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View Diary: Dame un poco de perspectiva (75 comments)

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  •  Speaking of generalizations (13+ / 0-)

    You've made several assumptions about me without knowing anything about me.

     For instance:
    Assumption: "to go to an impoverished village".
    Reality: I've lived here for two years now, and I've travelled around this country. I'm not a tourist.

    Assumption: "if the diarist...impoverished villages in the USA"
    Reality: I grew up in an isolated, impoverished village in the USA

      I could go on, especially with you comment about how I hate America and I shouldn't come back, or some such thing.
       But if you think that saying that Americans are too obsessed with material things that it is making them unhappy is some sort of controversial statement that displays an anti-American bias, then I suggest you are more in need of a reality check than most.

     Granted, I made some overgeneralizations in my diary. You are right there. I was a little emotional when I was writing it, and admitted as much.
      What's your excuse?

    ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

    by gjohnsit on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:59:16 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  from my perspective (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gjohnsit, lgmcp, TiaRachel

      as someone who has spent a lot of time in Haiti, and as an American, I do think there are some 'dangerous' over generalizations here. Because you see people smiling, does not inherently mean they are happy. I have watched women howling with laughter at another person's horrendous misery and tragedy. Post-quake there was plenty of that - it is a cultural thing. There is plenty of theft, corruption, spite, jealousy,  hate, revenge (yes, voudon curses are practiced, rumored about and people live in deep fear of  these). People and families hold grudges that go back centuries - ugly unfounded stories spread and never get resolved. Family first? Not always - culturally men are expected/allowed to traipse the countryside leaving babies behind with rare contact or support of any type - that is why it is culturally okay to sell a child into slavery. Not so happy, but in fact miserable and usually ignored by visitors because they can't understand what they are seeing.

      I know you were emotional, and I understand how emotional it is to see what you are seeing, but please don't romanticize it. A smile is not happiness.

      •  Actually I was talking about the DR (5+ / 0-)

        not Haiti. But I get your point.
           There are several similar cultural things here. Chisme (gossip) is also popular here. It is also common for men to have multiple families here.

          I never intended to say that things are great here. In fact in many ways they are worse (I thought I got that across in the diary). This is a "boat people" country (as in people getting into rickety boats and risking their lives to get to America).
           But part of the reason for that is because America has been romanticized. They see rich, beautiful people in movies and want to be part of that. Dominicans figure that all that is needed is to get to America and everything will work out. Everyone in America is rich. They don't need to learn ingles beforehand.
           It doesn't matter what I say, I can't convince them otherwise.

          As for being happy, I honestly believe that are a little happier than most Americans. Not a lot, but a little bit.

        ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

        by gjohnsit on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 08:42:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  happiness is (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zett, TiaRachel

          relative. If they are willing to give away children to total strangers, climb into a rickety boat at night to cross the ocean, they are not perhaps happier.
          We are all human and pointing to one group as 'happier' is, I believe, naive and dangerous.
          Dangerous because I see the gooey, uninformed comments and then see the results of that lack of awareness. It is in badly conceived and executed aid projects, poverty tourism, and pseudo-cultural jingoism. It can be seen in our inability to accurately diagnose the economic and human failure that is Haiti. Rather than  seeing all parties to blame, we romantically and unrealistically only blame the blan.

          •  You are still confusing (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Haiti and the DR in your replies.

              I hear what you are saying, but perhaps you are reading more into my diary than exists.

            ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

            by gjohnsit on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:37:26 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  no - (0+ / 0-)

              In your diary you discussed what you saw from the road driving past a small section of Haiti. But the majority of Haiti is in fact not too different from what you describe of your village. Because there are more smiles, does not mean more happiness. There are vast cultural differences between the US and the DR or Haiti.

              but whatever. Over-simplification is an issue I battle with daily regarding Haiti, Haitians, aid workers, etc. So that was what I was responding to.

              •  To be fair (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I have about a dozen Haitian friends that come across the border every week for my English classes. I like them. They are very good people.

                  Also, I sometimes help at a clinic there.

                So I sort of know more than you assume.

                But then we are in subjective areas, so more debate here is pointless.

                ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

                by gjohnsit on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:16:44 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

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