Puerto Rico: My Culture and Heritage in The Great Land of The Noble Lord

If you even 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, so here are the facts:
Puerto Rico: My Culture and Heritage in The Great Land of The Noble Lord

A great amount 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.

Puerto Rico: My Culture and Heritage in The Great Land of The Noble Lord

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.)

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.


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. (I'm on my laptop so I can't use the aweful taste emoji. If I could, I would.)


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. (My fiancé is also Protestant because he's also from the South.) 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, and therefore I'm thankful to my fiancé for that too - that he will teach them morals.

Family is our comfort. (This ties into the above section.)

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.

We generally all have a lot of the same everyday hobbies.

Pretty much anybody you could meet on the island loves to dance, swim, surf, lay on the beach, watch baseball, or fuss about politics. (I try to stay out of the political conversations.) Dancing is something 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. And when you live on an island... well, obviously everybody's going to enjoy the beaches because what choice do they have? 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 our best role models
Derek Jeter, one our best role models

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

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 in any way autobiographical; it's just showing where I'm from and some of the things I grew up on. Thanks for reading :)

Puerto Rico: My Culture and Heritage in The Great Land of The Noble Lord
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Most Helpful Guys

  • Hispanic-Cool-Guy
    You don't like Tostones, what kind of latina and
    boriqua are you? You lost your 25% boriqua credibility just for that.

    Anyways, one of my family member when they first left D. R. went to Puerto Rico and lived and gave birth to two of my gorgeous cousins and one was raised there all her life.

    Its very difficult not to find a boriqua who isn't chilled and mad cool in both men and women.

    My grandma front neighbor for the last 22 years is boriqua who are a cool and a sweet family.

    My grandma's main buddy down her street block is a boriqua widow who she is mad cool too.

    My co-worker is boriqua and he's mad cool too.

    I have yet to meet a boriqua I didn't like all my life. Very nice and happy people.

    The only thing I have found wrong with them is they like to talk their butts off.

    I try to avoid my grandma's neighbor Roy (who's an amazing person) but dude won't have a problem talking your ears off in °100 degree heat outside for a 1 hour straight. 🙄

    God willing I hope to visit Puerto Rico one day. 🙏
    Is this still revelant?
    • Anonymous

      I am no less latina just because of that. I'm a proud latina 100%

    • I know that might to get you triggered a bit... but seriously Tostones amazing especially with fried cheese and salami...

    • Anonymous

      Yeah tbh I’m a bit triggered 😡jk but it doesn’t make me less Latina

    • Show All
  • Fromdusktilldawn
    That's interesting. Nice that you share that info.
    I think our culture is based from the Germanic or Celtic tribes.
    If you visit my city you would see a lot of medieval castles too.
    Food here is like in Germany and France, not anything unique.
    Religion is kinda starting to die out here (talking about central Europe), mostly only elderly people are still religious. Earlier in the 50s or 70s it was more present and kids had to go to church on Sundays and well dressed.
    All traditions here also marriage at church, disappear. Rarely someone does it here anymore. And family might not be so important, everyone gives their kids into childcare and they go to work. Family does not have such a strong meaning as in your culture.
    Yea the rhythm and dance is your blood, we Europeans are much colder haha. Here most common sports are bicycle, soccer and running.
    Is this still revelant?
    • Anonymous

      And what city are you from? If you don't mind me asking

    • From Luxembourg

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • OldSchool_Metalhead
    Cool take! Half of my family is hispanic (the other half is more scandinavian) one of my grandpas are from puerto rico. I have family there still that i haven't got to meet. I do hope to someday visit there.

    On a side note, I've had tostones before (thanks to my abuelita) i actually think they are pretty good lol. To each their own though :)
    • Anonymous

      Yeah, I often get picked on for not liking them lol but it's cool that you have so much family from there

  • Obtuse
    >> Pretty much anybody you could meet on the island loves to dance, swim, surf, lay on the beach, watch baseball, or fuss about politics.

    Does anyone ever drink? I'm kind of an ass. :-D

    Also, does this resonate with anything? I'm going across islands here. But I'm into dancing, swimming, surfing, sorta lying down on beaches, and get into fistfights over politics.https://www.youtube.com/embed/C7xd6WjNCsU
    • Anonymous

      Lol yeah they do. Actually, a lot of alcoholic beverages were invented in PR

    • Obtuse

      I got this impression that I get along with Puerto Ricans. It's just an idea.

  • loveslongnails
    Worst thing Puerto Rico ever did is choose to remain a US territory. How did you like the paper towels Trump threw at you while he diverted your relief money to his stupid wall? Next worst thing is to allow overpopulation. It's a beautiful island gone to shit, but I love the people and the food and the dancing. They are still positive, but it's overrun with crime and now poverty.
    • Anonymous

      I AGREE 100% about becoming a U. S. territory. When people call me a Hispanic-American I almost wanna spit in their face. I'm Hispanic but I am ashamed to be an American citizen.

  • ZeussLightningBolt
    Very nice.
    I didn't know that about the Taino and caves. I still don't know who the great Nobel lord is.
    You should've included something on Chupacabra and the San Sebastian festival. But not bad all.

    I'm not a fan of palenta, but you don't like fried plantains?
    • Anonymous

      I thought about going into the festivals and all that but decided to leave it out because I thought it was more of a leisure thing and not so cultural. And everything I know about the Tainos comes from my grandma. And no, I hate tostones

    • It's VERY cultural
      That's cool
      I know :p

  • SydneySentinel
    Nice writing!! I enjoyed reading this and learning more about your heritage. Thank you for sharing this ❤
    • Anonymous

      Thanks for reading

  • Meropatrick
    Jeez instead of all the things u mentioned you could have just added the photo of Jennifer lopez and it will be perfect. You guys gave is jlo i can't complain
    • Anonymous

      We also have the most Miss Universe winners

  • Iron_Man
    I like Puerto Rico Puerto Rico I would have like to have gone with someone like you to really teach me a lot on their culture and all.
    • Iron_Man

      Sorry for the double Puerto Rico comment, voice command error

    • Anonymous

      No problem, I hate when mine does that too!

    • Iron_Man

      Have a nice evening my friend. See you around the site soon

  • mike5150
    My wife is Puerto Rican. She was planning a trip with me to Aguadilla which is where she said she still has family living there. Unfortunately one of her relatives who would have let us stay at there place passed away a while back so she scrapped plans for a trip down there.
  • zagor
    Interesting. But I think you better learn the Tainos language, before your grandmother passes. Someone has to keep it alive.
    • Anonymous

      We have asked but she's not up for teaching it. I'm not the only one who has asked.

  • Regmorus
    Thanks very much for the possibility to learn something new about an amazing part of the world! Tbh my knowledge about Puerto-Rico was equal zero (to be ashamed of) before I read your mytake now.
  • justcurious2019
    this is amazing you should do more of these i can see why you want to move back to puerto rico seems like a nice plce
  • Jamie05rhs
    Omg- I LOVE tostones! What is wrong with you? (jk lol)
    • Anonymous

      Have you actually had them though?

    • Jamie05rhs

      ¡Sí! ¡Ya comé!

  • MissMovinOn
    I've always want to go there but haven't been able to yet
  • BronzedAdonis
    Your people are taking my job and bringing crime, delicious food and big booty bitches into the country
  • theChineseWASP
    Puerto Rico looks lovely and the people have such nice skin in my experience haha.
    Interesting my take.
    • Anonymous


  • 888theGreat
    Tostones is fried bananas right?
    • Anonymous

      Pretty much... in places like Cuba and PR we use plantains, so not much of a difference at all

    • Plantains are the little green bananas

    • Anonymous

      Yeah lol basically

    • Show All
  • Razal
    Thanks for sharing !!
    • Anonymous

      And thanks for reading 😊

    • Razal

      I really liked the "Family is our comfort" part.
      So nice to know that such cultures and values still exist.

  • lakshmipathi