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Old 05-28-2014, 04:34 PM
tuj tuj started this thread
 
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Well I think I understand where a lot of you are coming from, it's just that it is hard to accept that I will always be an 'outsider' when I actually want to make Puerto Rico my home. Which is rather interesting, because the island has had a net out-flow of residents, so it seems to me like people coming to the island, buying or renting real-estate, working and paying taxes, buying groceries and all of that would be a positive thing for an economy that has been in the slumps since 2006 and has a junk debt rating for the gov't and on all of the PR banks.

I want to learn Spanish, but let's be frank; I got this job offer on a whim and had only about a month between the first interview and my first day on the job. I learned German in school, so it's not like I'm not at least partially bilingual. But Spanish? No, I don't now it, and I'm sure I will never speak it like a Puerto Rican.

I want this place to be home, at least for the next several years, and I hope that I settle into the culture ok and pick up Spanish and try my best to integrate. But if people are always going to be calling me 'gringo' or 'Americano' (quite ironic) behind my back, well, I think it's going to be harder to feel like home.
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Old 05-28-2014, 06:05 PM
 
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I want this place to be home, at least for the next several years, and I hope that I settle into the culture ok and pick up Spanish and try my best to integrate. But if people are always going to be calling me 'gringo' or 'Americano' (quite ironic) behind my back, well, I think it's going to be harder to feel like home.

--------------------------
Sadly, there are some who will say it to your face.

In Puerto Rico, when people would ask, I would tell them that my father is Puerto Rican. In response, I often got, "So your mother is an American?" I wanted to say, "Ummm...yeah...and so is my Dad".

All that said, you will come across those who are welcoming and helpful. I always appreciated that.
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Old 05-28-2014, 06:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuj View Post
Well I think I understand where a lot of you are coming from, it's just that it is hard to accept that I will always be an 'outsider' when I actually want to make Puerto Rico my home. Which is rather interesting, because the island has had a net out-flow of residents, so it seems to me like people coming to the island, buying or renting real-estate, working and paying taxes, buying groceries and all of that would be a positive thing for an economy that has been in the slumps since 2006 and has a junk debt rating for the gov't and on all of the PR banks.

I want to learn Spanish, but let's be frank; I got this job offer on a whim and had only about a month between the first interview and my first day on the job. I learned German in school, so it's not like I'm not at least partially bilingual. But Spanish? No, I don't now it, and I'm sure I will never speak it like a Puerto Rican.

I want this place to be home, at least for the next several years, and I hope that I settle into the culture ok and pick up Spanish and try my best to integrate. But if people are always going to be calling me 'gringo' or 'Americano' (quite ironic) behind my back, well, I think it's going to be harder to feel like home.
Insecure folks often perceive discrimination where there is none. I am not implying that you are insecure, I am talking about others that see racism everywhere.

If you are not insecure you will not feel discriminated. If you act nice people will go out of their way to be nice to you. There are many examples of non-puertoricans that have been adopted by the island as natives. These folks were simply down to earth.

However, if you act like you own the place and walk with an air of superiority folks will notice. I am quite certain you are an adventurous type who has seen the world. You will have no problems at all. In the end people are people everywhere, the human condition declares itself despite the differences in culture.

Try not to stereotype folks. During your stay you will se a lot of variation among the citizens of the island.

You are not expected to be proficient in Spanish, don't worry. But, it will be nice if you can swing a few words.

Last edited by Julian658; 05-28-2014 at 06:28 PM..
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:24 PM
 
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Julian, You write:

Insecure folks often perceive discrimination where there is none. I am not implying that you are insecure, I am talking about others that see racism everywhere.
----------------------------

I find that comment, quite frankly, to be offensive. You are implying that no bigotry exists and saying those of us who experienced it are "insecure" and "see racism everywhere".

I can assure you, that my siblings and I are not "insecure". Nor did we grow up looking for "racism everywhere".

Nor did we "act like [we] own[ed] the place" and we did NOT "walk with an air of superiority'.

Our experiences living on the Island were quite real. Funny, that you ignore the article I mentioned that appeared in The San Juan Star that was about a non-Puerto Rican family whose children were born on the Island and spoke fluent Spanish yet were still were not accepted.

You, apparently, were born and raised and still live on The Island. So, please do NOT pretend to speak for those of us who lived there and experienced bigotry.

As I pointed out to you, in my life, I've experienced more bigotry from Hispanics (not just PRs but others of Hispanic descent) than I ever have from non-Hispanics. After having lived stateside and being called the "s" word by some people, it was quite eye-opening to live on the Island and get called "gringos" and "Americanos". I thought the bigotry I experienced growing up on the Mainland was bad until I experienced even worse on The Island.

It's a shame. Puerto Rico is a beautiful place and as I pointed out, there are good people who don't have a prejudiced bone in their body. It was always a pleasure to be with them.
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Old 05-28-2014, 10:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BOS2IAD View Post
Julian, You write:

Insecure folks often perceive discrimination where there is none. I am not implying that you are insecure, I am talking about others that see racism everywhere.
----------------------------

I find that comment, quite frankly, to be offensive. You are implying that no bigotry exists and saying those of us who experienced it are "insecure" and "see racism everywhere".

I can assure you, that my siblings and I are not "insecure". Nor did we grow up looking for "racism everywhere".

Nor did we "act like [we] own[ed] the place" and we did NOT "walk with an air of superiority'.

Our experiences living on the Island were quite real. Funny, that you ignore the article I mentioned that appeared in The San Juan Star that was about a non-Puerto Rican family whose children were born on the Island and spoke fluent Spanish yet were still were not accepted.

You, apparently, were born and raised and still live on The Island. So, please do NOT pretend to speak for those of us who lived there and experienced bigotry.

As I pointed out to you, in my life, I've experienced more bigotry from Hispanics (not just PRs but others of Hispanic descent) than I ever have from non-Hispanics. After having lived stateside and being called the "s" word by some people, it was quite eye-opening to live on the Island and get called "gringos" and "Americanos". I thought the bigotry I experienced growing up on the Mainland was bad until I experienced even worse on The Island.

It's a shame. Puerto Rico is a beautiful place and as I pointed out, there are good people who don't have a prejudiced bone in their body. It was always a pleasure to be with them.
IN PR the term gringo or americano is not an insult. Could you explain why you were offended? However, if the recipient believes gringo is a bad word then that is the way it goes.
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Old 05-28-2014, 10:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Julian658 View Post
IN PR the term gringo or americano is not an insult. Could you explain why you were offended? However, if the recipient believes gringo is a bad word then that is the way it goes.
It's all in the way that it was said---the tone of the voice. You also know that those terms are used to let a person know that they don't belong.

You can't possibly understand as your experience is entirely different.

Please do not pretend to know what my experience was like. You come off as being condescending.
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Old 05-29-2014, 06:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BOS2IAD View Post
It's all in the way that it was said---the tone of the voice. You also know that those terms are used to let a person know that they don't belong.

You can't possibly understand as your experience is entirely different.

Please do not pretend to know what my experience was like. You come off as being condescending.
Yes, I realize, I cannot walk on your shoes. But, as an islander that grew up in PR I can confidently tell you puertoricans accept everybody. There is a long list of non-puertoricans that are considered our own.


I will admit that the case of puertoricans that are born and raised outside PR may be different. Perhaps the bar is high and the locals expect then to be different. IN other words they do not cut you any slack.

The issue may have to do with applying American culture to the island. It is OK if an American like the OP behaves American, but you are expected to do otherwise. BTW, I grew up playing rock music and embraced the American culture, but I did this as an islander. I see your point, it is not easy for you.
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Old 05-29-2014, 02:56 PM
 
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I can confidently tell you puertoricans accept everybody.
-------------
Please. Unless you've personally talked to everybody on the Island, you don't know this for a fact.

Now, for the umpteenth time---There are those who are welcoming and accepting, very sweet good-hearted people. Unfortunately, there are far too many who are not accepting. Got it?

You've yet to comment on the family that The San Juan Star wrote about. Why is that? This family was non-Puerto Rican but lived on the Island for years. Their kids were born there and spoke fluent, unaccented Spanish. Yet they were always made to feel like outsiders.




As far as Dean Clay McDowell goes --- His Spanish wasn't "broken" but he did have a noticeable accent. My father once wondered why he didn't make an effort to work on that.

Last edited by BOS2IAD; 05-29-2014 at 03:05 PM..
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOS2IAD View Post
As far as Dean Clay McDowell goes --- His Spanish wasn't "broken" but he did have a noticeable accent. My father once wondered why he didn't make an effort to work on that.
Asking a non-native speaker not to have an accent is not realistic. However, some judge accents rather than the content or grammar.

I feel for you. It is not easy being from PR and not having the native lingo. But, this is not unique to PR. I know an Italian lady that gets bent out of shape when she meets Italian Americans that think they are Italian. She always corrects them and say "you are an American of Italian descent, you are not Italian".


I suggest you keep plugging away and do not have a thin skin. If you are looking to be offended you will.
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:09 PM
 
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Please, Julian. Enough already.

I do NOT have a thin skin. I do NOT go looking to be offended. Don't you get this?

I didn't say that he shouldn't have had an accent. However, he could have made more of an effort to work on it. Got it?

I suggest that you no longer pretend to know what others experience in their lives---and that you no longer make baseless assumptions.

I have no more to say to you on this issue. You need to let it go.
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