Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Andrea's essay

Stereotypes of Bolivia
Carla Andrea Montaño R.

The fact that we don’t know many countries affects the stereotypes we have of them. Also we have stereotypes of everyone we meet for the first time, and even more if that person is from another country because he/she comes from a different culture, and had other customs and behavior. These stereotypes sometimes can affect the way other people treat you. I’ll show this with stereotypes of Bolivian people.

Long time ago in the area of Bolivia and part of Peru there were the Incas and other tribes. They had dark skin, and all Bolivians have these genes because they are our ancestors. That’s the main reason so that most of Bolivians have different dark skin tones. But those genes of dark skin aren’t the unique so with all the colonization everyone is “mestizo”, that means that no one has pure Inca blood because we also have Spanish, American, Peru’s blood and genes of other countries.

Nowadays Bolivia has a native president: Evo Morales. This might make people think that all Bolivians are like him. It’s true that there are people who are like the president, most of these people work in the rural area, but there are also people who have more academic preparation and different physical traits.

Before television became a part of the mass media, people in other countries used to think that in Bolivia there were just houses made out of “adobe” and that we didn’t have a comfortable life. For example, in schools when some student came in exchange, they used to bring with them all the things that are of daily use because their parents used to think that here in Bolivia there weren’t stores that sold those kinds of things. After they arrived in Bolivia, they realized that our reality was very different than the reality they created about us. However, this stereotype isn’t considered so important anymore because the media shows how the cities are actually here in Bolivia. In the rural area there are houses made out of “adobe” and the reason that other countries thought that of us was that there were pictures of houses made out of adobe in postcards of Bolivia.

In conclusion, the reality can be very different from the stereotypes we have of other people. Bolivia is a developing country but has many comforts and beautiful places to visit and isn’t always in the rural areas. The globalization has broken many stereotypes but created others too. We can see how a picture can affect someone who doesn’t know us.

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