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Globalization is a powerful phenomenon. The power of cultures to cross its own national lines and enter foreign territories has brought much debate. Some welcome it while others don’t. Our question is, can cultures successfully be adopted by foreign communities? Let’s find out. We will use Chicano culture as an example.
First off, there is a lot of pride within Chicano culture. But what does being Chicano actually mean? Despite the existence of numerous definitions and meanings throughout numerous texts and literature, it can still be a bit confusing to someone who is unfamiliar with the culture. In it’s simplest form, it is a chosen identity of Mexican-Americans living in the U.S. who infuse both American and Mexican cultures.
Chicanos in general are bicultural Americans who absorb both American and Mexican cultures. In Southern California for example, Chicano culture is widespread within art and films, as well as in foods and cars such as the lowriders. Music is also a big arena that has been influenced by Chicanos such as Rock and Roll singer Ritchie Valens who was born in the U.S. to Mexican parents (he was also portrayed by Lou Diamond Phillips in the motion picture, La Bamba)
But how widespread can a culture be? Can it cross major transnational lines? Apparently so. According to a video produced by The New York Times, there is a Chicano “subculture” within Japan. The question of how it made its way to Japan is also interesting which I attribute to the power of globalization. Chicano art, films, and music have crossed U.S. boundaries and entered into Japanese communities. Although Chicano culture encompasses much more than what the video explains, it is still interesting to see how Japanese have adopted it into their lives (you can view the video above or from the link below.)
Globalization is real and this is an example of one of its powers.