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Miriam Chesner explores the Latin American culture

Miriam Chesner

Latin American culture enjoys a broad range of influences, both modern and from throughout history.

MORRIS PLAINS, NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES, September 19, 2018 / -- Whether 'high culture' or 'pop culture,' the culture of Latin America is as fascinating as it is varied. Also taking in religion and other customary, cultural practices, it's an area of great interest to Miriam Chesner, a New York University graduate, teacher of English as a second language, and cultural expert based in New Jersey.

Miriam Chesner goes on to explain that much of Latin American culture can be broken down into key areas of influence. These include the influences of pre-Columbian cultures, European colonial cultures, African cultures, and cultures originating in Spain, Italy, France, Germany, and Eastern Europe. "These European cultures are the result of immigration during the 1800s and 1900s," Chesner reveals.

Folklore also plays a large part in Latin American culture, often divided into Folk Catholicism, Colombian, Brazilian, and Mexican folklore.

Latin America further enjoys strong cultural influences from China, India, Lebanon, the Philippines, and Japan, again as the result of immigration, this time predominantly from the arrival of laborers. "Individuals arriving from these countries, in particular, have had great influences on the culture of places such as Cuba, Panama, and Peru, largely centered around food and art," Chesner adds.

"I find Latin American culture truly arresting," suggests Chesner, currently a resident of New Jersey. "Nowhere else on earth is the culture so varied and so vibrant."

Areas of particular interest to Chesner are visual art, literature, music, and philosophy, as they pertain to culture in Latin America.

Other key areas of the culture as a whole, according to the New York University graduate, center around sport, film, theater, modern dance, and cuisine.

"Cultural influences are incredibly broad in Latin America," she reveals. "In terms of sport, for example, Latin American culture is heavily influenced specifically by the British, while Latin American music borrows from a much wider spectrum of styles and other countries and cultures."

Cuisine has perhaps the broadest-reaching range of influences, borrowing simultaneously from as far afield as France, Africa, and Japan in parts of Latin America.

"Finer details of all other areas, such as music, art, theater, and dance, further differ between Mexico, Central America, and South America, too," NJ-based Chesner explains.

Asked to highlight other particular areas of interest, Chesner focuses specifically on South America, putting emphasis on the cultures of the Andean states, Peru, Brazil, and Venezuela, for example.

"The whole of Latin America is fabulously culturally diverse," she adds, wrapping up, "and I would urge anyone to delve into the history of culture in the region should they wish to discover more."

Eric Ash
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