Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Laura's essay

Analysing Stereotypes about Bolivia because they are usually not true!
Laura Suaznabar

Even if we don't have the opportunity to go to different countries or talk with people from these places, we can get information about them by using the internet, books, and media such as TVs. It’s very convenient and great to be able to get information about people who live in distant places from us. However, is the information really true? We have some stereotypes about foreign countries. Such stereotypes are not always true and cause confusion when understanding a country. I will show with examples that some stereotypes about Bolivia are not true.

Sometimes, foreign people think that in Bolivia everyone is indigenous. This is not really true despite the fact that Bolivian people have indigenous roots. There are 37 indigenous groups, but most people in Bolivia and Latin-American countries are “Mestizo”. Thus, the fact that someone can be considered indigenous in Bolivia is going to depend on the international concept on “being indigenous”, agreements, traditions, history and people's own decision.

Another stereotype is that in Bolivia,a developing country, no one knows about technology. That’s not true at all. In fact, globalization has taken the whole world and Bolivia is part of this phenomenon. Thus, most people know about the existence of technology, and they have access to it as well. Perhaps a little percentage of the population doesn’t know how to get access to it because they don’t care about it or they don’t need it. For example, in the rural area, people who live there just need basic things like water and electricity; they don’t need anything more because the idea of the “well living” doesn’t mean having I phones or notebooks, that’s just living in harmony with the Mother Earth.

The last stereotype that is important to mention is that in Bolivia, people always drink a lot. It is true that there are several Traditional Festivities in Bolivia, for instance, Carnaval, Gran Poder, University Fest, etc. However Bolivian people don’t drink more than people do in other countries. Indeed, the “Alcohol Culture” is a global phenomenon. That’s the heritage of the humanity.

When we communicate with foreign people, we should remove prejudices. And we should remember all people are different no matter where the person is from. It is definitively stupid to generalize situations or contexts in a country because all societies are different and have many facets. The misery, the abundance, the diversity are part of the Earth, as the beliefs, multiculturalism, and things in a way. The main point would be to discover them, sharing experiences or maybe looking for information directly from international friends or reliable sites. If someone can do that, it is logical to think that’s he or she is discovering the real world.

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