Alejandra Pau reports for Pagina Siete:
INEZ GONZALES and ERBOL MADE A RESEARCH on PARTNERSHIP FORMED BY BOLIVIANS AND ALIENS, TO SEE IF LOVE HELPS OVERCOME DIFFERENCES.
Couples from different countries, an space to achieve multiculturalism?
“As in music, when you put bass clef at the beginning of a pentagram, a note will not have the same meaning as when placing a treble clef. In this research, when you put ‘key’ of love, relationships change,” says the author of Couples from different cultures. Spaces for multiculturalism?, Ines Gonzales.
Couples from different cultures … is a study conducted in La Paz and Cochabamba in which we interviewed 12 couples in their marriages mostly formed by a person of a foreign nationality and Bolivia in order to know whether in the private sphere with love as mediator, can achieve true multiculturalism. [middle class couples]
“Interculturalism is an issue that concerns us as an institution (ERBOL) and unfortunately, as a matter of public policy, it has not yielded many results ( … ). Always cultural tensions are imposed, including in La Paz, and then we ask: How will it be in the private sphere, Could it be that in couples power relations arise?” says the author of the study and head of educational communication in ERBOL Ines Gonzales.
The study included couples with and without children. Mostly shaped by U.S. or European countries that joined Bolivians.
Couples told the circumstances in which they met, fell in love, married and began to live together and have children. Recounted how they had to adapt to situations with families, food, being away from their loved ones, among other things, love.
Gonzales indicates that couples of different cultures in Bolivia are not many, but emphasizes the importance of exploring a space that has not been investigated in our context.
The search for partners was not as simple as the author asserts “it’s complicated that people talk about their private life.”
However, the answer to the questions posed was initially positive because power relations do not arise in the way that happens in the public sphere.
“Power relations are dispersed and more imposing negotiation, dialogue, listening and understanding the other,” argues Gonzales.
For investigating the key word is “adaptation.”
Love … breaking prejudices
When love is present both learn from another, as suggested by research, it is the intent and purpose of multiculturalism pick up and learn the best in others to enrich their own culture.
At the same time, both develop a critical look at their culture and that of the couple.
The garbage in the streets and the “Bolivian time” are some of the critics of foreigns to Bolivians. Very individualistic family behavior is the main criticism of Bolivians to them. Indeed, all the partners agree that raise their children in Bolivia is beneficial because they can spend more time with them.
Some couples say their union in Bolivia with the player role, the traditional premise of “if you get married you have to have children” is associated. But other social prejudices are also present.
A Spanish had to deal with the historical burden of the colony. A coca – based mother in the Chapare, which asked his son, when he came to visit with his American partner, not to speak of the nationality of their daughter-in-law with the locals. Those are some of the prejudices that couples had to face.
A fertile ground
“We believe that private space is a fertile space to create multiculturalism. Because with love ‘clef’ you give freedom. In those couples in which there is basis for this dialogue there is freedom to define what each believes,” explains the author.
Both yield and create a world in educating their children with the language or languages with which they were raised. They leave their offspring the free exercise of their citizenship and religion. For that Gonzales is gain.
An important aspect is that couples included in the research are mostly middle class and met in the areas of volunteerism and international cooperation, that made an enabling rendezvous.
According to Gonzales, is a very important detail that can not be generalized to all relationships from the results of this research. It is necessary to see if there are other interests for the formation of couples and territorial interests. Something she knows happens between women from the Yuki ethnicity and Quechua me in the TIPNIS.
What will the reader find in the book? “You will find the opportunity to reconsider their identity construction and their own perspectives on their culture,” she concludes.
The research opens the door to new studies on the subject. The conclusion states that love seems to be one of the keys to overcoming cultural differences. How would the philosopher Alain Badiou, quoted in the research, “in love, the mediation of the other is worth in itself. And that’s the love encounter: one goes after the other, in order to make him exist as oneself, as is”.
The book ‘s publication: Couples from different cultures. Spaces for multiculturalism? is on sale on the fifth floor of ERBOL building, Ballivian street corner with Colon [La Paz].
Cost. The publication will cost Bs30. The printing of the first edition of one thousand copies.
Couples. For couples who took part in the research, Ines Gonzales, the researcher, was an enriching experience.
Research. The time of the research, covering La Paz and Cochabamba, lasted about nine months. To find couples, took between two and three months.
My two daughters have alien husbands. I see them in love with one another and that makes me really happy. They met their couples abroad and remain overseas. As long as they are in love, nothing else matters in family life.