Saturday, November 11, 2006

Buenos Aires 101

As they say "Different strokes for different folks". We are fortunate to be living in a free society where people are entitled to voice their opinions and nowadays many blog theirs as well. We should be grateful for this diversity.

From the fast expanding list of Bloggers in Argentina, I conclude that a growing number of residents in Argentine like their opinions to be heard. My personal favourite is clearly D for Disorientation for its impartial and informed look at the country. I also follow a couple of expat blogs with keen interest such as Dan's and greekinargentina's. Then, there are a few which I glance through every few months or so.

I did just that yesterday and found this rather disturbing post. It described a dialogue broadcasted in a local television programme which offered a glimpse of the negatives of this country I have voiced before – low-brow fun at the expense of ethnic groups condoned by the majority. No, that wasn't the disturbing part...

Maybe I am too naïve in thinking that most sensible, educated people would ignore such rubbish, move on instead of endorsing it. Maybe my fault is in assuming people are sensible and educated in the first place. Anyway, the blogger in question, Robert originally from the U.S., found it so humorous that he had to share it in his blog. From the comments he received, one also gets the sense that his readers, bar one who was ambiguous, found it all kosher too. What can I say; I guess we don't actually need his walking tour to witness a hint of the true colours of Buenos Aires.

I am not known for political correctness at all but there are just certain things even I, an unexceptional adult, would think twice before putting out for public consumption because it is in poor taste to do so. For instance, if someone comes along and tells me "U.S. Americans have pea-sized brains". I just might laugh, especially after reading the above-mentioned blogger's post. However, I would know I am wrong - not all U.S. Americans have pea-sized brains. (If you are an U.S. American reading this and feeling offended, you ought to understand the point I am making.)

It is the obliviousness of wrong doing in the mainstream culture here that baffles me. That post has been an unintentional but poignant illustration of just that. It has definitely helped me to understand the unrepentant majority and their insistence that calling someone "moreno" (brown) is considered absolutely fine...fine by the just a tinge fairer-skinned porteños.

Thank you, one big lesson learnt!

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