De Donde Soy

Buenos Aires Travel Blog

 › entry 3 of 3 › view all entries
When I meet a native here in Buenos Aires, the question “De donde eres” always arises. In the beginning of my stay I would always reply “Soy de los Estados Unidos” because Atlanta is where I was born and raised. Lately I have started to reply that “Soy Pakistani”. It’s been interesting to see the change in reactions in the people here as I go from being American to being Pakistani. When I reply back that I am Pakistani, I seem to get a more positive response. I think this is partially because other than the Mosque, one will rarely find Pakistanis in Buenos Aires. Another reason I think that I get a better response is because Pakistan is another third world country in the struggle. I think that the Argentines respect another country who have seen obstacles and currently overtaking these barriers. It’s almost like having something in common. With the U.S. being one of the top powers in the world, some of the Argentines have a perception that Americans are cocky and arrogant. We’ve experienced this ‘American perception’ from one of our waiters at a restaurant this past week. When I say that I am from Pakistan, I seem to already have a connection with the people here. I feel more welcomed than when I say I am from America. To a certain extent, this illustrates relations between the countries. Latin American countries may think that the U.S. being at the top looks down upon them and treats them as if they are not near our level. One of our lecturers this past week spoke of Pakistani - Argentine relations, and how they are consistently strong. This shows how politics affects relations on a smaller more personal level. When people ask where I am from, I am going to reply that I am originally from Pakistan but born in the United States.
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