look very nordic, I home school 3 kids, I am mostly stay home dad. My wife works outside home full time,well paid (which is a good thing).Totally reversed stereo types.
People of all backgrounds,races etc find the fact that I am stay home dad and especially the fact that I home school 3 kids much more "wierd" ,unusual,than the fact that I am from a differnt background,culture etc.
I think that racism is what we ,people , make it to be in our own minds.No country has exclusivity on it!!

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#58001 - 10/19/00 05:40 PM Re: Spain vs South America
connie Offline
Member

Registered: 07/05/00
Posts: 153
Leche, my question about rap culture was a sincere one, I am curious, I really do not know it closely enough to make a judgment since I am into classical music anyway and never watch MTV and I do not live in this country long enough to have a proper opinion about it. I think that when they play it in Europe, we Europeans from the continent (Maybe the Brits and the Irish feel differently because English is their mother tongue as well) do not usually perceive it as a particularly violent style of music, something conducive to aggressiveness, but I guess most non-native speakers never listened to the texts. And even if you listen to it, the nuances are difficult to grasp. Of course, I understand that to call your girlfriend your [censored] is humiliating, but I would not get that referring to your lady or your woman has a similar connotation.
I just thought an aspect of it was that it helped groups which are partially disadvantaged to feel better about their own identity and value themselves more.
Anyone wants to defend rap culture?

[This message has been edited by connie (edited 10-19-2000).]

[This message has been edited by connie (edited 10-19-2000).]

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#58002 - 10/19/00 06:08 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Nicole Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/24/00
Posts: 583
Loc: Los Angeles
Ever checked out the heavy metal videos that started the whole thing - plenty of half naked women on those videos too.

I do think that a lot of rap has elements of misogyny that I strongly disagree with. There is also a lot of rap that doesn't (KRS 1, Lauren Hill, LL, Will Smith, etc), and the same kids are listening to those artists too. My Dad always makes comments about rap music, which might actually be a pertinent opinion except that he has never actually listened to the genre at all ( I used to complain to him about making me listen to country music inthe car, but with great horror, eventually realized that I actually like some of it. I bought my first Dixie Chics CD this summer).

There is a lot of rock, movies and tv shows that are demeaning to women. You don't have to call a woman a [censored] to demonstrate that you have no respect for her or her role in society... Misogyny is not the exclusive domain of rappers. Go to a battered woman's shelter, or rape recovery house some time and you will see that.


[This message has been edited by Nicole (edited 10-19-2000).]

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#58003 - 10/19/00 07:05 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Leche Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/00
Posts: 257
Loc: Boise, Idaho
Nicole...seems you have an uncanny ability to apply my comments on something that I was not referring them to. Of course there is machismo everywhere...but it seems to be an important component of the rap culture especially.

Leche

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#58004 - 10/19/00 07:18 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Nicole Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/24/00
Posts: 583
Loc: Los Angeles
I understand what you are saying. I am also trying to present you with examples that demonstrate otherwise, because I do not fully agree with you. Machismo is a strong component of rap. so is social change. Listen to public enemy. I have not, since folk music in the vietnam era, heard a full album of American music with such a strong political and social message for change... Listen to Lauren Hill's album - pretty strong female empowerment material.

There are differences within rap/ hip hop - themes of competition (who the best rapper is), having a good time (Kis n Play is an example of just out right, innocent fun), and drugs ("Country Grammar") and sex (Lil Kim) - depending on who the performer is. There are the same differnces in pop and rock. Christina Aguilera was only, what, fifteen, when she was singing about needing to be "rubbed the right way."

[This message has been edited by Nicole (edited 10-19-2000).]

[This message has been edited by Nicole (edited 10-19-2000).]

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#58005 - 10/19/00 08:20 PM Re: Spain vs South America
CaliBasco Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 1495
Loc: Idaho
I've been observing the posts here, and as was said this is definitely an interesting, if not "hot button" topic.

Here's my take: It's all about knuckleheads. Every country's got 'em, every culture's got 'em. There are international knuckleheads everywhere that make things difficult for everyone: white knuckleheads, black knuckleheads, brown knuckleheads, etc. It seems that the problem for most of us is identifying the knuckleheads (remembering the phrase: "we have met the enemy and they are us!") and looking past them to see people as they really are.

I've encountered racism targeting me in the U.S., which may seem strange to you Americans on the board, since I am considered the "majority": white. I have also encountered some of my favorite people in all the many cultures and races I interact with. It boils down to your and another's desire to be civil, human and kind to one another. No one country has a monopoly on nice. On the contrary, it seems that many people are trying to monopolize "mean".

When you go to another country, enjoy the people, look past the knuckleheads and come home with tales of great things, not negativity. That is how true goodwill is fostered, nurtured and allowed to thrive.

I'm very interested to hear what all of you have to add as this discussion has been incredibly interesting to this point.
_________________________
Ongi etorri!

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#58006 - 10/19/00 08:52 PM Re: Spain vs South America
connie Offline
Member

Registered: 07/05/00
Posts: 153
Sure, knuckleheads are a big problem and exist everywhere...Still, I think it is crucial to get to the bottom of things and to try to find out WHY race still matters, because otherwise, if we just hope and ignore these issues, the world will never become a better place. The US is a country with a diverse population, and people have to find a way to live together and, eventually, arriving at a point where racial differences lose their importance, and where no group feels disadvantaged.
Europe becomes more diverse, too, with foreign workers, refugees and immigrants, and we have to find a way how to integrate them in our societies without forcing them to give up their identity, developping tolerance on both sides. Cultural diversity is a huge challenge. Spain has a tolerant society, but is not without problems in this field either- like integration of people from Morocco, secessionist movements in the Basque country and Cataluña.
The issue is always cultural identity and diversity- how do we define our identity, how much diversity can we take? There are people skeptical about multicultural societies as such. However, I do not think this skepticism is helpful for Europe, and you cannot reasonably reject the idea of multiculturalism for America because there is already a diverse society and the question is how to live together and accept each other in the best way.
Anyway, I think travelling around the world, analyzing the situation in other countries, can be helpful in order to have a fresh look at the own country as well, and maybe make a modest contribution in order to make all our societies more tolerant.

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#58007 - 10/20/00 05:36 PM Re: Spain vs South America
CaliBasco Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 1495
Loc: Idaho
I found your reference to the Basques interesting. In stark contrast to today's minority cultures in both the U.S. and Spain, the Basques have ALWAYS simply wanted to be Basque. Others have always been allowed to come into their lands, visit, stay, whatever, just as long as you let the Basques be Basques. They're not about making your life miserable because you're not like them. On the contrary, you won't find a warmer group of wonderful people in the world! They have taken much in the way of ideas from other cultures, but if there is one group I'm aware of that holds fast to its history, they are it.

I think a good example of how they view integration is what they've done in Southern California. As many know, the Basques view the U.S. as the "eighth province", and revere the freedom and opportunity that it has provided for many Basque expatriates. Whenever we get together with the other Basques in this area for a picnic, club dinner, etc., they always start with the U.S. National Anthem, and both flags are on display: Old Glory right next to the Ikurriña. This contrasts quite starkly with other ethnic celebrations where the use of "Old Glory" is looked upon with disdain or as if you were "selling out" your culture.

I don't think that the Basques are necessarily bent on secession, just a small, but very vocal minority. Rather, they just want to be allowed to be Basque. "If you like that, great. If not, we're sorry, but we still want to be Basque." What a great lesson in respect for others, and also in being true to who you are!
_________________________
Ongi etorri!

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#58008 - 10/20/00 05:52 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Leche Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/00
Posts: 257
Loc: Boise, Idaho
Did you know that the largest Basque concentrated population outside of Spain is right here in Boise, Idaho? That's right...the Basque people started coming here during the 1800's to become sheepherders because the surrounding land is very similar to the Basque country. The original Basque boarding house they stayed in when they first came is the oldest standing structure in the valley and sits in the "Basque quarter" of downtown Boise (metro area 400,000 people). Also on the same street is the Basque Center of Arts, the Basque museum and a couple of Basque bars and eateries.

Leche

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#58009 - 10/20/00 05:57 PM Re: Spain vs South America
connie Offline
Member

Registered: 07/05/00
Posts: 153
I agree, there are many wonderful people in the Basque country who are tolerant in the pursuance of their own cultural identity, and they represent the majority.
The reason I mentioned it, though, is that there are nevertheless obviously problems connected to that region, and problems that are exemplary of the issues of identity, and tolerance for diversity, that we discussed before. As long as there is a small violent minority spreading terror, violence and murder over the entire country, one cannot deny that problems do exist, as tolerant as most of the people might be. I still have my problems in explaining the actual reasons for this violence and find it very depressing.

[This message has been edited by connie (edited 10-20-2000).]

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#58010 - 11/19/00 06:36 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Jaime Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/00
Posts: 147
I agree with Sevilla when she said earlier that "its not a skin problem its a behavior problem" or image problem. I've always considered myself to be absolutely open minded and nonrascist but living in an urban university environment for the past five years has caused me to look at a few things regarding race carefully.
First of all I found myself guilty when I would be walking down the street in the early evening and see a young black guy dressed in gangster or hood garb. I would think to myself, I am a rascist person because I am choosing to cross the street. After feeling guilty for a while I realized I am not rascist, I am reasonable. I have black friends, most actually from Africa, and believe of course race has nothing to do with capabilites or equality. However, the one difference between hardcore hood guy passing me on the street and my girlfriend from South Africa is behavior and clothing.

Don't you belive it is a resonable assessment to make that if you listen to MOST rap music you will hear nothing but disgusting and vulgar references to violence, brutality against women, robbery, drugs etc...When you look at the image these gangstas with an attitude have and then you see a wannabe kid on the street with the same look and the attitude walk, its reasonable to think that kid could have the same views as his role models.

I actually made the mistake once of not "crossing the street" when my insticts said I should because I thought just because its a black guy dressed in hoodgear I shouldn't behave differently than if it was anyone else. Guess what?? I got mugged that night when I was 6 months pregnant.

Does this mean I'm a rascist person? NO way. All this means that in a fleeting moment when I don't get to know somebody first on a personal basis, I can make logical inferences on the way somebody looks for safety purposes.

Coming from someone who actually listened to violent rap music in the highschool years and thought the whole image was fun, I would now say as an adult that this crap is destroying the image of the black community and it is really unfortunate because most of it does not have a positive or creative message unlike one of my favorite artists, the amazing Lauren Hill.

Back to the original question, if the person still cares...South America and central America are beautiful, however research carefully the countries you want to go to because many are very dangerous right now!! My husband if from Venezuela and one of the reasons he left was because of the crime rate. This is true of other countries like Coloumbia and certain parts of Brazil. The poorer a nation or region is the more dangerous it is going to be.

One of the most beautiful places I have been to in Central America is Belize(3X). Most of the country is English speaking but it is so tiny that you can be in either the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico or Guatemala or Honduras in a couple of hours on a bus. it is much safer than the surrounding countries, although common sense should be exercised of course, and it has the second largest Barrier reef for snorkeling, diving etc...in the world. It is nontouristy with large amounts of pristine jungle reserves, ruins etc....The people are warm and friendly and there is quite a mixture. Many Black creoles, Garifuna(black and Carib indian mixture), Maya, Meztizo and even German Menonite. Amazingly enough, they get along better than any group of people I've seen. Belize would be a great base country to stay and go back and forth to the surrounding spanish speaking countries.

On the other hand I would move to Spain or go to school there in a heart beat if I could and I don't think it is as dangerous. I guess it just depends on what type of culture intrigues you the most at this point in time.

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#58011 - 11/20/00 11:14 AM Re: Spain vs South America
Nuria Offline
Member

Registered: 07/04/00
Posts: 263
Loc: NJ, USA
Hi,
I am not going to defend sevilla, but I (and I am ashamed of say this) am a little bit scared when I see black people dressing weird, or mexicans talking and acting with agressivity, but I am scared too when I see policemen that look very tough. I think that we use the word racism without knowing what we mean. I am not racist but I admit that other cultures or other ways of expression different from mine scare me as much as they attract me. I think that sometimes the minorities act more agressive because they feel the need of being respected, one way or another. I have never been expossed to a different culture until I came here, I like it the same way that it scares me. I would like everybody to have their own opinion, if you like different cultures good, if not good too, but I would like everybody to respect everybody just for the fact that ALL of us are HUMANS.

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#58012 - 11/20/00 01:00 PM Re: Spain vs South America
cantabene Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/00
Posts: 185
Loc: Baltimore, MD, USA
Rap is to music as decapitation is to brain surgery. Call it whatever you wish, but don't call it music. The Muses would run in terror if ever confronted with his garbage.
Cantabene

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#58013 - 11/20/00 01:20 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Jaime Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/00
Posts: 147
I believe that rap 'is' a form of music and poetry because... just like there are crappy songs on the radio sometimes and you don't like the lyrics, it doesn't mean it isn't really music. My point was "most" not all of it, sends a really detrimental message to people who are influenced easily. It also depicts Blacks in a harmful way and perpetuates really unhealthy behavior and lifestyles with young people. A rap by Will Smith expressing the joy of being a Dad was a great poetic way to express his feelings, most however encourages violence and is counterproductive to the progress of the Black community.

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#58014 - 12/16/00 12:33 AM Re: Spain vs South America
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 9072
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
HEY HEY HEY!! It's official! I leave one week from today for Peru!! Landing in Lima on the 24th, wait in the airport for a few hours then grab another flight to Cuzco where we'll tour around the city for several Days. We also plan to go UP Machu Picchu at least twice (once in the afternoon and once for the sunrise). Next, we'll go to Arequipa for serveral days and hike/travel/drive through the Cañon del Colca. Finally, we fly back to Lima for one night/day there.

In all, it's 2 weeks in Peru and I'll finally get to compare firsthand(!) (some of) the differences between Spain vs South America. AND, even better than all that, my ladyfriend herself (a Spaniard) can compare the two as well.

Praying NOT to get the trots, MadridMan
_________________________
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#58015 - 12/16/00 01:51 PM Re: Spain vs South America
laduque Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 10/02/00
Posts: 596
Loc: San Diego, CA, USA
Madridman, how totally exciting for you to travel to Peru!!I'm green with envy
I can't wait to hear the details, especially of Machu Pichu...

Anyway, what are we going to do without you for two whole weeks???

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#58016 - 12/16/00 03:59 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Wendy E Offline
Member

Registered: 07/27/00
Posts: 74
I disagree with you esq. What brianvc has fallen victim to isn't pro-Castro propaganda but a hostile attitude to a powerful and successful recent immigrant group. You'll notice he specifically referred to the Cuban-American lobby as people who weren't even born in the United States. It seems that he dislikes not so much their influence but that it was obtained in such a short amount of time. Cuban Americans have accomplished quite a bit for having been here en masse for less than 50 years, and because of our success in so many fields, our politics and core beliefs are criticized by people like brianvc who would secretly prefer that we not send our own congressmen to Washington, become record company moguls or even have high-ranking Cabinent officials. esq., maybe you as a Miami Cuban don't realize the resentment we face as a successful immigrant group, but if I had a buck for every sly or direct comment that refers to my people as 'uppity', 'puhsy' or 'ungrateful', I could afford another trip to Spain.



[This message has been edited by Wendy E (edited 12-16-2000).]

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#58017 - 12/19/00 12:07 PM Re: Spain vs South America
esq Offline
Member

Registered: 08/31/00
Posts: 55
Loc: miami,fl
Wendy E, thank you for your comments y viva cuba libre!!!!!!

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#58018 - 12/19/00 01:46 PM Re: Spain vs South America
MATADOR Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/00
Posts: 193
Loc: BOSTON
This is for Nuria and others. Many blacks have to keep up an image. For some who live in poor neighborhoods it is necessary to "act tough" in order to get respect otherwise they will be beaten up in those neighborhoods. Of course they will wear baggy pants. If they wore slates w/ loafers that would make them stand out. If you stand out or look different in anyway you might get jumped. For example you would not see a man with a three pieced suit on the beaches of IBIZA. would you? Everyone would say who the hell is this idiot. It is the same thing. One thing I have encountered in the northeast is latinos who come from South America and study here(rich kids). Some of them say they are from Spain when they are in fact from Venezuela or Mexico. why is that? does this make them more pure blooded? Another thing I am tired of is people who are critical of blacks. Our music our style our art everything. 70% of the people who now listen to rap are now from white suburban areas. Guess who is making the money? white record companies. Everyone makes fun of our ideas, but when it becomes a trend guess who hops on board? whites. Last year when I was in Rome I turned on the television and guess who was rapping on television in the videos with baggy clothes? Italians. Another thing. People are usually at the bottom of society not because they like it there but because those on top want them there (regardless of country). The top percent hoardes all of the wealth through nepotism and the minimalization of the accomplishments of "lesser groups". As for getting to know other races, I'm black and I went to Spain. In the beginning I was a little scared because I read in Fodor's that on the anniversary of Franco is the largest gathering of Neo-Nazis from all over Europe. Imagine what went through my mind. I still went to Spain and I loved It so much I went again(98&99). Don't let stereotypes and fears control you because you may find that once you get to know that person those fears end up being stupid and they may prove how ignorant you really are.

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#58019 - 12/19/00 03:51 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Nuria Offline
Member

Registered: 07/04/00
Posts: 263
Loc: NJ, USA
Okay MATADOR, that is something that I already knew, and that doesn't mean that I am less scared. If they dress like that is because they want to scare because they want to be respected . So if they have the right to dress scary I have the right to be scared and plus I have the right to think that they are not nice because they don't act nice, no matter if they are black, red, white, yellow or green.

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#58020 - 12/19/00 03:55 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Leche Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/00
Posts: 257
Loc: Boise, Idaho
Sorry Matador but I think the majority of the aggresive types of people Nuria's talking about dress and act that way because they think it's cool and in style to be unfriendly....not for protection reasons.

And that is definitely NOT fitting in or even trying to relate to the community at large.

Leche

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#58021 - 12/19/00 05:32 PM Re: Spain vs South America
JanetP Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/15/00
Posts: 6
Loc: Miami, Fl, US
In response to what was earlier said by Matador, about rich kids from South American countries who say that they are from Spain, I have encountered that several times. When I sometimes say that my mother is from Spain, some people say they are also from Spain only to find out they are from Spain through three generations. However, I usually encounter this with Cubans. I could understand why some would they say this, especially when your grandparents are Spaniard and live in a country like Ecuador where the majority of the people have very little or distant Spanish heritage. Its probably what they most identify with. Those are just my thoughts...

[This message has been edited by JanetP (edited 12-19-2000).]

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#58022 - 12/19/00 06:21 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Guapetona Offline
Member

Registered: 11/22/00
Posts: 179
Janet P:

You are right about Latin Americans who say they are Spanish. I am a dual-national. My parents are from Sevilla but I was born here.
I always say I'm American even though I have a Spanish passport/citizenship.
Every time I meet a Latin (and it never fails) they tell me their parents are Spanish. I always just nod my head and pretend like I agree so as not to embarass them. Although when they ask where my parents are from I say the truth-which inevitably embarasses them anyway.
Why would anyone deny who they are? How wonderful to be from Latin America!

PD: Nuria - tienes toda la razon del mundo.

Felices Fiestas
_________________________
TO' PA' LANTE!!

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#58023 - 12/19/00 07:28 PM Re: Spain vs South America
megia Offline
Member

Registered: 06/07/00
Posts: 267
Loc: Sedona, Arizona
interesting what others have to say...

i have a black firend named antonio, and his family is from Paris.. they left paris because they were ashamed of the stereotype that blacks carry around europe...

his family is very clean, very conciencious, and multi-lingual... more so than than other europeans... they are colombian.

i think it is interesting how many latin americans lie about where they are from... my friend antonio is from colombia and proud of it...

many say they are "spanish." why is this? is this a status symbol...??? maybe it could be...

i'm wondering
_________________________
:wq!

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#58024 - 12/19/00 08:14 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Nicole Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/24/00
Posts: 583
Loc: Los Angeles
I wonder if in some cases it just means, "of spanish descent" the way in English saying you are German doesn't mean a German national, but of german ancestry...


I know it is a big source of pride for those Latin americans that are of "pure" spanish/european blood, as indegenous or african origins still have a stygma today in L. and S America

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#58025 - 12/19/00 09:50 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Wendy E Offline
Member

Registered: 07/27/00
Posts: 74
Latins usually say they are Spanish, meaning Spanish-speaking. We are not ashamed of our roots, we are trying to highlight what we have in common with other Latins.

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#58026 - 12/19/00 10:55 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Shawn Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/28/00
Posts: 308
Loc: mentally - Spain, Physically -...
Purely from anecdotal experiences, I have noted that many Mexican-Americans remark among themselves that a Latin who identifies himself/herself as Spanish is just a Mexican-American with money. Perhaps, as suggested by Nicole this reflects the culture stygmas that linger regarding race and ethnicity in the Latin America and the United States. Identifing oneself as Spanish helps enable one to verify their Europeanness, liberating one from the prevailing misconceptions regarding indigenous and African ancectories.

It has been opined much earlier that these prejudices are not unique to the United States, but are ubiqitous. Spanish language soap operas from Latin America( I admit to having seen them a few times ) feature casts with fair complexions and European physiognomies. Likewise, one can not overlook the beauty pagents in Latin America ( I admit to seeing quite a few ). The contestants, even from Bolivia and Guatemala, represent the fairest ( complexion that is, not necessarily their justness) portion of sociey. A short look will reveal a meter of determining beauty based upon European standards. Women worldwide deal with unrealistic displays of femininity in these cattle-calls , but Latin Americans have raised the bar even higher.

Verbose and tired in Los Angeles.

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#58027 - 12/19/00 11:09 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Shawn Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/28/00
Posts: 308
Loc: mentally - Spain, Physically -...
MadridMan,

I have yet to travel to Peru, but many of my friends have fallen victim to " soroche" in Cuzco. I would recommend that you avoid the tempting good taste of Pisco, and concentrate on dramamins (sp?) as the altitude change from Columbus may have you walking like a druken sailor on rough seas without needing the alcohol to achieve this altered state. Be sure to report back on your trek.

We will be vicariously travelling with you!

[This message has been edited by Shawn (edited 12-19-2000).]

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#58028 - 12/20/00 06:50 AM Re: Spain vs South America
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 9072
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
Hi Shawn! That's a great tip! I'm prepared for altitude sickness ("soroche"), but didn't think Dramamin would help. I'll get some today. That's all I need is to be vomiting and feeling light headed the whole time in Cuzco, walking around Plaza de Armas with a big sign on my back that reads, "Pick my pocket, PLEASE!" (I'm wearing a neck bag)

I'm looking forward to seeing the differences between Spain and South America for myself, and the occupation of the country by Spain.

Last night I was reading through a 1995 internet journal of a guy from California who visited Peru and Machu Picchu. It talked about his 2-day altitude sickness in bed (in Cuzco)and mentioned that 5 years earlier a group of archeologists from Barcelona went to the Andes, excavated some new Incan ruins, found LOTS of golden artifacts/figurines, took them back to Spain for further study and never returned then. The guy's journal said, "Funny how history repeats itself."

Saludos, MadridMan
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#58029 - 12/20/00 08:06 AM Re: Spain vs South America
JanetP Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/15/00
Posts: 6
Loc: Miami, Fl, US
Guapetona,

I remember the first few times that would happen I would be surprised. But now I sometimes expect people to later say 'but my parents were born in...' . However, as I previously said, many of them have, a reason to feel more Spanish than Peruvian, Mexican, etc., I say this from personal encounters and experience. For example my mother is a Madrilena and my father is cuban, REALLY cuban. His family is cuban in every aspect imaginable so I agree that they should consider themselves Cuban, thats what they are. On the other hand, I know a cuban-american family where the traditions are ENTIRELY Spaniard without a conscienscious effort to be so, and the the children have only been to Spain, in this case it seems almost comical for them to consider themselves all around Cubans. But Guapetona, I think I know some of the kind of people you have met. One of my friends in highschool would call herself Spaniard when she was nicaraguan and her great-grandfather was the one who was actually Spanish. I guess it goes both ways.
JanetP

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#58030 - 12/20/00 12:49 PM Re: Spain vs South America
laduque Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 10/02/00
Posts: 596
Loc: San Diego, CA, USA
I see this everyday here in San Diego. My husband (a madrileño)finds it comical and absurd. Every single time he meets someone from Mexico, when they find out he is a Spaniard, always, without fail, say that their grandfather was from Spain.
We just don't understand why it prevails, and why some have to prove this. I guess many generations and hundreds of years of history of oppression has done this.

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#58031 - 12/20/00 03:29 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Jaime Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/00
Posts: 147
I absolutely agree with everything Shawn just said. In many latin american countries that have a large population of African and indigenous ancestry, racism is very prevalent. In many places a black person that becomes rich is from then on considered white. Besides the obvious stuff, what Shawn said the telenovelas from Mexico and Venezuela is true. Most has fair skin and European features. Many latinos are going to have Eurpoean features because there's a mix but the only characters with total ethnic indian or afro features are the servants. The legacy of colonialism and imperialism still lives on in modern day and unfortunately many people still buy it without knowing why.

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#58032 - 12/20/00 04:17 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Nuria Offline
Member

Registered: 07/04/00
Posts: 263
Loc: NJ, USA
I think that is very sad to deny your own country saying that you are/your family is from another country. And you are right, every single hispanic I talked to had Spaniard family. Except for Argentinos, by the way, are they consider hispanics?

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#58033 - 12/20/00 05:03 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Nicole Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/24/00
Posts: 583
Loc: Los Angeles
Madridman, htey have lots of things you can buy in the Pharmacies in Cusco for altitude sickness. Dramamine should help. Just remember that they might make you sleepy. I don't know how sensitive you are to medication, I am an extreme, Sudafed non-drowsy knocks me out. So, I took the pills at night which meant that I was out for the evening. Just walk slowly, lay off the alcohol for the first night or two, and maybe eat lighter meals the first couple of days.

Apparently smokers are better able to handle high altitutdes because they are used to having less oxygen... Probably just an urban myth or something, though.

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#58034 - 12/20/00 05:51 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Leche Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/00
Posts: 257
Loc: Boise, Idaho
It seems that many board members here have latin/spanish parents or blood and that's their connection with Spain.....they grew up with it.

Am I the only one (besides MM himself!) that does not have this connection but has just 'discovered' Spain without any familial influence?

Leche

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#58035 - 12/20/00 07:00 PM Re: Spain vs South America
ilovemadrid Offline
Member

Registered: 06/20/00
Posts: 89
Loc: Hawaii
Leche, I don't have any Spanish or Latin blood in me, I just "discovered" this passion on my own (although sometimes I like to think that somewhere along the line there was a Spanish great great great great great grandfather/mother that no one knew about, ha, ha, ha).

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#58036 - 12/20/00 07:51 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Shawn Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/28/00
Posts: 308
Loc: mentally - Spain, Physically -...
Leche,

I am also deeply in the mesmerizing trance of Spain, yet having no Latin roots. It is reassuring to know that there are other affected souls.

[This message has been edited by Shawn (edited 12-21-2000).]

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#58037 - 12/20/00 08:05 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Nicole Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/24/00
Posts: 583
Loc: Los Angeles
sign me up too. no hay ni una gota, de lo que yo sepa, de sangre espanol en mi familia.

Why do you think I eat so much German sausage?

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#58038 - 12/21/00 10:11 AM Re: Spain vs South America
Puna Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/07/00
Posts: 1437
Loc: Charlotte, NC. U.S.A.
Add another to the list.
Perhaps we were all Spanish in a past life?
_________________________
emotionally & mentally in Spain - physically in Charlotte
http://www.wendycrawfordwrites.com/

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#58039 - 12/21/00 10:32 AM Re: Spain vs South America
mclarke Offline
Member

Registered: 09/19/00
Posts: 179
Loc: Arlington, VA
It is quiet amusing to read about whether one is Latin, Cuban, Hispanic, Spanish. My daughter who is in Madrid often jokes that I will be visiting my motherland -- Spain since I originally came from a former colony of Spain in Asia. Am I Hispanic or Spanish?
I will soon leave for Spain Dec. 28 and experience a new culture and country.

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#58040 - 12/21/00 11:48 AM Re: Spain vs South America
JanetP Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/15/00
Posts: 6
Loc: Miami, Fl, US
mclarke,
You are so lucky that you are leaving to Spain! I wish I were leaving as well. How much longer is your daughter staying in Spain? I was wondering if you were perhaps from the Phillipines since you mention that you are from a former Asian colony of Spain and the Phillipines was under the control of Spain for awhile if I'm not correct. Hope you have a great time in Spain
JanetP

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#58041 - 12/21/00 12:30 PM Re: Spain vs South America
mclarke Offline
Member

Registered: 09/19/00
Posts: 179
Loc: Arlington, VA
JanetP
You are correct. I am from the Philippines. My daughter will soon finished her semester and will return to the U.S. on Jan. 29, 2001. So I have the Euro-Asian looked. Are you in Spain?

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#58042 - 12/21/00 01:18 PM Re: Spain vs South America
steveaqui Offline
Member

Registered: 09/01/00
Posts: 76
Loc: Inglaterra
Leche, same here no roots to Spain but to Italy yes

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#58043 - 12/22/00 07:56 AM Re: Spain vs South America
Jaime Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/00
Posts: 147
Leche, I may have married latin but before I even met my hubby I had been studying Spanish at college for awhile just because the language and cultures intrigued me, pero soy pura gringa....

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#58044 - 12/23/00 10:35 PM Re: Spain vs South America
Majesty318 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/16/00
Posts: 233
Loc: New Jersey, USA
One more completely non Spanish girl over here. Although how much do I wish I were....

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#58045 - 12/28/00 10:24 PM Re: Spain vs South America
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 9072
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
HELLO FROM CUSCO, PERU!!!!! ILm checking in for the first and probably last time from Peru during my 2 week trip. We visited Machu Picchu for 2 days and had a truly life changing experience. ILve felt totally safe and never threatened in any way. HavenLt gotten sick yet either! hehehe... things are great, having lots of Inca-related experiences here and while ILm sad to see the poverty ILm happy to see the history relative to both Spain and the Incas.

Happily in South America,

MadridMan
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#58046 - 01/22/01 04:59 PM Re: Spain vs South America
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 9072
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
For all those who care <sniff!> , you can view (most of) my Peru photos @ http://members4.clubphoto.com/madridman300945/ . Photos include Machu Picchu, Cuzco, Arequipa, Lake Titikaka/Puno, Nazca, Lima, me and my "ladyfriend".

It was 2 weeks of eye-opening travel. Most photos are between 60K-90K so if you have a slow dialup connection (like me at home) you might want to view them on your lunch hour at work (if your connection speed is better there). Hope you like them!

Saludos, MadridMan
_________________________
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