viernes, 15 de marzo de 2013

México en una cajita...

I went to a function today, a homecoming celebration/debrief here in Melbourne, Australia, for students who had recently returned from exchange.  It was about reverse culture shock, using the exchange experience to sell yourself to employers and future directions, basically.

When I think of how Mexico seems to Australians, this picture is what I think of, as well as Taco Bill's, drug cartels, tequila and sombreros - as in ridiculously large, straw hats.  Although that had never been my summary of Mexican culture, there is no way I want to revert to someone who even makes those distorted associations, let alone believes them.  I was shuddering internally when the speaker even mentioned 're-assimilation' and 're-integration', but maybe that is in part due to my studies in Anthropology.  Ideas of a culture should never be condensed into a mass-produced package and shipped off for consumption.  Ironically, I took this picture for my boyfriend, who had set me the task of taking photos of normal, everyday things in Australia that would not seem normal to him.

Part of my aversion to ideas such as 're-assimilation' clearly stem from not wanting to give up ways that I have changed, to revert back to the 'original me'.  But, on the other hand, seeing again how Mexico is portrayed in here, makes me cringe at the ways that similarly I, as part of my own culture, am represented in some packaged-format as well.  I mean, this was obvious to me when I was in Mexico, and basically whenever I would mention Australia to a Mexican I would get a comment about kangaroos.  Maybe in this way I feel double packaged: originally in Australia, then shipped off, adjusted, and shipped back in a shiny, new Mexican wrapper.  I just wish wrappers weren't necessary.

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