“Puertoricaness” stood out me because just looking at this title, you can tell it’ll be about somebody who is Puerto Rican. As I was reading this, even though I am not Puerto Rican, as a Asian American, I could relate sometimes to where she was missing the feeling of her hometown. She didn’t want to conceal her “real” self anymore. In the beginning it was explained that she enjoyed the morning wake up calls from a rooster back in Puerto Rico while everyone else hated it. She looked forward to the rooster’s wake up call at 6:00 A.M. When the sentence started out with “It was the Puerto Rico waking up inside her…” (page 1), I was confused at first. But it kind of related to the rooster’s wake up call that no one enjoyed. The protagonist is a immigrant who moved to Chicago and misses her inner “Puertoricaness.” As a result, she got fed up with blending in with crowd and reverted back to her original accent which she calls “dyslexia, stuttering, halting, unable to speak the word which will surely come out in the wrong language” (page 1). When she was in nursery school, she refused to speak Spanish but now she enjoys Piña (Pineapple) juice without caring. She embraces her roots, her accent, her culture and enjoys being Puerto Rican. In page 2, she makes food in a pot and eats out of it when she’s hungry. It may be different for other people but for the protagonist, she embraces it. Her norm is different than some people and that’s okay because she did this in her childhood.
Although she may not be in Puerto Rico, she still has habits that were kept hidden when she went to Chicago. No matter where she is, she is home wherever as long as she remains her usual “Puertoricaness.” Even though she may not have the rooster waking her up in the morning, she no longer let the day shape her. In the end, she made it clear that she was every bit Puerto Rican and proud of it.
Everyone can relate to feeling prideful about their roots/culture and reading this story made me think about what makes me me. I am an American Born Chinese (ABC) and even though I don’t act the certain way that other Asians do, I respect their culture. I am what they call “Americanized.” Even though I do not practice the culture, when asked to by my mother, I would help out if need to. For example, they offer up food to their ancestors and pay their respects often. We also burn fake money to offer to our ancestors and some visits temples. You can’t help but respect your own culture and your own family tradition because we all grew up in it. What makes her Puerto Rican is her accent, her love for Piña, and most importantly what she grew up around. She defined the word “Puertoricaness” and even though some of us may not practice what our parents practice, it shapes us and just maybe we may pass it on to the next generation.