Differences Between Island and Mainland Puerto Ricans Essay

2602 Words11 Pages
Differences Between Island and Mainland Puerto Ricans As many immigrants arrive in the United States of America and begin to call it “home”, comparisons between such immigrants are certainly inevitable. In particular, the U.S. Hispanic population gives more room for such comparisons since their cultures and traditions are very similar. Most of their similarities stem from a common Spanish heritage. However, there is a lot more to being Hispanic than just speaking Spanish or eating rice and beans. What most people do not understand is that there are also many differences amongst Hispanics and that, most of all, there are many differences between people born and raised in Hispanic countries and people born and raised in the United…show more content…
[. . .] By these definitions, Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico are a nation; Puerto Ricans in New York may still be part of the Puerto Rican nation, depending on who is doing the defining, but in the U.S. mainland they constitute an ethnic group. (12) The fact that island Puerto Ricans see themselves as a nation whereas mainland Puerto Ricans see themselves as a minority and an ethnic group in The United States, gives rise to the main differences that exist between the two. However, in order to delve into deeper comparisons between the ways in which island and mainland Puerto Ricans self-identify, it is imperative to understand the historical events that have shaped Puerto Ricans and their heritage. Puerto Rico’s association with the United States and its metamorphosis began when in 1898 U.S. troops invaded Puerto Rico during the Spanish-American War. Up until that point, Puerto Rico had remained one of Spain’s last two colonies in the New World. Puerto Rico’s Spanish heritage is seen when “Puerto Rican essayist Antonio Pedreira, writing in the 1930’s, termed the first three centuries of Spanish rule a period of ‘faithful prolongation of the Spanish culture’” (qtd. in Morris 21). Spanish influence is also seen when “without rejecting his ‘Puerto Rican Spanishness,’ the Puerto Rican ‘considered himself a Spaniard from here with ideas and reactions different from those from there’” (qtd.
Open Document