Boricua Power

Who Are We?

Dear readers, I haven’t been following all the drama going on related to the Puerto Rico’s Beauty Pageant because it’s not something I’m interested in.  There is much more to worry about than who is “la reina de belleza” of whatever land in my humble opinion. Like why are we still using foam containers and to make it ever worse, IT’S LEGAL!

cat

Now, what caught my interest was all the cyber bullying going on because Miss So and So, made a “fool” of herself trying to speak Spanish.  Although what I think added a bit more grievance to it all was the fact that she voiced out something like “obviamente” Spanish is not my L1, can you please repeat?  Jesus Christ, did that piss off all the “boricuas”.

Going back a bit, there is a couple of things we “los boricuas” should be worried about right now.  First of all, this quite definetely raises a question we should be all asking ourselves, who are we?

Puerto Ricans safely nested in our Island don’t need to worry to much about cultural identity because we’re pretty much set.  Instead if  you were like me  growing up,  who happened to live in the States, BUT DID NOT BELONG there, or coming back to Puerto Rico, didn’t  belong here either.  Having been mainstreamed had caught us up in an identity crisis,  can you believe that?  To say the least, we were very confuuuuuused.

Now I know that what we suffered was something called displacement.  Sometime ago I heard Lin Manuel Miranda talk about the same thing during an interview with our local newspaper.  I’m no expert on our beauty pageant queen’s life, to tell you the truth I don’t even know her name, but nothing makes it right to utilize her poor judgment as an excuse to diminish who she is or what she may stand for.

Instead of worrying to much about if Miss So and So knows or does not know how to speak Spanish, we should think about who we are as Puerto Ricans and how we can become a community that welcomes all, even if language barriers come up in the equation. Our “boricua” culture is slowly fading away and a mixology of mainstream and island life is taking its place, let’s celebrate what we are without judgment.

I will be on the lookout to see if Miss So and So brings home once again the Miss Universe crown to see if people will care a bannana if she does or doesns’t speak Spanish at all.

Remember be kind to yourself and everyone who comes your way.

Hasta pronto!

 

economic hardship

The infamous… “tu no sabes”

They are many phrases in Spanish that are difficult to translate in English because they literally don’t mean the same things, even if you’re using the correct set of words.

Probably people may wonder why I don’t write in Spanish, basically because nothing flows good enough to jot it down.  It’s a shame, I can’t convey what I want to say in my native language. However, I love my language’s sayings.

via Google Images

There are dozens of them, and each one has its own meaning.  Better said, depending on what you want to make out of them.  They can mean different things to anyone that says or reads them.

My parents would talk Spanish at home because they actually had a language acquisition theory (who would’ve known) that leaded them to believe that my brother and I would learn English at school.  No kidding?

They were right, at least with me.  My brother doesn’t care much about the language, he speaks it and forget about writing it (or so I think).  Sorry Tom, if I’m saying this and I’m wrong.

Now that being said, I will route myself towards my folklore.   One of my favorite sayings is, “tu no sabes”.  Which literally means in English, “you don’t know”.  So, what does it really mean?

It’s more like a “you don’t have an idea” kind of thing.

via google images

When we’re talking with someone and happen to ask a question, they can tell us,   “tu no sabes”, hold your horses because here it comes!  Its like going behind the curtains during a play.  You are about to get all the inside info of what’s happening, or you may be blessed with sharing a story that is only intended for you.

“Tu no sabes” means you really don’t know the personal circumstances of the person you are talking to.

During our lives there are many things we prefer to keep quiet about.  Things we don’t dare even to think about, forget about talking about.  To all that ever have said, “tu no sabes” my standing ovation goes to you.

Some time ago,  one of my cousins shared a post on FB where she explained to her friends that she suffered a very painful medical condition and that’s why she was so health oriented.  She wanted people to understand!  She could have begun her post with , “ustedes (in plural) no saben.”.

Almost twenty years ago, I went to service on a Sunday morning with my family.  During that time, Carlos was on a waiting list to get a liver transplant and money was always running low in my home.  Basically I went to church trying to figure out a couple of financial problems I was facing.  When I was leaving towards the parking, a deacon called me and told me to come back.  She handed me an envelope with a check for $115.

I began my sentence with “Tu no sabes”, she really didn’t know!  She didn’t have an idea that the money she was handing me was a life saver that week.  It put food on our table and was a beautiful blessing.

Which leads me to the only conclusion possible…………..

Always remember my dear friend,  that everyone has a very private life that he or she may choose or not to share because it is true that “tu no sabes”,  we really don’t know everything about a person and never will.