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Vernacular in a Transnational World

By Lindsay Kuhlmann

spain On our last day of class before Spain we discussed the assigned articles for Spain. I found the articles to be very interesting and most importantly they made me question if a country can maintain some of its vernacular characteristics if it has become transnational.

In Mary M. Crain’s article "The Remaking of an Andalusian Pilgrimage Tradition," she explores the Andalusian pilgrimage to Rocio. This pilgrimage has changed over the years due to influence by globalization. This influence has lead to the formation of two opposition groups, the "Yuppez" and the "Indians." The Yuppez began the pilgrimage when the appeal of the being seen in the media arrived. They came with their expensive clothing and cars and were clearly different from the rest of the pilgrims. As a result some of the young pilgrims, who resented the Yuppez, formed a group called the Indians. The Indians ride horses in ragged clothing and play tricks on the Yuppez. They also claim to be a true representation of pilgrims.  Yet when one looks closer into this issue one can see the flaw in the Indians' reasoning. They base their image on what the Yuppez aren’t--doesn’t that make them equally as far away from the original pilgrims as the Yuppez?

            Spain is truly a transnational country. When watching T.V I saw a Spanish version of American Idol. The same recipe for success was used as in the U.S. There were attractive contestants with good voices singing songs in Spanish. I was even able to recognize some songs that had been translated to Spanish. This to me was a transnational show at its best.

          feet  If the Spanish version of American Idol was a transnational show does that make the Flamenco shows vernacular? At the beginning of our Global Cities course I might have thought that was the case. But now I don’t quite believe that something as ethnic and seemingly vernacular is truly vernacular. With globalization came outside influences, that changed vernacular aspects of Spanish society. What style is true Flamenco? This is another concept discussed in Maria Papapavlou’s article "The City as a Stage: Flamenco in Andalusian Culture." She describes the celebration in which Spanish women wear Flamenco dresse--and in protest, women who view themselves as “true” Flamenco dancers do not wear the dresses. Once again a group has defined itself against another group. Perhaps one of these groups has been influenced by globalization. Thus both groups will have been influenced by globalization. 

            In conclusion it seems that while some things in a transnational society are vernacular they nonetheless have changed. Does this change make them transnational or vernacular? How much change is allowed before vernacular becomes transnational? 

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