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My Second Take on Puerto Rico and My Culture & Heritage - Expanded

If you know me by the kinds of posts I write, especially as answers to questions, then you know that I'm very cultural and that my culture determines my lifestyle to a very great extent. I'm from the island of Puerto Rico, and a lot of people take that as, "Oh, that's part of the U.S." and then assume that we are like the mainland culturally - meaning not so cultural at all but more open. No. That is not the case. I would actually guess that we are the most culturally-oriented part of the United States, and we are open-minded but not to the extent that it would change our heritage. I am also proud to say that this is who I am, and here are the facts.

My Second Take on Puerto Rico and My Culture & Heritage - Expanded

A lot of our culture comes from the Taínos.

Although we are essentially Hispanic, the Taíno were the natives to the island, and a lot of their culture has been passed down. My grandmother is actually part Taíno, and she can even speak the language. The Taíno called the island the Great Land of the Noble Lord, as mentioned in the title. In Taíno language, the word for this phrase is Boriken, hence why people often refer to us Puerto Ricans as boriquos/boriquas.

My Second Take on Puerto Rico and My Culture & Heritage - Expanded

The Taínos, like pretty much any other native Indian groups in the Caribbean and the Americas, were obsessed with beauty - both the beauties of themselves and the beauties of nature. They put a lot of emphasis of the jewelry they wore and how they presented themselves as well as taking care of the land.
Even my grandmother will tell us of stories and traditions that have been passed down, and she never fails to mention that her ancestors did not believe in war. They actually believed in the opposite: settling for peace regardless of what had to be given. They even showed Christopher Columbus a few places for gold, and when the Spanish became violent and wanted the island, they pretty much gave it up.
Another interesting thing she shows us is paintings of caves - of caves, not in. Apparently the Taínos believed they actually came from the caves of the Dominican Republic and held it sincerely to the point of demonstrating it through art. (I still have a lot to learn about this.)

My Second Take on Puerto Rico and My Culture & Heritage - Expanded

I still enjoy some of our native foods, and some others not so much...

My favorite traditional food of the island that I really like and even sometimes get a craving for is alcapurrias. They are basically rolls of meat, salt, and plantains with some spices. Most people will say that sounds disgusting, but once you try it it's actually really good.

Alcapurrias
Alcapurrias

So many of our best recipes are made with coconuts. I even like to walk around with a coconut and a straw in my hand when I'm in my homeland.
Coquito is AWESOME. I suggest everybody try it someday. It's a slightly alcoholic drink - not enough to really call it "drinking" - made of coconut milk, cream, rum, and sometimes vanilla is added. People drink it a lot around Christmas with cinnamon or ginger bread.

Coquito
Coquito

Tembleque is another one made from coconut milk. It's also frequent around the holidays and comes with cinnamon. It's more like a smooth yogurt instead of a drink. I will say that I make amazing tembleque, but that's because I learned from the best and my mom is the one who makes it every year at Christmas for the family.

Tembleque
Tembleque

The one I DON'T like is tostones, and a lot of users on here know this already because they'll pick on me about it. Seriously, though, tostones is the one food of Puerto Rico that I can not stand. In short, tostones is basically fried plantains.

Tostones
Tostones

Side Note: Let's also not forget that Piña Coladas were originated in Puerto Rico. :) They have some coconut in them too, the authentic ones do.

Piña Coladas were first made in Puerto Rico.
Piña Coladas were first made in Puerto Rico.

Speaking of alcoholic beverages, another famous one in Puerto Rico is pitorro. It's pretty much a separate flavor of moonshine and in some ways it resembles wine or rum.

Family is our comfort.

Family is a big essential part of our heritage. We don't ever forsake the family or take them for granted, and that includes when we become adults and get married. Other people do it all the time, but much more rarely will it happen that a Puerto Rican couple gets a divorce. This is because our familial culture and our religion are both engraved in us, and it's something we see as a disgrace. Also, family gatherings are extremely common.
Men are dominant and more distinguished, and the women are submissive and more reserved. Yes, it's that simple. In the Bible it is that way, and so that's the way it's implemented into our lives. As the women we are taught to be caretakers and nurturers, and the men are taught to provide. Generally obviously these roles are not entirely strict, and what needs to be done can be done, but this is the general idea.

Religion is important, and it determines my morals.

All of my family are Catholics, with a slight hint of Protestant in only my mom because she lived in the southern part of the mainland while she was in medical school. Morals are much more strict in Puerto Rico than they are on the mainland. Sometimes I can't even believe the contrast - when I come back to the mainland and it seems like people don't even know what morals are. Anyways, religious practices are important to me. I read the Bible and say a prayer every night just before I go to sleep, and I am a church-goer (but NOT in New Haven LOL). I prefer to have a family who has the same religion as me.

We generally have a lot of the same everyday hobbies.

Pretty much anybody you could meet on the island loves to dance, lay on the beach, swim, surf, watch baseball, or fuss about politics. (I try to stay out of the political conversations. 😂) Dancing we don't even have to be around other people to enjoy; we just like to do it. A lot of times I'll even be listening to some music and be dancing a little bit and not even realize it. When you live on an island, obviously everybody's going to enjoy the beaches because they are all around you. Swimming and surfing are common water sports, and jet skis are one of the most commonly purchased items on the island. There are actually a few businesses who make money just by fixing jet skis.

Jet skiing is a very common hobby.
Jet skiing is a very common hobby.

Then there's baseball. Yeah, we LOVE baseball. Most of us are so into baseball that some collect items or even make it a priority to go to the mainland and sit at some of the games. My family is full of Yankees fans, we've been to plenty of games, and I even have an autograph and an autographed real baseball jersey from Derek Jeter in 2011.

Derek Jeter, one of our best role models
Derek Jeter, one of our best role models

Baseball is quite loved among us on the island, as well as soccer.

Festivals are usually fun and somewhat reminisce on the culture in different ways.

The Fiesta de la Calle San Sebastián and La Campechada are very good shows of the artistry and dancing of original Latin music with a mix of some musicians who are specifically from Puerto Rico.

La Fiesta de la Calle San Sebastián
La Fiesta de la Calle San Sebastián
Luis Fonsi is a well-appreciated singer.
Luis Fonsi is a well-appreciated singer.
Ricky Martin, another popular Puerto Rican singer
Ricky Martin, another popular Puerto Rican singer

La Fiesta de Reyes Isabelinos is a public gathering about a week after Christmas where kids get gifts from people dressed up and playing the parts of characters in the Christmas story. This is kind-of like in the states when little kids sit on a guy's lap who is dressed up as Santa Claus.

kids getting gifts from people dressed like the 3 wise men in La Fiesta de Reyes Isabelinos
kids getting gifts from people dressed like the 3 wise men in La Fiesta de Reyes Isabelinos

El Noche de San Juan (Night of Saint John) is a fun experience but is not a huge advertised event. It's more like just if you happen to be in San Juan that night then you get to see it. Everybody knows it's there so they go if they want to. It's much like Christmas except it's for John the Baptist instead of Jesus, so people consider the birth of John the Baptist and how he prepared the way for Christ. The scripture in Isaiah is posted in a lot of places and remembered on this night. "A voice of one calling: "Prepare the way for the LORD in the wilderness; make a straight highway for our God in the desert." (Isaiah 40:3), which is also referenced early in the four gospels when John the Baptist baptized Jesus. The first one, in Matthew 3: This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”[a]

My Second Take on Puerto Rico and My Culture & Heritage - Expanded
This is what Noche de San Juan usually looks like from the outside of the city toward the beach.

There are many other festivals that I have been to once or twice, not really known for going to, but I'll keep this short.

Conclusion: These are some of the things that are more engraved into my culture - and therefore into me - that contribute to make me who I am. This is not meant to be autobiographical. It just shows where I'm from and some of the things I grew up on. Thanks for reading :)

P.S. I actually posted a smaller version of this take before and disavowed it (GAG, I hate the way you guys make that. We should be able to just delete it instead of it staying just to be anonymous. That's stupid.), but I thought I should post it again in more detail to give a good background of why I have a lot of the views I have.

¡Hasta la vista!

My Second Take on Puerto Rico and My Culture & Heritage - Expanded
My Second Take on Puerto Rico and My Culture & Heritage - Expanded
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Most Helpful Guys

  • Kaazsz
    That was a nice read. I worked with a horde of Puerto Rican females for a few years. It was an interesting time. They taught me that most Puerto Rican’s are nuts lol. I love all those girls I worked with no matter how crazy they were. It was fun. And they sure do love to dance. Shaking their asses all over the place they just don’t stop.
    Is this still revelant?
    • Music is hard to resist 🤷🏻‍♀️😂
      I wanna know what you mean by we’re nuts

    • Kaazsz

      I don’t even know how to describe it. They are wild, like animals in the wilderness or something. But it could be that it’s different inside of Puerto Rico compared to here in the US.

      They talk loud, they get angry very fast, they have fights and make up over and over and over. When a customer was rude they were ready to start screaming and fighting.

      They are very passionate about everything and highly emotional lol.

      Sounds kinda bad but I love them lol. I love all those girls they are all my friends. They’re great.

    • I don’t deny any of that!

    • Show All
  • Ripper_E
    Almost every Puerto Rican I know can cook, loves baseball, and as family oriented. Proud people, proud culture. I'm not too much like that because I choose to be myself regardless of where I'm from. I do love Puerto Rican food above all things 😋
    Is this still revelant?
    • Everybody should be themselves regardless of ANYTHING. And where you're from should contribute to make you who you are :)

    • Ripper_E

      It does, but like my family will tell me in sports cheer for the Puerto Rican, want me to marry a Puerto Rican woman. I may or may not. Puerto Rico is where I from, not who I am. I like some things and I dislike others.

    • It's always gonna be a part of who you are. Sounds like your parents are just taking it too far.

    • Show All

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What Girls & Guys Said

422
  • Gravit1
    Thanks for the info, throughout school we were taught the Taínos were killed off. From what you said it sounds like there is still a presence. Are there still traditional Taínos remaining? Also those Coconut foods sound amazing, I don't drink much, but I'd probably get drunk off that coconut drink. My two all time favorite plant products are Coconuts and Squash. If they had enough Squash there I'd call it paradise. On another note, are you protestant or Catholic, do you see a difference?
    • The Taínos are extinct now. My grandmother is only part Taíno and she can still speak the language and she knows a lot about the traditions. They have actually asked her in the media to teach the language and keep it going and to give cultural lectures. My grandma is not for all that, so the sad part is that the Taíno ways and language will pretty much die with her. She won't even teach us the language, only very few words and phrases.

    • And I am Catholic and was raised Catholic. My mom brings a little bit of protestant views into it, but keep in mind that she was also raised Catholic. It's really the same beliefs - both Christian - but the big difference and the only real one I see is that more emphasis is placed on different parts.

    • Gravit1

      Why is she so particular about it?

    • Show All
  • nawtee_me
    Thanks for the My Take, I love food from different cultures and the alcapurrias look delicious. You would not have a recipe would you? I know I could look it up but it may not be authentic as your are.
    • I make them, yes, and there are some authentic recipes online.

  • Jonathanlama
    Are you a Catholic because of the colonization that converted a lot of people to Catholicism when they colonized? They seem to me to have read that the tainos had their own god
    • Yeah, they had their own completely separate religion. My grandmother is part Taíno and she knows a lot about their previous religion and such things, but she is Catholic too.

    • , Interesting, thank you for the answer, my country France dealt with the Amerindian people, when we colonized America, we did not meet the Taino, but we had a good relationship with the Amerindian peoples, only the English exterminate them many. We converted some to Catholicism because for us it was a factor of assimilation

    • Yeah, in the U. S. they find murder as a hobby. It's fun to them.
      And you're French? That is cool :D

    • Show All
  • ohshee
    Very nice you need to send to Puerto Rico tourism so they can make this in to a come visit brochure but you forgot the beautiful women and people
  • KingdomForAKiss
    Interesting information, Yads! I enjoyed reading this!
  • sensible27
    Do you pride yourself on culture/your culture? Why?
    • Yes!!!

    • sensible27

      And why? Why do people... ... in general?

    • I cherish my culture and take pride in it

    • Show All
  • Jjpayne
    Thank you for sharing that! That was pretty cool! It's a special part of yourself that you are willing to share with us and I value it and appreciate it! Great mytake!
  • Tstrbrainer
    It was nice reading this.
    Do you have foreign visitors in the island?
    Is the cost of living high or low?
    • We get plenty of foreign people visiting the island. My first boyfriend was German, if that gives you an idea.

    • And I met my first love on the island too and he was British

    • Cost of living - depends on what you consider high or low

    • Show All
  • NYCQuestions1976
    This is a terrific Take. I really enjoyed the detail. You are not wrong about there being an overall lack of morals. It's like when people become less religious or spiritual, they lose their moral compass. Like "fear of God" is the only reason to lead a moralistic life. Sometimes doing the right thing is the right thing to do, simply because it's the right thing to do. Religion shouldn't be the only reason people look to live good lives.

    Out of curiosity, when it comes to Puerto Rico, are you happy with the current status of "Commonwealth"? Or are you someone who wants statehood? Or even full independence from the United States?
    • True. Even for those who are not religious, how can you say that murder is wrong but lying is okay? I don't understand it but maybe that's because I'm more religious but I don't know it doesn't make sense to me.
      I'm all for staying a commonwealth.

    • And thanks for sharing, by the way, because you always give such influential opinions

    • You're welcome. The commonwealth/statehood/independence debate always fascinates me, because unlike other yes/no questions, there's three different distinct positions, and it's nearly impossible to get more than 40% of the population to support one over the other two.

    • Show All
  • I didn’t know you were religious. NYC is a very hostile environment towards that.
    • I don't live in NYC, but I don't let the world around me change me either.

    • Jack9949

      Right. But most people conform to the world around them. Personally I’m more of an alpha when it comes down to things. I’m pretty independent of everybody else

  • Jerre
    T hank you for the very good background on Puerto Rico. Loved it!
  • Heavenly_
    Wow that was cool! I wish i was a viking by the way 😅
  • KittyMilk
    Beautiful read.. but you still haven't explained why you Puerto Rican women be crazy
    • We got passion in our blood 😂

    • Just don’t make us mad and you’ll be fine lol

    • KittyMilk

      Understandable and your not lying it's true , I been to a few p. r day parades also lots of fun

  • Iron_Man
    I’ve been to Puerto Rico several times I also love piña colada’s but I do not care
    for fruit cake Ricky Martin
  • alance99
    Nice Mytake, i would definitely visit Puerto Rico someday , the beaches and food is amazing
  • Mark987
    BE PROUD :)
  • AkshiJanjua
    Puerto Rico seems like a cool place ✌️
    • Coolest place on earth ✌️
      Obviously not literally, it's hot

    • i like that people of Puerto Rico are following their culture and not letting it wash away like other parts of USA. Respect!🙏

  • mrgspoter
    You sure, I heard your a lost innocent ange? l
    • That's really getting old lol

    • mrgspoter

      Well who else will remind you, and you ignore me anywhere else so tough isn't it

  • lifelearner011
    Wepa, saludos boricua! Lovely take! <3
  • Wise4myage
    That's really cool Yads, thank you for sharing.
  • Hispanic-Cool-Guy
    Nice. I learned something new. 👍
  • msc545
    Thanks for a very nice mytake!
  • Lonelywolfxl
    Thank you 🙂👍
  • Alexalex92
    Great post! :)
  • Anonymous
    Your island is a shit hole and with a fertility rate of 1.10 and a massive emigration rate Puerto Ricans will not exist soon. You're going to be a Dominican colony soon lmao.
  • Anonymous
    Aren't you the girl that only dates white guys? Shame on you, traitor
    • Nah, I’ve been on dates with Hispanic and black guys. It just didn’t work out.
      But you’re obviously the troll who just posted as blue anon yesterday 😂Somebody’s upset. Get over it.

    • Anonymous

      Wow, a racist self-hating Latina..
      I can tell who you voted for

    • I don’t vote lol but adios

    • Show All
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