Each country has its traditions and its customs. Colombian culture is diverse and colorful. The anthropologists who are involved in the analysis of human condition give a definition to the term culture as "the traditions and customs transmitted through learning that governs the beliefs and behavior of the folks subjected to them". This paper touches upon the culture of Spanish-speaking country, namely Columbia. The film Maria Filled with Grace represents "a window into the culture" of Columbia. It really is known that through culture we can learn much about customs, behaviors, everyday practices, worldviews, and beliefs of an organization of people under study. According to this broad anthropological sense the culture of this or that group of folks shows us such aspects as interpersonal relations, family structures, class and race relations, ways of communicating, body language, dress, arts, crafts, traditions, festivals, religion, politics and economy. The paper is organized so that it is split into three sections. The first portion of the essay touches upon the central issue of the film. The next section represents the most important points extracted from the film regarding the Spanish-speaking culture: interpersonal and family relationships, customs, religion, food, music, politics, economics, and class and race relations. To conclude the primary points of the essay are summarized.
THE CENTRAL ISSUE OF THE FILM MARIA FILLED WITH GRACE
Our life is filled with troubles and difficulties. Sometimes we come across the inescapable situations which make us perform rush acts. However, not all individuals can cope with their troubles. They are often at loss and cannot come to the right decision. The primary character Maria Alvarez, a girl of seventeen yrs. old, could escape all the troubles that have been on her behalf way and may make the right decision to stay in the USA and start a new life. (Sarris)
This young pretty girl had significant amounts of personality and was prone to stubbornness and brave decisions. She had good relations with her friends but sometimes was at odds with her family. In all the situations Maria paid attention to her heart and had not been afraid of the consequences. Being pregnant she was not afraid to visit a foreign country with 62 pellets in her stomach and earn a rather large sum of money. This was her first step to start a new life in a fresh country where she'll have the ability to bring up her child. (Sarris)
She visited church and, may be, the Blessed Virgin Mary directed her to get the way out of the situation. Just imagine the type of life Mary could have if she stayed in Colombia. Poverty, a tiny baby on her behalf hands, issues with her family, work at a flower plantation, a man who married her without love - Mary didn't deserve all these things. The central issue of the film is showing the fate of a young girl who was simply directed by God to change her life for a much better one. (Maria Filled with Grace)
THE DETAILS THROUGH THE FILM MARY FULL OF GRACE WHICH REPRESENT THE SPANISH-SPEAKING CULTURE
It is very interesting to discover a great deal of examples from the film Mary Full Of Grace which show the Spanish-speaking culture, namely the culture of Columbia. We realize that Columbia is a part of a Latin-American culture but it includes its own characteristics. From the annals we know that Columbia was influenced by the Spanish culture which left its marks in Colombian life. (Arts and Culture of Columbia)
Economics. Using the info given in the film, we can certainly define the economical situation in the united states. Maria lives in a small Colombian City which is represented by small houses, dirty streets, poor residents, unemployment, high prices for lodging, low salaries. That is why we can conclude that the economics of the united states is at low level. Maria, the primary character of the story, worked at a flower plantation and got poor wages. This money was not enough on her behalf family which consisted of her mother, grandmother, her sister and her nephew.
Food. We can observe that Maria and her family could not allow to consume expensive food. Bread was the main meals. Sausages were a delicacy for Maria. Several episodes show that her boyfriends Juan and Franklin bought her some flat cakes which were sold everywhere in the streets of her town.
Family Relationship. The relationship in Maria's family were strained. Her sister was left alone with your baby on her hands. She was not content with her life. She did not work and everything the quarrels among the list of sisters were connected with the finances. Maria gave a part of her salary to her sister and mother. Nevertheless, we can easily see that Maria loves her family and in NY she asks Lucy's sister to call to Colombia. She was anxious about her family. The drug-dealers could kill all her family if she ran away. However, at the end, in New York, Maria decided to stay in america and start a fresh life.
Interpersonal Relationship. There are several types of interpersonal relations in this film. Maria and Juan, Maria and Lucy, Maria and Blanca, Maria and Juana. The bright exemplory case of interpersonal relationships of Maria and Juan. She realizes that the son will not love her. But she informs him of her pregnancy. When he says that he is prepared to marry he, she refuses him. Associated with that she will not love him. He insists on the marriage and brings her the example of her sister who stayed alone. Maria pays no focus on this. She knows Juan is not the man of her love.
Religion. Religion plays an important role in the life of the key character Maria. The episode in the church proves the fact that Maria is a religious person. She prays in the church and asks God and the Blessed Virgin to help her and her unborn child. For Colombians religion is very important. Maria has a cross on her neck. There was a cross on the wall of Fernando's room in NY. Fernando was a representative of the Spanish Community in New York who helped Maria and Juana and advised them to return the cocain capsules to the drug-dealers as soon as possible. Maria did not come with an abortion. She knows that her child will be happy in NY. Her new friends can help her with her job, the physician can help her to regulate her pregnancy.
Customs. The customs of the Colombian people also were shown in the film. Thus, Juan, a boyfriend of Maria, says said he cannot stay in the house of his wife following the marriage. It really is their tradition to have a young wife to the house of an husband.
Music. The music is represented by the Spanish song and dances. We can see Maria engaged for a dance by a young man and she likes music and dances. We are able to note that the Colombians prefer Spanish music. It really is an integral part of their culture.
Politics. The politics in Colombia is shown by the next episodes in the film. We are able to see that the drug business is flourishing in the united states and the government takes no measures concerning this problem. Unmarried mothers do not get any payments from the state of hawaii. Maria's sister is an example. The level of wages is low. The federal government does not focus on the degrees of payment. There exists unemployment in the country. Maria had to go to Bogota and discover a job.
Class and race relations. Class relations are represented by the episode on the flower plantation where it was forbidden for Maria to go to the toilet. The owner made Maria and other girls work long hours. Race relations are shown in the episode when Colombian girls were made drug mules and their stomachs were used as a location for hiding the drugs.
In conclusion, I should say that the film Maria filled with Grace is a good example to get to know the culture of Colombia. It could be easily used as a window into the culture. I believe it is a good opportunity for anthropologists to find out more about individuals and culture of Colombia. It really is known that Colombian culture is considered to be a store house of several cultural influences: Spanish and African cultures. Spanish culture is connected with the colonizers and African culture is connected with slave trading in the united states. (Colombian Culture)
These facts can be observed in the film too.