My beliefs, morals, values, and views on my culture are based upon my upbringing, the values within my family, and the norms adopted by my culture. However, I can’t only thank my family for whom I am today; my personal experiences and feelings have had a huge impact on my cultural views and experiences. I went to Puerto Rico when I was four years old and haven’t been ever since. I remember eating limbers and roosters crowing and hot steam rising from the ground from a passing shower but nothing about my generations past. It’s sad to know nothing about an island that many of my kind are very proud of. I’m clueless of what my Puerto Rican people have been through. Political, economic, social relations, what about them, I wonder? All I know about the island’s is that my relatives are Puerto Ricans from an island in the Caribbean called Puerto Rico. I Christina Ruiz was an easy-going American “Puerto Rican” teen growing up, my family was small growing up it was mom, dad & my younger brother who was 5 years younger than I. I went to school, pre-K-12th grade in Springfield, Mass. I had a handful of friends in my school. It was hard for me to trust people, but that came from my dad always embedding it into our heads “Careful who you trust”. I grew up in Plainfield / Main Street, the Cities North end neighborhood this was my community, and was where I'd grow up to be an adult. Over in this area, is what many people called the “ghetto” part of town; the low income housing, Main
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For most of its history, Puerto Rico has been controlled by an outside power, and its people oppressed. While Puerto Rico is currently a U.S. territory, Spanish colonialism has had a significant impact on the island’s development and identity. The history of the island itself is proof of this fact, demonstrating each step Puerto Rico took to reach its current state. By examining the stages of Spanish control that Puerto Rico experienced, we can determine how each stage affected the structure and identity of Puerto Rico.
On the other hand, personal experiences of a Puerto Rican woman are shown and she explains how people around her judge her behavior, her actions, and even the way she dresses.
I relate each component with a historical event in Puerto Rican politics and also consider how through this historic mobilization Puerto Ricans have gained entitlement to more power, equality, representation, consciousness from other ethnic groups, and to some degree, social change. I focus on the Puerto Ricans’ migration to Connecticut, their development of ethnic awareness and power awareness, their realization of common interests, their competing ethnic projects, and the brokered representation they have endured as detailed in Jose Cruz’s book, Identity and Power: Puerto Rican Politics and the Challenge of Ethnicity. Finally, I examine an important point that Cruz only touched upon briefly, which is the idea of cultural citizenship in the Puerto Rican community. This added point helps us to fully understand the role identity politics played in Puerto Ricans’ lives.
Since the nineteenth century Puerto Ricans have been caught in the cross-streams of two cultures,
Puerto Rico has a long tumultuous past, which has yet to be settled; in the 1900’s the U.S acquired Puerto Rico and declared it a territory of the U.S with very limited self-rule. They even declared English as the official language. This has a large impact on Puerto Rican’s including the Thorpe family as the state has tried to declare bankruptcy for years and the U.S
When living in Puerto Rico we were the same as everyone else. We never felt any oppression. We understood that there were people of different shades of skin color but it wasn’t an identifier for us. I believe the only thing that made us different was that our mother was Dominican and
Reading Craig Storti’s book, Figuring Foreigners Out, gives many new insights about my trip to Puerto Rico. In his book there are four categories that he covers that I will use to analyze and reflect upon my time in Puerto Rico. The four categories he uses are concept of self, personal vs. societal responsibility, concept of time, and locus of control. To begin I will examine Storti’s topic, concept of self.
My process of enculturation into the Puerto Rican culture can be explained with the iceberg analogy, having in mind that the island itself has a high context background. Above water, the official language is Spanish, although English is taught mandatory on the education system since first grade. One of the things a tourist or anyone that starts assimilating the culture can experience first hand is the passion Puerto Ricans have to speak loudly and use many hand gestures during conversations. This passion is not only present during social interactions, but also on the way citizen’s carry out their beliefs. Even though, the island is a place recognized for its great night life activities and bars, the religion is 85% Catholic, therefore many people go to church on Sundays and tend to be very precocious of their actions because of their faith and religious thinking. Inside the water, on the aspect of feelings and values, Puerto Ricans are very traditional, nevertheless,
In Reproducing Empire, Laura Briggs provides her readers with a very thorough history of the mainland U.S. and Puerto Rican discourses and its authors surrounding Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans, from Puerto Rico's formation in the mainland elite's "mind" as a model U.S. (not) colony in 1898* to its present status as semi-autonomous U.S.
It was a wonderful eye-opening experience to interview Carmen Anton, a Spanish immigrant for this project. I learned so many things about how she arrived in American as a small child with only her sister by her side and her strive to become American. The emotional struggles of Carmen and her sister, Elena, were real and I didn’t realize it was that emotionally draining to come to a new country. Her experience showed me how hard it is to fit into a new society knowing absolutely nothing about the world she was dropped into. The fact that she flew here with her younger sister and then live for three months without her parents to guide her in this unfamiliar setting, shows me how strong and brave Carmen was at the young age of eight. When she first came, she assumed it would be like
Interestingly enough I never learned about the history of Puerto Rico while in school. The curriculum during my grade school years never included Puerto Rican history. It is interesting that there is a whole month dedicated to Hispanic heritage and not once did we touch upon the history of Puerto Rico. When reading the book by Ray Suarez I found that there were many instances where oppression, racism, and discrimination were portrayed. Ray Suarez speaks about Isabel Gonzalez a young pregnant Puerto Rican woman who wanted to move to the United States with her fiancé who was an American citizen. However, while on her way to New York a new regulation was passed that changed her immigration
Throughout our lifetime, us as people decide to admire different objects, ideas, and people due to what pleases their thoughts and actions. The infinite examples of things we could’ve valued could’ve been toys, friends, book, etc.. But then we began to mature and begin to come out of our little shells to discover new products, views of the world, and new ways to advance in our technology and therefore influencing what we value today. And as I matured in my lifetime, I established a novel value to my parents the greatest.
When the United States invaded the southwestern coast of Puerto Rico (Guanica and Ponce), a majority of Puerto Ricans welcomed the Americans and enabled their invasion. They cooperated and aided the American expulsion of Spaniards. However, it is obvious by the consequences that the end result of U.S. invasion and rule was not what Puerto Ricans had welcomed in July of 1898. Puerto Ricans wished an end to autocratic rule and concentration of wealth, things they did not know would continue under American rule. The Americans were regarded as change and chance for progress, even though they retained the fear of not knowing U.S. intentions.
Morales talks about Puerto Rican cultures by explaining what Caribbean people like to do: eat, sing, how they have different ways to dance and enjoy different types of music. “I am Caribeña, island grown. Spanish is in my flesh, ripples from my tongue, lodge in my lodge in my hips; the language of garlic and mangoes, […] (Morales 1174). She associates with those specific tastes and her home culture. Food is an important element of cultural identity.