On the streets of Buenos Aires, Argentina, security stands guard at the sight of a group of tourist admiring the historical building. He is cautious with his left hand on what appears to be a weapon and his right on his baton. His eyes look deep into my lens straight into my eyes, questioning and wondering the consensus of the photo. His body gesture ever ready to pounce at any intruder seeking to attack or provoke. The cameraman can only assume that that is the guards’ self validation to protect intruders beyond the steel gate that distorts outsiders and the man entering wearing a black suit. Perhaps a testament to the capitalistic nature of society.. one will never know.
We sometimes forget that we are part of an environment. That we are nurtured. Our values and concepts are nurtured by our surroundings. Instead of systems that tell us whether we are wrong, it would be most preferable to be shaped rather than told. Curiosity is an engine to achievement. If we stifle curiosity, we create obstacles and personal development. More importantly, creativity and risk taking. Not so much the risk taking against the law, but perhaps against ourselves. The best way to discover oneself is to push oneself beyond their own limits. However, if that is stifled, then we will be unable to truly discover out own potential. So challenge the norm…
A Standardised Society?
Most developed societies have standardisations to measure success or wealth. We are all familiar with the notion that some people like examinations and some fair better with projects and essays. This notion did not formulate out of nowhere. We need to embrace the varying type of people in this world. In this case, we cannot measure ourselves by how well we fair in examinations. If we continue to let standardised tests define our individuality, we will before a standardised society. In some sense we already are, and hence that is why we need need studies in psychology, behaviour and neuroscience, because no matter how unified society is, people are not…
One of the most beautiful places is El Chalten. Upon arrival, you can take a casual hour walk to a nearby waterfall. Of course it is too cold to swim, however it was a great way for the town to embrace travellers! Continue reading →
Shut down busses, stopped trains and loud pots banging on the street! Protests are a common event in Buenos Aires. On numerous occasions, we would hear loud protesting on the streets during our Spanish classes and pay no attention to it! Is this a form of democracy? Have people so much free time, that they can protest? Unemployment is at 6.7% throughout Argentina. Public sentiment towards politicians in Argentina are not too positive, well, at least from the locals that I have met so far. Is this the reason why people resort to protesting? Perhaps the government allows these demonstrations to make the people feel that they have a ‘fighting chance’? Perhaps this is the basis of democracy? That ‘each vote counts’? So many unanswered questions. Nonetheless, it is always nice to see streets filled with colours and lively people voicing their opinions!
Stikes are such a norm in Buenos Aires, that it just comes to the point where people are indifferent to it.
No to mention the physical mess that is left after!
To be honest, it looked like a normal sunday stroll from the people of Buenos AIres!
Post apartheid South Africa has yet to be truly discovered. It is wonderful to meet South Africans in South America whilst I travel and speak to them about their country and her history. Often the discussion revolves around the racial tension between the whites and blacks. However, little does the world know about the tensions within the blacks as well as within the whites. It never ceases to amaze me. The level of racial tension is implicit, yet the society continues to function. For instance, when a foreigner wishes to travel into a township, he/she would be recommended to exit the car loudly and obnoxiously to indicate that he/she is not a local. However, the situation would differ for a white South African going into a township. Simply put, it would not be recommended.
During my stay in Cape Town, I had the opportunity to attend a film screening initiated by a campaign; Unite as One. It seeks to explore cultural diversity and identity. Particularly focussing on the major issue of xenophobia. A fellow friend invited me to attend this screening in the suburb of Observatory, in a small cosy restaurant/pub. If time permits and you have a keen interest, please take the time to watch the videos below. They are created and directed by heart felt professionals in the film industry and the people in the videos are true accounts of what is really happening.
The Untold Story. An account of a girl who is a xenophobic target.
The Great Move.
The Girl Next Door. This is my favorite video, which captures the emotional trauma that children go through.