Today we had a discussion-based lecture from one of the CEO’s of Codika Solutions, a software developing company that focuses on software for hospitals and other healthcare facilities. After that, we had a bus tour of various parts of the city, including a stop in La Boca to look at street art, the famous colorful houses, and shop around at the street markets.
We had what may seem like a contradictory day, considering the fact that we talked about innovation and modern technology while also discussing some of the largest parts of Argentinian culture: tango and La Boca. The neighborhood of La Boca has tried to maintain as much of the culture of Buenos Aires and Argentina in general as possible, but this can sometimes be difficult with the advancements of this day and age. It is definitely important for traditions to be maintained no matter how advanced the times become. Our differing values and traditions are what makes each culture so interesting and unique, so allowing those to be overshadowed by technology would be a shame.
The biggest way to maintain a cultural identity in the face of innovation is simply by using that innovation to promote a culture’s unique traits. Technology allows us to spread our cultures and introduce them to more people, which is a good thing. Just because new things are being created and introduced does not mean that the old things should be pushed out. La Boca does a great job at maintaining the historical culture of the neighborhood by having artists paint murals all over the neighborhood that depict various parts of their culture, such as tango and La Boca Junior football (soccer) team.
Additionally, while on our bus tour of the city, I realized a really great way of combining culture and innovation is through music. Our tour guide was playing traditional tango music for us, and then would play new versions of tango music, such as electronic tango and tango-heavy metal. While they are definitely unconventional and may seem downright odd to some, they allow a tradition as iconic as tango be incorporated into modern life.
Check back tomorrow to hear about my tour of a public hospital, botanical gardens, and the Evita museum!
*Picture shows houses in La Boca