9/08/2007

I Am African

I like to think of myself as a citizen of the world. With my dual citizenship, I have been afforded the chance to identify with and immerse myself in two different, distinct cultures: that of the United States, that--despite the current sate of world affairs--is still soaked with an endless sense of freedom and opportunity, and that of Latin America, drenched in magic realism and steeped in tradition. I would not pick one over the other. Instead, the combination has served as both platform and springboard to explore and visit other cultures around the world--and I still have a long ways to go. But today, I consider myself international, and believe that globalization, regardless of its discontents, is an exciting phenomenon. Because of my staunch support for global free commerce, I've been called everything from immoral to insensitive to bourgeois, and I've even been labeled a "degenerate"; however, I just shrug these off with a smile. I think all these people are afraid and have axes to grind. I'm all about globalization--it moves in all directions and is in constant flux, and those who wish to keep it in check will only get bulldozed under it's power.

I am North American, South American, African, Middle Eastern, European, Australian, Asian... Or at least I want to be. When I travel, I am most interested not in visiting the sights (although this is fun) but in getting a feel for what it means to live in and be culturally and geographically tied to a certain place. Local media has a lot to offer in this respect. And I've found that, with the forces currently shaping the world, not only is local global and global local--cultural experiences become more acute and immediate. Recently for me, it was London, Motown, the City of Lights, Beantown, Mexico City, and Los Angeles. Soon, it might be Lagos, Islamabad, Tokyo, Stockholm, Buenos Aires. Who knows? As distances shrink and borders fade, even more explosive, exciting, and (probably) violent things are bound to keep happening.

But when it is all said and done, I think we will be better off because of it.

2 comments:

Amalia said...

"We truly live in a globalized society"

Julie said...

JP,

I suppose this means that when you visit me in Houston you will just have immerse yourself in Texan culture. I expect you to wear a cowboy hat wrangler jeans. I will feed you BBQ and chile con queso. We will only listen to Jerry Jeff Walker and Slim Thug. And Lastly, together, we will watch Joel Osteen.

I can't wait for you to visit and blog about it. Im already thinking of a title for you.

It can also include pop culture tidbits, such as famous Houstonians:

Renee Zelwegger, Beyonce, Hillary Duff, that gilmore girl.