Thursday, January 27, 2011
Doesn't Fly North: A Distinct Difference Amongst Cultures
I was introduced to the telenovela and its importance in Latin American countries early in my Spanish studies. Even though it was a brief introduction, I was taught the importance of el despecho and el amor in Spanish speaking countries. However, even after my introduction I still thought of telenovelas as the Spanish version of a soap opera with curvy women which have no problem showing a little more skin than their American TV counterparts. I do realize that there are many more differences between telenovelas and soap operas other than the degree of sexuality and level of how risqué, however I feel strongly that this higher level of sexuality in telenovelas is a testament for how different the American culture and Latin American cultures really are. For example, it came no surprise to me that the intro to Trapos Íntimos was altered for airtime in the U.S. and our class’ initial reaction to the clip is a perfect example why. Sexual relations in TV have come a long way in American television from early TV shows like “The Brady Bunch” (although not a Soap Opera) where it was mere assumption made by viewers that Mr. and Mrs. Brady sleep in the same bed to Soap Operas like “The Guiding Light” that show more passionate relations. While the amount of risqué scenes in modern American television has certainly increased, it still isn’t comparable to some of the clips of the Brazilian, Argentinean, and Venezuelan telenovelas. I feel this will always be a distinct difference between American and Latin American television and culture. This difference is also present in aspects other than television. I’ve studied a little bit of advertising in Latin American countries and the use of sex in advertisements for Latin American brands. Latin American beer ads would never fly in the U.S. It is funny how open Colombian beer ads are with sexuality when at the same time alcohol advertising in the U.S. is a risky subject. A mere google search would be enough to convey the differences between U.S. and Colombian beer advertisements. One point I found interesting in lecture was the fact that Mexican culture is more conservative than that of Central and South American countries. I haven’t learned much about Latin cultures for reasons other than improvements in my grammatical and language skills, which has unfortunately resulted in me grouping a lot of America’s neighbors to the South as having similar, almost identical cultures. I am looking forward to learning more about the differences and similarities between the Central and South American countries through their telenovelas and other forms of entertainment.