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#14998 - 05/24/02 02:53 PM Another GREAT Val Shal article
Marty Online   happy
From the Belize Times of this week...


Britney Spears, NSYNC, Barbie doll, MTV, BET. The mention of these words
and/or names by Belizeans in a certain context makes me uneasy. I don't
know, maybe it's only me (am ok with that) but every time our people mention
these things it is to demonstrate that they are knowledgeable of or
supposedly accustomed to, being an American. It seems to me that what they
are trying to do is, try somehow through the acquisition or mention of these
things that they are somehow better off than just the regular Belizean. If
they can in someway be seen as a part of "the American" they have some

I see it the opposite way. I see people who have low self-esteem and the
only way they can feel good about themselves is by trying to falsely be
identified with their fantasy. The mention of having been to the "States"
for many Belizeans is to have accomplished something, to be much celebrated.
This is certainly a cultural phenomenon but I won't try to analyze it from
that perspective.

It is through the pursuit for this foreign-based, deformed personality that
so many Belizeans define Belize's socio-economic development. In other
words, to develop is to be like the "States." I think that it is the
material wealth of our neighbour to the north that has become such an
obsession to our people.

A lot of Belizeans have never been to the US and seen it like it really is,
but believe they have anyway. Why? They watch cable TV and all the US based
programs. Life is great on TV and the American Dream is demonstrated in
vivid colours. I wonder sometimes what else could the people believe after
watching so much American television.

I have this feeling that the development of Belize is getting skewed because
of these people who want the things they see on TV. It is no longer about
producing and exporting and trading. It is more about hustling some money so
that they can buy what they see. This means that the more they want to buy
the more we need to spend on imports. And those imports are not things that
will further develop Belize, they are Barbie Dolls and purple monster

There are too many young men who want to wear expensive sneakers and jeans
and drive around in nice cars all day. BET ain't for real! How about doing
some work around the house brother?

We don't want to eat dukunu or boiled corn. Did somebody say_?

Belizeans are hypnotized by bogus TV materialism. They have lost their
original Belizean-ness or something. Not all of them but too many of them.
Come on people; turn off the TV for a while. Go take a trip to your grandma
in Crooked Tree or Teakettle. See life in real colors. Start living and stop
dreaming. Belize is for real. If you live on Caye Caulker, you don't need an
SUV, you need a boat.

Belize is a wonderful place. Those who come from abroad see it differently
than we do because they come from a different environment. We have a lot of
things they desire and would do anything to have. But they don't tell us.
Maybe you should be thinking why. Enjoy our homeland. Work hard to develop
it in a way that you can be proud. It is ok to make your life as comfortable
as possible but do so within your means.

It is ok to be a Belizean again. I said so.

#14999 - 05/24/02 05:28 PM Re: Another GREAT Val Shal article
IslandJunkie Offline
I truly enjoyed reading this article. Many points resonated with me, two in particular:

“See life in real colors. Start living and stop dreaming.”

We could all learn a thing or two from this. Sure, life must consist of work and other necessary activity, but real life is done with other people – family, friends. It’s about being you and sharing yourself with the world around you. I take the “start living and stop dreaming” as a challenge. So often we live in our dreams – and I want to LIVE, not dream life away. The irony of this is that dreams often come before reality. DREAM BIG, and make those dreams come true! I have seen, and want to continue to see; my dreams become reality, and not waste time dreaming about things that should never come to pass.

The second point I want to comment on:

“We have a lot of things they desire and would do anything to have. But they don't tell us.”

Can I take a minute to tell you? I don’t even know how to articulate this properly so forgive my fumbling. Belize has so many things I desire and would do (almost) anything to have. Take the Belizean people, for example. I enjoy my time in Belize more than any other reason because I feel free there. That says volumes about my life back here in the good ol’ USA. Maybe it’s my own insecurities, maybe my lack of confidence in my value as a human being. Whatever. What I am lacking, I have found in Belize, at least for now. I have found, in my limited experience, a place where people value other people for who they are. Where people search for the good; the love and special gifts in other people and seem to have a unique ability for displaying the beauty in one another. I am impressed by how Belizeans seem to be able to look beyond the outward appearance directly into a person’s heart and soul. This is a gift, and certainly just my own perceptions. Don’t lose your “original Belizean-ness”. It’s too beautiful a thing to trade for an empty, materialistic life.

#15000 - 05/24/02 10:56 PM Re: Another GREAT Val Shal article
JmHanna Offline
You are exactly right. I just didn't know how to say it.

#15001 - 05/25/02 10:58 AM Re: Another GREAT Val Shal article
disathing Offline

I'll say so Belize has a charm that is Belize

I have been back in the norte now for a year and have seen that the tv is not a good thing here as well the kids are still shooting each other and now i read that this practice has been exported OH MY LORD drivebys dis no good

The people are far to kind, gental and respectful for this kind of behavior and it is the poison of tv/hollywood that has made this so, but it is not only Belize that suffers this kind of poisoning but almost every where even in cuba, in Havana the cable (owned by PAPA/Castro)even had CNN on it so much for censureship and supressing the news.

It must be the weather or the sushine,the food aw the food or maybe just the smallness of community,or maybe Im just homesick for something that is so awsome, but I do know what made Baron Bliss do what he did for I to have a love for Belize that I can not describe in words even when i lived there and was asked i could not put into words what it was that made me want to be in belize instead of the north

Living is tough in the north no time for friends and family to busy gota go go go go go go go where? just go nowhere but go energy not reality, things not people,bla bla bla......

Some times even the people i know say you really liked Belize didnt you, ah yes i do for it is Belize, but what about this place or that place but it still comes back to Belize where my heart is, so maybe it is because grabs your heart and soul as you pass by it for the people of Belize have a heart and soul that cannt be found any where else

#15002 - 05/31/02 11:13 AM Re: Another GREAT Val Shal article
Enigma Offline
It's true I guess "you don't miss what you don't know"

Once you know though, it's human nature to want what you can't have. The old adage, "the grass is always greener on the other side" applies here.

Television is one of those things that brings help and trouble all at the same time.
It keeps us informed of world events and teaches us with Discovery, TLC, HGTV, etc...
But all the flashy commercials prove just how materialistic society has become in the states.

Some Belizeans think the streets are paved with gold in the states, only because they haven't lived there. Yes there is opportunity, and money and personal possessions but there is also a high price to pay for all of it. Work, bills, stress, very little personal free time because you are to busy making a living to have all these thing you never have time to enjoy anyway! It's like a wheel in a mouse cage, running and running and never getting anywhere. And at the end of most Americans lives, what memories do they have?

Valentino is an excellent writer and has very good insight on life as it should be.
Well done!

#15003 - 05/31/02 11:31 AM Re: Another GREAT Val Shal article
IslandJunkie Offline
OK, Come ON! What memories do Americans have at the end of their lives????!!!!?????? As many sweet, wonderful, beautiful memories as anyone in the world. It all depends on how you choose to live your life individually - not what country, city, town, race, creed, religious or socioeconomic background you come from. As an American, some of my sweetest memories come from my travel - to Belize, to Eastern Europe, to the West Indies. But there's no place like home, and what I really long for when I need peace in my life is the Oregon Coast, the beauty of the mountains here, the lush green of the Willammette Valley, my friends and family. All the wonderful things I DO take time to enjoy here. Just because I posted earlier about how I agree that Belize is wonderful doesn't make America or anywhere else less wonderful. It's just a different culture.

#15004 - 05/31/02 11:43 AM Re: Another GREAT Val Shal article
M-A Gaffney Offline
Exactly, it's a different culture. The point being way too many young Belizeans covet an American culture they THINK they know all about cuz they saw it on the boob tube.

#15005 - 05/31/02 01:12 PM Re: Another GREAT Val Shal article
it is very sad that tv can have such an impact. that being the case you would think that all of us american tourists run to the sea in slow motion, bleached blond hair flying in the breeze & big-boobs-a-bouncin. there are many opportunities in the us and hopefully the people that imigrate here are achievers. if not, they will probably not succeed. it all boils down to what is important to you as an individual. i personally don't need a mansion full of material things and fancy cars in the garage. there is a price to pay to enjoy american life. i drive my vw beetle to work each day on freeways sometimes spanning 10 lanes across. i think i will be much more suited to a hand pulled ferry. we are all fooled by the "grass is greener" thing at least once in our life.

#15006 - 05/31/02 05:47 PM Re: Another GREAT Val Shal article
IslandJunkie Offline

I understand your point and fully agree. I just didn't take to well to that ONE comment of Enigma's (even though I agree with most of that post).

And, one further thought, it's like many of us that hang out on this board that covet the Belizean culture and way of life we THINK we know after spending a week or two on vacation! It works both ways. (That said, I am admittedly one who covets...)


Gay - Well, I'm a blond, big-boobs-bouncing, slow-motion running baywatch babe... aren't you?!?! LOL!

[This message has been edited by IslandJunkie (edited 05-31-2002).]

#15007 - 05/31/02 08:47 PM Re: Another GREAT Val Shal article
Enigma Offline
You're right Island Junkie. Some American's actually do take the time to have vacations and spend quality time with their families.
I guess I should have put that a different way.

I'm speaking to the section of people who do not stop to smell the roses so to speak.

The other thing that bother's me about America at this time is that it seems to be a target for every nutcase killer and I personally feel much safer here in this little part of the world. Hell, a lot of folks have never even heard of Belize, much less have any desire to anialate it's population. Maybe I have a false sense of security here, I sure hope not.
Maybe I'm just chicken and flew the coup before the crap really hits the fan, ABSOLUTELY. I have very mixed feelings about patriotism and that would open up a whole new can of worms so I won't go into that.
Not because I can't talk about it, I just don't want to. I don't want to spend any more worry and stress than is necessary on any given topic. That's why I am here, to just chill out.

I guess in a nutshell, I'm just happy with a more simple way of living.

I apologise if I upset anyone earlier. It is a matter of wants and needs for each individual person.

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