viernes, 12 de junio de 2009

¿Por qué mal?

¿Por qué mal? (La gente bien - La gente mal)
July 2008 - Gente bien
South of the Border Wordpress - (La gente bien - La gente mal)
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Gente Bien, or “good people,” is a widely circulated magazine which is distributed throughout Mexico. The newspaper supplement covers the lives of the creme de la creme of Mexican society, featuring photo montages from their latest social events. The obsession with the lives of the rich and famous is a common phenomenon in any society, yet in Mexico it is especially dramatic and traumatic.

If rich people are ''gente bien'', then what are poor people (or, for that matter, middle class people)? We are only left to assume that they are ''gente mal'', or “bad people.” Mexico has some of the most extreme poverty in the world, yet it is also home to one of the richest men in the world, Carlos Slim. The disparity between the rich and poor is most evident in Mexico City, home to 19.2 million people, or almost 1/4 of Mexico’s entire population. Mexico City itself has a GDP of $315 billion, which makes it the eighth-richest urban agglomeration in the world. Yet this number is skewed by the small number of extremely rich households that shift the mean income upwards. According to a recent study by the UN, more than 25% of the people in Mexico City constitute was is called a “floating population,” living in squatter settlements or inner-city slums.
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As an American girl who could easily pass for gente bien, but whose bank account and background make me associate much more with the gente mal, I constantly find myself living in two worlds. In the metro and the public buses on my long commute to school, I am just another chilango fighting my way through the crowds. At my school, which is one of the most expensive schools in Mexico, I am just another blond haired blue-eyed fresa strolling about the perfectly manicured campus. Yet most of my fellow students have never set foot in the metro (or would even dare of doing so), and most of the people on the metro will never set foot on a campus like mine (or even dream of going to college).
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This blog is an exploration and reflection on my experiences in the DF, and my relationships with gente bien, gente mal, and everything in between.

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