How South Americans Celebrate Cultural Identity
Written by: Jordan Bowles
Edited by: My Identity Mag Team
In today’s social and political climate, there seems to be a trend of discord and unrest happening in the world; this is especially prevalent to occurrences that have been happening in South American countries such as Venezuela. It is impossible to ignore what has been happening and how there seems to be a vendetta against the hope for diversity, unification and inclusion amongst different cultural and ethnic groups (especially as it pertains to the current American government). It is important to realize that in order to solve sociopolitical issues currently taking place in the world, we have to address them directly and come together in such a way where the best decisions can be made for society as a whole. While this may seem like quite an idealistic feat, it is not impossible and as long as small intentional steps are made consistently over time, then progress will surely be made.
The world seems to be creating breaking news everyday, and while it is important to acknowledge what is happening, it is also important to remember the positive things and to continue to celebrate the many beautiful cultures that inhabit our world. So, in honor of the month of August, this article is dedicated to the celebration of the exquisite cultural aspects from South America.
Have you ever heard of the Mendoza and Wine Region in Argentina? The area is known as Argentina’s largest growing wine region, it is a great tourist area, and the surrounding area’s aesthetic reflects both modern and colonial influences. The history of this area dates back to the 1500s, when the Huarpe-Spaniard tribe settled in the now Mendoza region; this particular tribe was responsible for inhabiting the area and creating an irrigation system that contributed to the growth of the region’s vineyards, and the system is still prevalent in the area today as it is evident underneath the roadways presently there. Over 300 years later, an unfortunate earthquake would hit the area and cause nearly 6,000 lives lost of the 18,000 that lived during that time period. The citizens of this area, however, demonstrated their strength and determination by rebuilding the area, and incorporating a shelter in order to be prepared if such a disaster were to ever happen again. Today, the rebuilding of the area from centuries ago has morphed into a beautiful area that includes plazas, restaurants, cafes and bars for visitors and natives of the area to enjoy, including the small well-known town called
In the South American country of Chile, a special festival is celebrated in the month of February, called the Carnavalón Festival. The festival is celebrated in the Chilean regions of the San Miguel de Azapa and the Socorama. The festival is held in order to “symbolically resurrect” an important figure called the Ño Carnavalon, which is regarded as “ancient symbol of joy and fertility” in Chilean culture. As a part of traditional Chilean culture, many Chileans who live in the aforementioned regions come out to celebrate the festival, as it is commonly believed that celebrating the ancient figure will bring happiness to the people for an entire year. Chileans typically celebrate the festival with an assortment of music and dancing, and also to give a formal greeting to “Mother Earth” (officially known as the Pachamama in the region) and Father Sun (Titi Ini).
Both of these stories demonstrate how the spirit of South American culture exudes determination and celebration. There are many things occurring in the sociopolitical climate of the world that can even be classified as horrible or devastating; however, having the ability to maintain a measure of positivity, focusing on things worth celebrating, and embracing the unique and beautiful parts of an individual culture are some of the many things that are absolutely necessary to help the world to continue to go around and grow into a better future. Every culture deserves to be celebrated and treated with respect and dignity, and we must take the responsibility of demonstrating to individuals and groups that are different from ourselves that just because something or someone is different, does not mean that they should be ostracized, marginalized, disrespected or abused in any way, shape or form. Let’s continue to educate ourselves and move towards a future that embraces #diversity, #unification, and #inclusion.
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