Category Archives: Identity

Blogger Tag and My Seven (Just Seven?) Links

Girl running in grassy fieldRemember how much fun it was to play tag as a kid? Well, I just got in on a grown-up blogger version. Eileen at Bearshapedsphere just tagged me, so now I’m it. Thanks Eileen!

I have no idea who made this game up, but the way it works is a blogger tags you, you match your own posts in specific “Most this” and “Most that” categories, and then you tag another 5 people. I like the idea—except for the ‘just one’ part—it’s made me go back and think about everything I’ve posted here over the past 2 ½ years or so—not to mention how interesting it is to see what everyone else puts in their categories.

Here goes: Continue reading

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Cachivache & Cachantún: Antiques as bits of a life (Photo Essay)

I love antique shops–not that fancy, nose-in-the-air kind with all the fru-fru porcelain and don’t-touch crystal and wax-em-up furniture. No. I mean the little mom-and-pop corner shops with crazy assortments of real-folks stuff that was truly used by someone, somewhere, once upon a time.

Typewriter © Margaret Snook 2011

I mean the kind of shop that has all manner of stuff–the fabulous and the forlorn, the funky and the sublime, the valuable and the junk–all hodge-podged together in an inimitably haphazard arrangement that could never be repeated anywhere else. Continue reading

Available on “All 5 Continents”

Image by Ssolbergj via Wikipedia

What do geography and translation have in common?
Here’s a hint: How many continents do YOU think there are? (Oh yes, a question can TOO be a hint!)

Not seeing it? OK, here goes. Both geography and translating have a cultural component. Still no “ah-hah!”? Let me back up then.

I do a lot of translating from Spanish to English and often stumble onto (or over) the claim that something is “disponible en todos los 5 continentes,” which very straight-forwardly (though perhaps somewhat non-sensically) translates to “available on all 5 continents.”

But Wait. Just. A. Minute! Whaddya mean all FIVE continents? Everyone knows there are SEVEN continents! Continue reading

Santiago de Chile Part II: Of Dogs and Men…

There’s no denying it. One of the things that never seems to attract the attention of foreigners to Chile is the omnipresence of its street dogs (quiltros galore!). Guest poster Kathleen Skoczen is no exception. In Part 1 (Santiago by Bike) of this 2-part post, she described what she saw and thought as she rode her rented bike through the heart of Santiago and visited the Museo de la Memoria. She dedicates Part 2 to the life of dogs and, like the good anthropologist that she is, reflects on the human element that weaves the place of dogs into Chile’s cultural fabric.

The life of dogs…

Another Guest Post by Kathleen Skozcen*

Dog and shop in San Pedro de Atacama

A dog waits patiently outside a corner store in San Pedro de Atacama

My very good friend in the Dominican Republic, Kim, and I had a discussion one day, as we often do when we are visiting together after months and sometimes even years of absence. She is the patron saint of animals in the Dominican province where she lives. Although not a certified vet, she does more for animal welfare in the province than all the other vets—okay, than the other vet. As an anthropologist interested in human health and well-being, I watch her tenderly and lovingly care and mend animals (homeless, flea ridden, mangy beyond imagination) and think, “there are lots of children who could benefit from this kind spirit.” When I finally gave voice to this observation, my friend assured me that taking care of animals is taking care of people.

“How is that?” I asked. Continue reading

Santiago de Chile Part I: Memories by Bike

US anthropologist Kathleen Skozcen recently visited Chile for the first time and left with much to remember—and much to think about. She begins sorting through what she saw, heard, learned, experienced, and felt, forming her own memories while reflecting upon the city from the bike lane… Continue reading

Punxsatawney Groundhogs & a Huemul-ish suggestion for Chile

I’m such a gringa sometimes. Cachando Chile friend Marmo (of Marmota & Marmotita fame) reminded me that today was Groundhog Day (which would be Día de Marmotas, if such a thing existed here), so of COURSE I went to the official Punxsatawney Phil web site and tuned in to the live streaming of Gobbler’s Knob’s biggest event of the year. For those who don’t know (US gringos, forgive them, despite 125 years of history, not all the world is aware of Phil’s utmost importance!)

Punxsatawney Phil, Groundhog's Day, February 2, 2011

The world's most celebrated groundhog, Punxsatawney Phil, makes his 125th appearance at Gobbler's Knob (PA) on February 2, 2011

Read on to learn more about the groundhog that made Punxsatawney famous…AND for a suggestion to add a bit of much-needed national silliness to Chile’s annual calendar…

Continue reading

Miners & Media: True Life Reality Show

Where is the fine line between bringing human interest into the news and invasion of privacy? As the world hungered for more of the unfolding story of Chile’s 33 trapped miners, media coverage of this tragedy with a happy ending drew its share of criticism. And now that the excitement has wound down and these guys are heading into the aftermath, I can’t help but reflect on what lies ahead for them.

President Sebastian Piñera & 33 miners in Copiapó Hospital (Photo by José Manuel de la Maza, courtesy of the Presidencia de la República de Chile)

Privacy, Human Interest, or Media Circus

I hopped into a Santiago taxi shortly before 8:00 PM on Tuesday, October 12, anxious to get home. The rescue mission was scheduled to begin, and I had 33 miners on my mind. I asked the driver about the news. And, as often happens when I talk with cabbies, he gave me something to think about. Continue reading