Posted by: | March 10, 2009 | Comments Off on Transculturation

For this weeks reading, I found that Ortiz’s version of Mestizaje seems to be more “down to earth” than the romantic version that we analyzed earlier by Vasconcelos. In his essay, Ortiz presents the term transculturation, as the gaining of cultural aspects by mixing different points of view from several cultures, however he acknowledges that in the process of mixing there are elements that will be lost. Furthermore, unlike – in my opinion – Rowe and Schelling, and of course Vasconcelos, Ortiz recognizes openly that the process of transculturation can be a hard process to undergo, and that it can be painful. In my opinion this concept of transculturaion seems to be very relevant in today’s society, where due to the spread of telecommunications technology we are seeing an unprecedented exchange of ideas from almost every corner in the world. Unlike the Cuban case where people had to be physically put together in a place, today’s transculturation occurs electronically. Should this be a matter of concern?

Well, we have seen that it is extremely hard to judge good from bad culture altogether. However, it is safe to say that not all the exchange of ideas over the net is a healthy practice, especially when it comes to material that relates to hate, pornography, among others. Thus we can say that in today’s process of transculturation there is still a struggle between different groups of people. Now, I would like to propose something, could we say that this practice of ‘blogging’ may be considered as ‘global’ popular culture, or texting, or e-mail, facebooking, etc?

With regards to Cornejo Polar’s concept of Indigenismo, I am not entirely sure I got his point. I think he was trying to explain the importance of keeping indigenous works with their background and culture, as if they are detached from these aspects they cannot be fully understood. If this is what he was going for, then I have to admit that he makes an interesting point, when reading a book is always good to know who the author was when and where he/she lived, and also what sort of life he/she had? If we take oral narratives out of their context and simply transcribe them into a book they may lose their ‘essence’ and thus become ‘fake.’ I am not too sure, I’ll have to re-read this article at some point :P

I’m out


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