Americanization in Northern Mexico
We eat, breath, speak, see, hear and live the American culture, in Mexican soil. Monterrey, just a couple of miles south of Texas, is the epicenter of Americanization in Mexico, we not only… Read more
Americanization in Northern Mexico
We eat, breath, speak, see, hear and live the American culture, in Mexican soil. Monterrey, just a couple of miles south of Texas, is the epicenter of Americanization in Mexico, we not only believe we are more “civilized” and the rest of Mexico, we are educated to believe so.
When my Americans friends come to visit me from West Virginia, they couldn’t believe their eyes, how American the city was: skyscrapers, cars (of course) and we have fridge and electric power (I am not lying), and Starbucks and McDonald’s, in everyone corner, they were somewhat disappointed they weren’t living the true Mexico.
In the northern Mexican society, America is a place to look upon to, we are so influence to by whatever the US says or does, and their way of live. For example, take Monterrey Tech, founded by Eugenio Garza Sada, a prominent Mexican business entrepreneur, after the American college system, and the campus itself resembles so much the MIT, the Alma Matter of Garza Sada. We need to know English to get our degree, even if the language is of no use in the field, the school promotes far more the football team than the soccer team, we are encourage to go abroad, to embrace business, English propaganda from the school is everywhere and the image is too, and not to say they are shifting from Spanish courses, to an all-English major by 2015 or so. And this is only in the school, the leader of the college-system in Mexico, and whatever it does, is quickly follow by the other.
Back in my house, the American culture is everywhere to be seen, both my parents are US educated, and they educated my siblings and me with a curious mix of Americanism and Mexican values. My mom is what can we said is a “soccer mom”, an ultra-modern independent woman with not much time for anything, she watches American TV show hits like Drop Dead Diva, Sex and the City, Desperate Housewives and The Law and Order, and listens to American 70’s hits music. She runs her own business (a small child daycare), and spends her nights with her friends, and don’t get me started on Facebook. My dad is more “intellectual” but on the American scope also, he reads a lot of American authors, watches History Channel, Discovery and NatGeo, he throws some slangs from time to time, and uses American history, examples and American law, when he tries to teach us something, and always, always compares the Mexican political system with the American one, but being the grandson of a revolutionary hero, he also tends to be ultranationalist Mexican, he of course gets angry when the US denies their responsibility in the War Against Drugs, he doesn’t like that much the American unilaterism and also the monopolistic abusive practices from US corporations and the Us government subsidies to crops and agriculture (my dad is a cattle rancher).
And my friends, they are the living image of Cindy la Regia (a fictional character mocking the Monterrey way of life), they are of course American educated (they attended the American School Foundation Monterrey), they dressed like an American, the love gossip girl, ¾ of the words they speak is in English, they can easily be confused by an American girl when in the US, and my male friends they don’t lag behind, they (we) all speak English, and we watch American shows, the root for out favorite NFL teams, we paly beer pong, we listen to American Hits, and we can wait to vacation in the US.
The way the American culture has penetrated the Mexican and my life got a push from the internet, back in the day, I watched the American shows translated (poorly) by the local TV, the movies, we only watched the ones approved by the government, and I had little contact with people from foreign lands. Now that I own and iPhone and have all-time Internet anywhere, everything I want to know is just one click away. I don’t care if the government bans a movie for “attempting” to religion or anything, I just get online and there is. The news and situations that are happening, I just get on twitter and that’s it, all the info I need, when I needed it is right there, even when I studied abroad, I still felt a home, Skype call to my friends, read the local newspaper online, follow my friends lives by Facebook, is like I even was there! No more hard time as my parents use to write letter an took them months to get a response, I just get on Whatsapp and text my friends in the Netherlands, that easy. The government has so little tools to follow all the online users and track the things we are doing, and the way the jurisdictions of the law in the cyberspace are much more easy to evade.
The traditional media and the old-ways for the government to control the people are gone, the internet is so intricate in our lives that we think we are entitled to it, and we are far more aware of our rights than the people of the South, you see, Mexico can be said is two countries in one, the industrialized north and the rural south, which one you think is more Americanized? You guessed right, the North, not only by our closeness to the US, but we have grown with some of the hardships the Americans have grown with, the North was populated by outcasts back in the colonial era, in early-Mexico, the north was ignored by the central government for our lack of resources and military place, so we have to stand by our own, the Southerner people are more used to have a paternalist government, as we can see the socialist-style governments that rule the south, than the north, which we are more “Americans” in the sense that we know everything we need to succeed is in us, and we don’t expect the government to be there for us all the time. Even the Mexican constitution is a weird mix of socialist ideals (every Mexican is entitle to a house, healthcare, education and work, consecrated in 1917), and some really capitalist fundamentals (anti-trust laws, freedom of speech), they all get combined to create this complex scenario.
The American culture is present in every moment in my life, when I talk to my friends we throw American jokes and stuff like that, I even have an American boyfriend. Never before I realized how Americanized my life is, even the laptop I am writing is an Apple, but the fact that my parents and more my dad never forgets is culture, it makes me something sort of a Mexican with American Values, I cherish the values the Americans cherish, freedom of speech, free trade, but I try to put them in the Mexican context, I think we are in the political time the US was back in the late 1800’s, but the internet and our connections to America (like this) and to the worlds is making this change and Americanization for better of worse far more faster that we ever expected.