While abroad, our group is taking two classes at the University of Belgrano with two professors there. One of our classes is related to culture of Latin America and within Argentina specifically. Another aspect of discrimination she had discussed with us was the way that Argentinians behave around all the foreigners that live around them in the city. There is a large population of Chinese who own many of the supermarkets, a lot of Italian influence, and also a neighborhood named after the amount of Jewish people that have immigrated to the area. She spent a class discussing how these different cultures are referred to by many as slang terms like Chinos or Jews.
As we’ve spent much time in all different parts of the city, these areas of certainly distinct and carry their own value within the culture of Buenos Aires and even Argentina. These areas are unique to the city with the kinds of foods that are sold, the people that live there, the way the neighborhood is designed, and sometimes even the language spoken within the corners of the streets. These districts have their own identity and after hearing about these areas from locals like our host families, discrimination can and is present among fellow Argentinians with different original backgrounds.
I think because of what I have learned from my host family and around the city, I am becoming more interested in the idea of discrimination between groups that may not necessarily be “indigenous,” but rather groups that are considered “minorities” within such a large city. This other aspect of discrimination is something I never thought about before arriving abroad, but I think it is another important part of racism and discrimination within places that contain more than one different culture. We like to the think of the United States as “The Melting Pot,” but while abroad, my eyes were definitely opened to how much influence all countries have on one another and the kind of changes they create.
When thinking about my final project, I am wondering if there is a way I am able to combine some of my ideas with what I have experienced. With three weeks left in the semester and in Argentina, I’m hoping to visit more distinct neighborhoods to learn more about the diversity of Buenos Aires and all that it has to offer.