Meaning of Neighborhood

A neighborhood is a subdivision of a city or town, which usually has its own identity and whose inhabitants have a sense of belonging. A neighborhood may have been born by an administrative decision of the authorities, by a real estate development (for example, a working-class neighborhood created around a factory) or by the simple historical evolution.

The aforementioned sense of belonging and the own identity of the inhabitants of a neighborhood generate an antagonism with those who belong to another neighborhood. This is how the clubs in each zone, for example, are seen as great rivals. In general, neighboring neighborhoods are those with the most confrontations and those that exacerbate antagonism.

In many countries, the notion of neighborhood is associated with poor populations and poor housing. In this sense, a neighborhood would be what in Argentina is known as a shantytown, in Brazil as a favela or in Uruguay as a cantegril, for example.

In Argentina, belonging to a neighborhood is very strong from a cultural point of view. The neighborhood is seen as a space of almost unchanging traditions and practices, which managed to escape the advance of modernity and globalization. For this reason, the neighbors are proud to belong to one or another neighborhood. Even those who achieve economic success and move from a humble neighborhood to another with a higher socioeconomic level, often express their affection for their neighborhood of origin and never stop recognizing themselves as part of it.

According to DigoPaul, the neighborhoods usually have cultural centers, also called civic centers, where various activities are proposed for residents, generally at symbolic prices or, many times, for free; the most common are language, singing, visual arts and acting lessons, and they are usually taught to groups. In addition, in the case of artistic courses, it is normal for exhibitions to be organized every six months or at the end of the year, to bring together all the students and give them the opportunity to show their friends and family what they have learned.

Generally, these centers and their activities are looked down upon by those who have access to private classes taught by prestigious teachers; however, many of its participants are truly talented and have many tools to make a career out of their calling, even though they lack enough money for the paid lesson path. Neither age nor economic situation have any relation to ability, and it is common for choirs or neighborhood theater groups to see people of a great variety, and shows are a good opportunity to become known and get contacts that help them to achieve your goals.

The neighborhood fairs, saving regional differences, are events of a very particular richness, since they offer a large number of people from different backgrounds and professions the opportunity to meet and exchange products and culture. In general, they are characterized by centralizing a group of mobile markets in a closed square or street, where food and artisan products are sold, and music and dance shows are usually offered.

Another meaning of the term neighborhood, away from organizational and geographical issues, refers to negative qualities such as ignorance, neglect, lack of vocation and insecurity on public roads, among many others. There are several derogatory phrases that use this word to demean the subject in question; To say that someone belongs to “the typical neighborhood mob” or that their behavior and dress is “very local” certainly has nothing to do with pride or a sense of belonging.