Latin Store

Posted by: | March 12, 2009 | Comments Off on Latin Store

In case someone is interested here is the store I talked about website, they are located on 3317 Kingsway. The address is on their website.

Little bit from Mexico

Posted by: | March 6, 2009 | Comments Off on Little bit from Mexico


Thus far

Posted by: | March 4, 2009 | Comments Off on Thus far

Well I’m a tad behind in my blogs as I’ve let them slip a bit but I’m back on it!
So I’m in my last year at UBC and I’ve taken sooo many different courses over the six years I’ve been in school.  I almost have a minor in Asian studies, I’ve taken tons of Anthropology, Sociology and of course Psychology.  Of all the courses I’ve taken so far in my academic career this is one of the most different.  I love the small class size, it makes everything just that more intimate and I can actually speak to the people around me and get their opinions.  This class is one of the only small classes I’ve had at UBC and I like being able to have class discussions about what we’re reading and learning about. 
I really enjoy learning about Popular culture in Latin America, it’s so refreshing learning about something you know absolutly nothing about and being able to actually talk about it with intelligent people is an awesome gift.
I’ve enjoyed most of the readings thus far although I have to say there were a couple that I enjoyed more than the rest.  I really enjoyed Eva Peron’s mesage, I thought it was very heartfelt and really gave us another point of view of popular culture.  I also really liked Pongo’s dream, although short, I really thought it had so much to say, in an indirect way.  I really enjoy reading about the history of different practices in Latin America,such as Muralism.  The details about murals in Mexico and other places was interesting in their different meanings conveyed.  Learning about such people as Rivera and Kahlo and what their art represents, it was interesting in terms of popular culture and how it’s defined. and presented to the public.
These readings and the discussions we have in class have really clarified the term popular culture, in Latin America for me.  All these different aspects bring to life a new way of looking at one’s reality.  The merging of political change, high to low culture, popular practices such as murals and public places really are starting to bring Latin America’s popular culture to life.  At the beginning of this course I knew nothing about what we were going to be learning and now I am much more equipped to make an educated statement about what I think Popular culture in Latin America is.

Readingweek Review

Posted by: | February 27, 2009 | Comments Off on Readingweek Review

After a couple of weeks into the course, and a lot of good – though sometimes tedious- reading I am starting to formulate my own version of what is popular culture. Over the past week, I was able to spend some time alone with my thoughts, and trying to put the pieces of this huge […]

In response to Tory’s post

Posted by: | February 26, 2009 | Comments Off on In response to Tory’s post

Tory,I agree with what you are saying here and feel that you have really explained well some of the key themes in the class. While Latin America represents a huge mixing of culture, race, tradition, belief, etc., it would be wrong to assume that this a…


Posted by: | February 26, 2009 | Comments Off on Synthesis

Over the past weeks we’ve spent discussing Latin America in this course, several prevalent themes have arisen in my mind.  Most important of these is the concept of synthesis and its role in the many different ways "culture" is created.  Latin America, in my mind, is predominantly an area of cultural synthesis–a meeting of many different people, classes, practices, traditions, beliefs etc.  Each Latin American country has its own specific history of cultural generation and the interactions of these many different factors, which is why these "Latin American nations" resist such easy categorization; something which seems to have proved very frustrating for many of us taking the course.  However in an attempt to unify all of these enormously different regions, I would suggest the idea of cultural synthesis as a most prominent characteristic–yet this too is a very slippery idea. 
As many students have pointed out in class discussion, we should not submit to the common (mis)construction of this cultural synthesis as an equal, mutually beneficial, two-way exchange elicited by both sides in the pursuit of the common interest of sharing culture…Rather, we should remember that the synthesis of many different peoples ways of life was brought about through conquest, coercion,  and very often the subversion of  ideas, practices and beliefs.  A prime example of this was that which was debated in class–the costumbrista or folk-catholicism practiced by communities of Maya (and non-indigenous) people in Central America. 
So perhaps another important aspect of "Latin America" that characterizes so many diverse regions is the constant struggle for power and the social conflict brought about primarily through conquest and colonialism and perpetuated today by issues of race, class and nationality.

….the popular culture…

Posted by: | February 24, 2009 | Comments Off on ….the popular culture…

¡Ya estamos a la mitad del curso! ¡wooooow! No lo puedo creer…Es increíble la rapidez con la que pasa el tiempo… Debo decir que ir a esta clase me gusta por la forma en que discutimos las lecturas y que podemos expresar los diferentes puntos de …

Last 201 thus far.

Posted by: | February 24, 2009 | Comments Off on Last 201 thus far.

Overall I have thoroughly enjoyed this class. The setup has been remarkably different from what I have been accustomed to throughout the past three and a half years of university, and I appreciate the change!
            I have been in sciences until this year of university, although I have dabbled in some first and second year […]

Summary of the class so far…

Posted by: | February 24, 2009 | Comments Off on Summary of the class so far…

Upon reading the course description for the class I didn’t quite know what I was getting myself into. I was pleasantly surprised on the first day of class when we watched Orfeo Negro one of my favorite movies that I’ve only seen because my father took …


Posted by: | February 24, 2009 | Comments Off on Reflections

Hard to believe that we are already half way done! So far, I have enjoyed many aspects of this class. In discussing many elements of both the meaning of culture and the people, and specific cultural traditions in Latin America, I feel that my knowledge…

First Half Reflections

Posted by: | February 24, 2009 | Comments Off on First Half Reflections

Upon reflection of the first half of the semester I am overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge in the classroom. After years of being a student, I have come to realize that in many cases I absorb the most knowledge just simply from listening to my class…

Popular Culture

Posted by: | February 24, 2009 | Comments Off on Popular Culture

Hi everyone, I hope you all had a great brake, my midterms are driving me insane, I’m not used to this amount of study. In my school back in Monterrey, Mexico we have monthly exams so that helps to reduce the amount of information in the exams.The pu…

Mexico’s Flag Day

Posted by: | February 24, 2009 | Comments Off on Mexico’s Flag Day

Green:The Independence MovementHopeWhite:The purity of the Catholic faith.PurityRed:The Spaniards that joined in the quest for Independence.The blood of the National HeroesUnionThe emblem-shield symbolizes the Aztec heritage.According to the legend, t…

LAST so far…so good :)

Posted by: | February 24, 2009 | Comments Off on LAST so far…so good :)

I have really enjoyed this class so far!
Throughout the last few weeks we have investigated and analyzed a number of general ideas and terms. Attempting to define them was very difficult as there was always another persons idea or point of view.  We have over the last few weeks come face to face with the slippery slope that accompanies  attempts to define such broad and capacious terms.

The first two readings by Keesing and Williams gave us two different views or ways to look at culture. Keesing  employs a very anthropological way of looking at cultures. He believed anthropologists needed to rethink the way they approached culture. He gave us a very attractive metaphor of the Coral reef. Williams on the other hand believed that culture is ordinary, that all people are a part of culture and make it what it is. He uses the metaphor or a journey to exemplify the idea that culture is moving, growing, unbiased, and all around us. These two views simply gave us some insight into what others have said on the term "Culture".

The second readings were by Eva Peron, and Borges. They both addressed the term "The people" and just who the people are. In My Message by Eva Peron the people are presented as "Pueblo" which in Spanish translates to an inclusive, small town community feel that represents all people except the elite. In Borges article "Celebration of the Monster" we see a different side of the Argentine people, perhaps a more real side. This is a perspective coming from the middle of the crowd, informal and representative of how normal people feel and think in Argentina at the time of Peronism.

In the article by Rowe and Schelling the concept of popular culture in Latin America is contemplated and discussed. This article described Latin America based on times in history, customs, traditions, art, culture, and ways of life that made me really picture everything. This article did a good job of explaining the many different and also similar popcultures present in Latin America. It consists of a medley or mixing of old and new ways of living, ways before colonization mixed with the new ideas brought by the Spanish, and the ideas of recent times. Culture is always evolving.

The next articles we read were by Asturias and Arguedas bringing attention to Folk Culture. In Latin America the notion of Folk has to do with indigenous heritage. Asturias presents a collection of legends, stories having been handed down through the years. It is important to note that when legends that come from an oral culture are written down they can lose some of their magic or be written solely in a way that the author decides they should be. Arguedas tells a story of the Pongo, who gets revenge on his master. This folk tale is written from an indigenous point of view, a great identification with mestizo and the lower side of society. It is about the lower people getting their own back, if only for a moment there is always room for resistance.

The last readings by Vasconcelos and Wade discuss theories of mixture.  Vasconcelos provides us with a very utopian idea about a 5th race. His idealistic view is that love will bring us together with the creation of something new. A collection of all races best qualities. He still employs a hierarchy within the races with some better than others. His racist undertones as well as unrealistic ideas made me question … well basically his sanity. His arguments are extremely controversial and difficult to begin to break down. Wade on the other hand talks of the concept of mestizaje, and the idea of a mosaic. This is a more realistic way to look at the differences and dualities within the mestisaje. People have the choice to decide how they want to view themselves.





Ethos of Latin America

Posted by: | February 23, 2009 | Comments Off on Ethos of Latin America

At this stage in our course on Popular Culture in Latin America seems fair to give some reflection upon topics we have discussed in class and in the blog – I will leave my post to free thoughts not worrying about referencing the articles.Culture, Popul…

Summary and reflection

Posted by: | February 23, 2009 | Comments Off on Summary and reflection

So far in this course, we have talked about many different aspects of Latin American culture. The first thing we discussed was the nature of culture. We found that culture does not fit into a nice little box; nor can it be defined in a straightforward …

So far, so good…

Posted by: | February 23, 2009 | Comments Off on So far, so good…

So far, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this course. It’s definitely lived up to my expectations. I’ve found the readings for this class interesting, and rather diverse. However, I enjoyed reading the more literary readings, such as the folk tales or the Borge…

In the first half…

Posted by: | February 23, 2009 | Comments Off on In the first half…

I have learned over these past weeks has much to deal with Latin American Culture, but also Culture in general. I now understand culture is something fluid, and that you define for yourself. No individual can define it for you and you can’t define it for another individual. I have learned that throughout history people have influenced ideas of culture to manipulated the populous of countries and regions (specifically Latin America). I also learned the different types of extreme views that culture and assimilation views can reach (Jose to be more precise). I also learned that everyday things around us can be considered cultural items and icons. Culture is something perceived in one’s head and not in  items necessarily as well though. The folk culture with the blending of cultures was quite interesting. It showed how culture can be built like a tapestry over time. It also displayed the assimilation tactics that the Spanish used towards the natives, which we also learned about. It was apparent that they had been change generation by generation to reflect other views. Instead of worshiping just the sun god it became the same god as that of the house of Christ. Other students pointed out how different days in Mexico were also dual ritualistic for both the Catholics and the native religion. I found it funny that in order for us to find out that culture is so complex that it took so many weeks but after showing us that no one can quite get it right that I have come to this conclusion. In order to define culture you must look deep within yourself and only then you will truly get a sense of what your own culture is and then and only then can you go into cultural studies without being ignorant towards certain individuals, despite what their ideas may be.


Can any of this be synthesized anyway?

Posted by: | February 23, 2009 | Comments Off on Can any of this be synthesized anyway?

I’m still reeling and really have no idea what exactly can be, should be, will be, was and is classified as Popular Culture, especially in an area so undefinable, diverse, broad, multicultural, and flexible as Latin America. But I suppose it is exactly these things that we are meant to understand better through this semester’s […]

So far…

Posted by: | February 23, 2009 | Comments Off on So far…

So far our readings have been very diverse, and they have explored different aspects of Latin American culture in depth. We started off with the Williams and Keesing readings, which talked about how to interpret culture and how to define it. Culture is not solidly set in stone, unchanged by time. It is not only appropriated to a certain environment and group of people (for example, culture in the form of a museum or “high” culture as the product of the elite). Culture is present everywhere, even in the most mundane scenarios and it is produced even by the most ordinary people.

We also read about Peronism, by Borges, who was against Peron, and by Evita Peron, who obviously supported her husband, the president of Argentina. Evita believed she was one with the people, and that she could relate to the descamisados of Argentina. Borges, on the other hand, revealed Peronists as ruthless people who acted out violently without reason. We saw the contradictory interpretations of the people in Peronist Argentina through these readings.  Then, William and Schelling discuss various aspects of Latin American culture itself, like samba, Mexican artefacts and telenovelas. Here we saw the way traditional facets of Latin culture have evolved into their modern forms.

We then got into folk culture, as presented in the reading by Asturias, which was a collection of indigenous stories. Asturias interweaves reality with fantasy, and I this is what made these stories a little hard to read for me, although they were interesting. Our next reading by Arguedas depicted the abuse of the Indigenous people by the Spanish, and the Indigenous people’s rebellion.

Then we had Vasconcelos, who argued that a new race should emerge from the mixing of Spanish and Latin American races. This reading was a little creepy, because it seemed like Vasconcelos was predicting and encouraging the creation of a superior race. This race would be calculated, and this superior race would possess the Amazon. Wade’s article discussed mestizaje and its implications on the personal and public levels, and reveals the complexities of being mestizo.

I am hoping the readings for the rest of the term will focus on more modern topics, and that we will discuss current Latin American cultural issues. The readings are interesting, but so far, they have not fully explained today’s Latin culture.

“1st half”

Posted by: | February 22, 2009 | Comments Off on “1st half”

During this past weeks we have learned a lot of Latin American culture. First we study some general concepts of what culture is and how is developed, also which factors affect the most on this development and how culture is formed. We realized that cul…


Posted by: | February 18, 2009 | Comments Off on summary

In the first two articles we discussed the “definition” of culture. In his article Keesing suggests the idea of the different cultures to be like coral reefs, in the sense that there is change in the different cultures and that there is not a spec…


Posted by: | February 17, 2009 | Comments Off on Reflections

My reflections of the first half of the semester:I feel like whenever I write reflections I never know how to begin. I guess I will start by writing about what my expectations were like before taking this class or how I felt in the beginning… Well I …

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