Keeping Things Colorful

On today’s episode of Plus3 Argentina: Innovation by Codika, tango talk, and a trip to La Boca.

We arrived back at Austral’s downtown campus this morning to attend a lecture from a representative of Codika Mobile Solutions, a software development start-up native to Argentina. During the lecture, we discussed the general idea of innovation, what it means, and how it is achieved. We also covered different methods of innovation that could allow for more or less flexibility throughout the process. For the most part, we spoke mainly of the positives of innovation, such as improving living situations and increasing efficiency levels in day-to-day life. However, in other ways, innovation may also pose a threat to a country’s traditions and culture.

From our trip to La Boca today, I was able to see how Argentina preserved its culture in the face of innovation. While walking around the area, I saw vendors on the streets selling traditional maté gourds and other types of art which represented the colorful culture of the neighborhood. The country’s traditional dance, the Tango, remained a relevant theme throughout the markets. However, in other ways, tradition has failed to remain completely preserved in this area. Most vendors spoke at least some English to us when we passed by, and many stores sold the usual touristy souvenir shirts and name tags seen at most travel destinations.

While it is important to promote innovation in order to maintain efficiency and keep up with outside competition, it is equally important to preserve a country’s culture. By maintaining historically and culturally significant areas such as La Boca, countries like Argentina are able to keep an important aspect of their nation alive. Sharing traditional art and technologies (like the street vendors selling maté gourds) is one way to both preserve culture and interest a country’s visitors in its traditions.

Innovation and tradition can also work together. We were able to hear this through a more modern version of Argentina’s traditional Tango music, Electrotango. The more pop-like version of this traditional music appeals to younger generations. Although it is not the same as the original music used to dance the Tango, it maintains many of the sounds that the genre is known for. In this way, while the music has been changed, it preserves an aspect of a tradition that is important to Argentina and its culture.

Overall, I really enjoyed visiting La Boca today and getting the opportunity to see the colorful buildings and streets I had heard so much about. Tomorrow, we’ll be visiting two more hospitals, and this will be our last site visit. It’s crazy to think that we only have a few days left in Buenos Aires. For now, hasta mañana, see you tomorrow!

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