Saturday, October 27, 2007
From an Outsider's Perspective
After living in New York City for 21 years, a few of which were spent in Boston, I am back in my city of birth... San Juan! Having spent most of my life outside of La Isla del Encanto ("The Island of Enchantment"), I certainly don't consider myself to be very Puerto Rican. However, I am definitely enjoying the time I get to spend here. One of the things I love most is that I can practice my Spanish (or better said... Spanglish! Damme un break!). I also get to re-discover the Puerto Rican culture, which is full of wonderful flavors.
I decided to start writing about my experiences here because I find this island to be a fascinating place. It calls itself "El Estado Libre Associado de Puerto Rico," which is an oxymoron. "Estado Libre" literally means "free state." This is hardly true. Puerto Rico is a U.S colony. Every time a plebisicite is held over its territorial status, the results are practically evenly split between those who want to see this island become the 51st state and those who want to maintain the status quo. A very small percentage want independence.
From what I've seen, many Puerto Ricans here have a love-hate relationship with the U.S. The love comes in the form of pure economics. Life would be a bit more difficult without the financial backing of los gringos. The hate, obviously, is due to the huge American influence here. Puerto Ricans are very proud of their culture. Besides, who likes being told what to do? The fact is that Puerto Rico is not recognized as a sovereign state.