Indigenous Caribbean Network

Ode to the Diasporican
(pa’ mi gente)

Mira a mi cara Puertorriqueña
Mi pelo vivo
Mis manos morenas
Mira a mi corazón que se llena de orgullo
Y di me que no soy Boricua.

Some people say that I’m not the real thing
Boricua, that is
cause I wasn’t born on the enchanted island
cause I was born on the mainland
north of Spanish Harlem
cause I was born in the Bronx…
some people think that I’m not bonafide
cause my playground was a concrete jungle
cause my Río Grande de Loiza was the Bronx River
cause my Fajardo was City Island
my Luquillo Orchard Beach
and summer nights were filled with city noises
instead of coquis
and Puerto Rico
was just some paradise
that we only saw in pictures.

What does it mean to live in between
What does it take to realize
that being Boricua
is a state of mind
a state of heart
a state of soul…

¡Mira!

No nací en Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico nacío en mi.

Mira a mi cara Puertorriqueña
Mi pelo vivo
Mis manos morenas
Mira a mi corazón que se llena de orgullo
Y di me que no soy Boricua.

Mariposa (a.k.a. María Teresa Fernández)

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beautiful line...
no nacio en puerto rico
puerto rico nacio en mi
That's my favorite line too. And even though I am a Cuban Taina born in NY I can deeply relate because the struggle is the same, we can ALL relate...
That is why I say is important to non-island PR to yearn to leanr their nation"s and ancestral ways.

Many of them do. And it's not just US-born Boricuas that need to learn their ancestral ways.

And I'm sure you can relate to the poem on some level, as a person of Taino and African ancestry, because Taino culture is not predominant on the island, is it?
Yes, those are the three cultures that make up most of the Caribbean, but my point was that you say US-born Puerto Ricans need to learn their ancestral ways, but Puerto Ricans on the island need to learn their ancestral ways, too. Maybe they are a little less removed from their ancestral traditions than those on the mainland but you can't tell me that everyone on the island keeps the old ways. That was my point.
Absolutely!!!! I agree with you both!!!

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