Ever since Rosa V. Alonso, CEO/Founder of My Latino Voice, asked me that question, over a month ago, I can’t stop thinking about it. This is the question she ends all her interviews with…. “What Does Latino Mean to You?” Of course, when you don’t have time to reflect on it, you say the first things that come to your mind as I did. Latino means being proud of your language, your music, your culture, your food and family. But, now, having had time to reflect, I believe that that response pretty much would define any culture. Therefore, I decided to take some time to properly respond to that question as it relates to my culture. And, so here it is…
Being Latina, a Nuyorican, to me, means being passionate, expansive and expressive. We carry our hearts on our sleeves and let everyone know it. We are the descendants of Spanish explorers, African slaves, Taino Indians, and British pirates, which obviously has affected the music, art and music we create and mirrors our temperment. It’s robust.. lusty, if you will! We retrace our roots everytime we board a flight to San Juan. Though we do not feel at home in the rustic barrios and escape back to our Concrete Jungle, we still dream of that cold Mavi and platanos. It is this contradiction that gives us our character. We do not hesitate about adding Sofrito to a lasagna to fortify its flavor or mixing pasta with a Mondongo. We travel from Domino Parlors to Social Clubs to Bodegas to Poetry Readings. This changing and redefining of ourselves, in everything we do, is ever constant.
There I did it. I feel better now. Rosa, how did I do? 🙂
Check out the My Latino Voice Video Interview when Brooklyn Cupcake was a “Featured Voice”: