Sunday, August 21, 2011

Que es la cultura americana?

So last night I met up with my friend Tonisha and our mutual Peruvian friend Indy.  We went to the district of Rimac for a graduation party for one of Indy's friends.  She just graduated from the Universidad Inca Garcilaso de la Vega for ortodoncia (orthodontics).  It was nice to go to a graduation party and compare it to the graduation parties in the United States.  It was pretty similar to the graduation house parties that I have to in the states however there were some different aspects.  Like the fact that rather than being a buffet of food the empleada brought around drinks, appetizers, and the meal.  Oh and of course the main plate of food wasn't served until midnight.  Also, the father of the girl gave a toast which I thought was very special and cute.  One thing I learned last night..Peru is pretty lax with their attitude of alcohol and the drinking age.  Apparently, it's normal if you have your first sip of alcohol when you're one year old.  There was definitely a younger child there taking sips of some Pisco sour (a traditional drink in Peru).  I was sitting there thinking how in the United States that could turn into some kind of lawsuit, like child endangerment or something.

Another thing I learned last night.  Nobody ever assumes that Tonisha and I are from the United States.  Just last night we had one older lady ask if we were from Spain and another guy asked if we were Italian.  We asked Indy why this would be and she said it was possibly because we have the same coloring as Italians or Spanish, but still I wonder why they didn't guess the U.S.  I guess it's a wake-up call to me that the world doesn't revolve around the United States and that there are other foreigners here besides those from the U.S.

Which brings me to my next point.  It's very interesting to hear people's views on the United States.  Some people who have visited, love it and some who have not, have no desire to.  It really has made me think of reasons why I'm proud to be an American, but at the same time I have begun to question what American "culture" is and what does American have to offer.  It's nice to hear when people have loved America.  I met a few people last night that have visited and studied in America and they have enjoyed themselves a lot, but Indy made me start to question what's in America.  I asked her if she would ever want to visiting the U.S. and she quickly replied with a "no."  It kind of took me aback for a second so I asked her why.  She explained that there were other places to go besides the United States and other countries have more to offer.  "Peru has it's food and people, Egypt the pyramids, China it's food, Brazil it's boys."  I can't remember other examples that she listed, but I wanted to tell her that America has so much to offer, too, but in the moment, I couldn't think of much.  I know that America is the "melting pot" so we have a mixture of other cultures, but what do we have of our own.  I thought of baseball, football, the cities, and fast food.  It really made me sad to know that that's all I could think of.  To me, America has a lot to offer, but I just can't put my finger on a lot.  So if you would, I would love for you to comment and say what you think American culture is.  I feel Peru has a definite culture with their food, drinks, traditional dance, etc. so what do you think?  What are some other examples that I can tell people while I'm here?

Anyway, on to my day today...I did absolutely nothing!  I slept in and I ate breakfast while having a nice conversation with my host mom.  I searched the internet for a song that I keep hearing and really like.  Turns out it's a song by Marc Anthony (I figured it would be someone that I had never heard of)...
Then, I ate lunch/dinner with my host mom at a restaurant called San Antonio.  It's a nice pastery/bakery similar to a Panera Bread and the food was excellent!!  I then went to mass for the second time since I've been here and again it went well and my comprehension was fairly good.  Other than that nothing exciting happened and I plan to go to bed super early tonight so that I can get to La Catolica early in order to get in line for registration.  Wish me luck!!

1 comment:

  1. Brazil definitely has the boys ;-).

    I think the American culture revolves around "pursuit". That why we strive for efficiency, speed, and punctuality. We want to do things, get things, we want to be constantly going somewhere, moving. Its a beautiful thing, but obviously the other side of the coin is that we don't slow down, we lack patience, and we sometimes don't appreciate what we have. Other countries take things slow, and enjoy where they are...its not better or worse, just different I guess.

    Also America has social mobility, good waste management, and an insane amount of outdoors!