20 Things You’ll Learn Growing Up Puerto Rican
If there is one country you would wish you have grown up in, that would be Puerto Rico. From its amazing food to their immaculate beaches to its amazing rainforest, Puerto Rico certainly has a lot of reasons for others to be jealous of. For those born or raised in Puerto Rico, here are top 20 things that you have learned having been raised Puerto Rican.
1. Rice and beans are everyday staples.
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Whether you have chicharrones de Pollo, bistec encebollado, chuletas, or carne guisado, side dishes will always remain rice and beans. For variation, you use other types of beans like black beans, red kidney beans, garbanzos, habas, or white navy beans.
2. You were made to believe that the gusanos will eat you if you refuse to wear shoes.
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Every Puerto Rican kid, at some point, has heard his mom shouting “Vas a coger gusanos (hookworms) after he walks around without any shoes.
3. Your home is beautifully adorned with vejigante masks.
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Vejigante masks are colorful masks inspired by the folkloric character. Most Puerto Rican household have their home decorated with these artisan-crafted masks that use unique materials like hollowed-out coconuts and paper Mache.
4. Miss Universe Pageants are considered as prestigious as the Academy Awards.
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Puerto Ricans love their beauty queens, and it doesn’t come as a surprise that comes Miss Universe pageants nights, locals will go ga-ga over the competition. Of course, some of the pageant’s title holders come from La Isla del Encanto (Deborah Carthy Due, Marisol Malaret, and Dayanara Torres to name just a few.
5. You grew up scared of Tuesday the 13th, instead of Friday.
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While the whole world believes Friday the 13th is a cursed day, Puerto Ricans say it’s Tuesday the 13th. They strongly believe this day is jinxed that they even believe in the say “Marter 13, nit e cases, nit eembarques, ni de tufamilia te apartes,” meaning, “On Tuesday the 13th, avoid getting married, avoid boarding a boat or a plane, and never separate from your family.
6. You find lots of plastics on practically every furniture piece you have at home.
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Puerto Rican natives find plastic aesthetically interesting. In fact, most households’ pieces of furniture have elements of plastic on them.
7. Your mom shouts when it’s dinner time.
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Even if you live in a one-bedroom apartment, when it’s dinner time, chances are, you will always hear your mom screaming at the top of her lungs to get the message across. The volume meter of Puerto Rican households only has one setting.
8. Goya products are staples.
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Every meal you have contains up to six Goya products. The most common are Sazon and Adobo.
9. Your mom loves Ricky Martin.
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From small parties to big events and even family gatherings, Ricky Martin will never be out of the picture. Puerto Ricans love this Latino sensation so much so that his name has eventually become a household name over the years.
10. You are obliged to call your mom religiously.
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Especially if you are not physically with your mom, you must call her at least once a day so as to avoid getting reported to the missing person’s list.
11. Puerto Ricans are very interesting when it comes to plane rides.
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Have you ever been inside a plane with a bunch of Puerto Ricans? Perhaps you have noticed how they start clapping by the time their plane touches the runway.
12. Telenovelas are very important.
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Just as much as they love the Miss Universe beauty pageants, Puerto Ricans love their telenovelas. In fact, they are as important as major holiday events like Christmas and birthdays. Interrupting them while they’re in the middle of a show is considered extremely rude.
13. Puerto Rican parents are very strict.
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Do you plan on hanging out with your friends? Expect your parents, especially your mom to bombard you with a lot of questions. Where do you plan to go? Who goes with you? Do your friend’s parents know? How are you going out? Puerto Rican parents are generally very strict as compared with any average parent. Ask any native Puerto Rican and you will really get the whole idea about how parents ask and how you can bribe them when you really wish to go out.
14. Puerto Rican point using their lips.
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While most of us instinctively use our fingers to point on something, Puerto Ricans do it differently. They use their lips instead. When you ask them something, like directions, they just simply pout their lips to point to where you are asking.
15. Puerto Ricans can speak with their face.
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Most Puerto Ricans have this distinct quality where they can talk and express what they wish to say by making faces to each other. Say, for instance, twitching the entire face will basically translate into “what do you want?”
16. All cereals are called “con-flei”.
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From Cookie Crisp to Apple Jacks, to multigrain and cinnamon toast crunch, all cereals are called “con-flei” in Puerto Rico. Thus, when your mamita calls you for some “con-flei”, then you’re definitely in luck.
17. You learn interesting words / vocabularies.
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Words such as “ay bandito, “chacho”, “wepa”, and “chacha” become your second nature in vocabulary.
18. Cousins, cousins, and more cousins.
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Puerto Ricans are closely-knitted families. It will not come as a surprise if you talk to any Puerto Rican native and ask them how many cousins they have, they will tell you they have at least 20.
19. You use VICKS to cure practically everything.
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Does your head hurt? Use Vicks. Are you breaking out? Use Vicks. Do you have allergies? Use Vicks. Vicks is practically the holy grail of any minor medical issues. Just rub it on your forehead or on your chest and you are good to go.
20. You start to drink alcohol at 16.
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Yes, 18 is the legal age of drinking. But Puerto Rico is way different. Seeing young teenagers in clubs is normal in Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico’s quality of life is somewhat similar to that of the United States. Aside from its amazing tropical island landscape, a myriad of outdoor activities, sun-drenched weather, and vibrant culture, Puerto Rico also boasts of its variety of entertainment and dining options and opulent resort lifestyle.
This country is a lively mix of Spanish, Taino, and African influences. In fact, this fusion event extends to practically almost all aspects of Puerto Rican like. Puerto Rico also has captivating cultural events like the Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastian to mark the Christmas season and the Heineken JazzFest where international Latin jazz stars are expected to perform.
What most people are not aware of is that Puerto Rico is actually a part of the US territory. Meaning, Americans can easily travel to and from the US sans the passport. Puerto Rico uses the US currency and most of their local speak bilingual.
Whether you are born and raised in Puerto Rico, or you feel like you wish to visit the country for some rest and recreation, this country is definitely one place worth your time.
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