Everyone wants to be recognized for who they are.
Everyone wants to be understood and respected.
Sometimes being born in the United States of America it is almost expected of you not to acknowledge or embrace your family may come from some place else or that you could be more than one thing.
This idea of we accept all, we are a grand melting pot, can sometimes be a lie.
You come to realize that when you fill out forms for school, work or housing . You experience it when you take a survey or when you travel.
They say the more things change the more they stay the same. A lot has changed since I became aware that I was Dominican at the age of six in elementary school but some thing's are still the same.
Now what do I mean by becoming aware? I mean that in the seventies and early eighties no matter what country your parents came from or you came from everyone lumped you in as a Puerto Rican; And when you said "oh no I am such and such" some people would say "oh its all the same". Um HELLO!!! No it is not.
That was rude then and it is still rude now.
Could it be because of labels that can even confuse me at times? Latino, Hispanic, Spanish or Race, Ethnicity or Nationality? What ever the reason here is my post for today.
So I would like to share with you what Soy Dominicana means. I would like to point out that I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. I rep Brooklyn all day every day as most people from Brooklyn do but I am first and foremost blessed to be Dominican.
-it means we speak a different language. It is Spanish but we tend to speak so fast we sometimes get asked to slow it down and repeat ourselves.
-we have our own slang that others try to copy but coming out of their mouths just sounds like a mess.
-we are proud people who come from a poor country but are rich in beauty, culture and life.
-we are Caribbean people, hot all the time. Many ways to translate that and we are a country, not a Commonwealth, for example like Puerto Rico.
-we party all the time. We have no special day to have a party. Our baby showers start at 6pm and end the next morning.
-our music I was once told by an Ecuadorian (person from Ecuador a South American country), makes even the dead dance. If I saw it I would believe it our music makes you just want to move. Hey we even have the artist Drake singing with one of our most beloved artist Anthony "Romeo" Santos.
-our food is heaven on earth. If you are lucky to find a Dominican restaurant in your community it is sure to become a staple in your life moving forward.
-We are who we are, we never try to assimilate to our surroundings, we are never confused about our identity. We know our history and are proud.There is never shame in being DOMINICAN.
-Dominican women love the beauty parlor. We will be in there for hours. We don't care about rain, snow, or if we don't have the cash to spare. Nothing stops our date at the salon. And best believe when we leave there we are fly as hell.
-we are conceited and arrogant, or so I've been told. Guess it just comes from pride. We like nice things, nice homes, nice clothes, nice cars, we aim for the best quality...Always. Now why would those words be chosen I don't know.
-Dominican men love women, no exclusions. They love to have an amazing looking women by their side.
-Dominican women, love their men to a fault. He can be a mess up but he is our mess up. We love to pamper them and take care of them no matter what.
-Dominican mothers...don't cross us. We are the template for protective mama bear. Now if our kids get out of line we have no problem spanking the crap out of them but if an outsider messes with our kid, you have a problem.
-we are raised to respect our parents. We don't leave the house without saying Bendicion, which loosely translated means form of asking for a blessing before we head out the house. Some other Spanish speaking countries also have this tradition.
-we have no problem eating Espaguetis con Arroz Blanco for lunch, which is Spaghetti with White Rice, yes starch overload. It tastes great we don't care.
-one of our staple drinks, which I would say is American version of a milkshake we call Morir Sonando. Translation...die dreaming, it taste that good. Its milk, orange juice, some sugar or even condensed milk for those of us with the crazy sweet tooth and some ice cubes. You must drink it right after it is made or as my mom would say se corta, it cuts. Which meant the mixture went bad.
-we have some of the worlds best baseball players, musicians, writers, artist and even designers.
-our country is so "in" that many celebrities have bought homes there.
-we have something called "Dominican time", we don't run by regular standards. We get there when we get there.
-our idea of measuring is "un chin, un chin chin or un poquito". They all mean 'a little" or "just a bit" but different levels of little or a bit AND...
-if you come to our house, we are always asking if you want something to eat. We don't like to take no for an answer.
There is so much more that I could say. Not to mention that if I took the label Dominican away I could be talking and sharing pride of just about any other place or person in the world. We all should rightly so be proud of who we are and where we come from.
We should all respect differences and perhaps learn something new from one another.