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Thread: Dominicanos, the Arts, & Two Cultures

  1. #1
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    Default Dominicanos, the Arts, & Two Cultures

    Howdy,
    As a dominicano born in the states, I have always found myself to have two cultures: the American one and the Dominican one. The American culture for me has been about listening to rock music, jazz, classical and other, eating American foods, and reading all kinds of books. As for my Dominican culture, the great native dance and music known as the merengue has always been of interest to me, ever since I was a very young lad. I have been to the Caribbean land several times, and I have been happy to see many new things, such as American restaurants, and advancement in the culture. However, since I haven't traveled there since September of 2000, I wouldn't know exactly how things are over there. As far as liking merengue music, I used to pretend to make some when I was very young. I would sing in Spanish and also in English, but some pretend-rock songs (making the sound of an electric guitar and a drum and cymbals, the same went for the merengue music).
    So I had and still have interest in the culture and history of D.R., therefore, I have always read about it. As for the American culture, I have developed an interest for classical music in the past few years, both American and European, and the history of the composers is interesting.
    So when I'm in the mood for merengue or salsa music, I listen to a CD of that, and when the mood shifts toward American and other, classical, pop, and jazz is my music.
    For TV, however, I like viewing American, as well as international, and the actors can be of any race, as long as they are amusing.
    So the T! (or Tony) likes eating his burger and fries, which have always been his favorite American food, then pizza and others. But there are days when the native dish known as mangood, (or mangú in Spanish) is desired. On that occasion, I make sure those plantains are well mashed and that the yuca is good tasting, and then eat that with an egg and fried cheese or salchichón, boy!
    Also, some hot chocolate goes well with this dish.
    For those who don't know, the word mangood was formed when an American tourist once traveled to Quisqueya and went somewhere to eat. He had been given a plate of mashed plantains, and when he tried it, he exclaimed, "Man, it's good!" The native obviously made a note of this exclamation, hence naming the mashed-plantains dish mangú in Spanish (or mangood in English).
    When I watch a film, I like my American popcorn, but when I go to a Chinese-Spanish restaurant, I like my chicharrones de pollo con maduros. The latter I may eat at home once a week.
    To end, I believe in living both cultures, since that is a gift, as well as speaking both English and Spanish fluently.

    Peace and sunshine!
    Last edited by Tvagyok!; 04-01-2005 at 03:33 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Dominican-Americans, Latin-Americans/Americans-New Yorkers

    Aloha,
    We as Dominican-Americans, as well as Latin-Americans, can feel proud of being in this great land of the U.S., since we can live our 2 cultures-our culture as Dominicans and our culture as Americans, especially from a specific state or city such as N.Y. Unlike Dominicans from the old country, we are lucky to be brought up with the Dominican culture in a land as great as this one, and unlike all-Americans, we are brought up speaking 2 languages. We learn the family language at home and learn the American via schooling and television. Also, we may communicate in English with our siblings at home, and in some cases, with the parents as well. In my opinion, I have always thought it to be better to speak to the parents and family in their native language, since with English I tend to make a connection between the language and the people. I see my parents and family as Spanish-speaking people, so I prefer to speak to them in that tongue; not only for that reason, but also since they don't speak English well, I wouldn't feel comfortable communicating with them in English.
    Alltogether, I can feel proud of being an American-born citizen, with the same language as my fellow citizens and also sharing the same culture, but at the same time I can feel pride with my Dominican people living here, as far as speaking their language and also sharing their culture. The way I see it, a person who is brought up in this country by people who immigrated here has more respect for the American culture and language, since it's not the only culture that person practices at home nor is it the only language that the person speaks. I always speak Spanish at home and follow the Dominican culture, and so when I watch American TV or go outside, I tend to have more appreciation for the different people that I see, as well as for the English language.
    All-Americans may say that they have no culture nor roots, since their parents never mentioned any racial roots from somewhere else. They are simply brought up to know that they are American, their language is English, and their ancestors are the founders of the country, period. For this reason, they may tend to look at ethnic people here as interesting, while there are others who simply value their All-Americanism since they know that they live in the greatest country ever founded, regardless of their language or culture.

    To conclude, I have two lands that I can call mine-the U.S., which gave me life and education, and in which I can feel proud of its accomplishments, history, and status, and the D.R., which is the land of my roots. So when I travel in the U.S. I can proudly say, "all this is T's (or mine)!", and when I'm in the D.R. I can think, "All these places and people are mine!", and I can feel proud of the history of that Caribbean land, since it was founded by my true ancestors, and I can feel pride in its accomplishments; most of all, its culture and its music, the merengue!
    So I think we ethnic Americans in general are special Americans, since we have some type of representation of our old countries in this great nation.

    Peace and sunshine!
    Last edited by Tvagyok!; 04-10-2005 at 02:39 PM.

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