Category Archives: Culture

Life Outside the Bronx: 5 Important Things I Had to Learn

Let me start off with a blasphemous admission: I hated the Bronx. [Gasp!] A lot of people love to reminisce about it and proudly cross their arms into an X chanting “BX!”And while it does give me a warm sense of pride and camaraderie to hear others boast about where we’re from, to me, when…

“No Me Cierres la Puerta!” Community vs. Independence: Conflicting Multicultural Values

One of the loveliest but trickiest things about being both Dominican and American is balancing and integrating our close-knit community values with the concept of independence, introversion and boundaries. In many, if not most cultures around the world, setting certain boundaries (like even just closing your bedroom door) can be considered rude, dismissive and/or selfish….

Prejudices Against the Dominican Accent & Anti-Dominican Sentiment

Dominican Accent Identity

Dominicans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, coastal Colombians, coastal Panamanians, Argentinians, and Andalusian/Canarian Spaniards generally tend to omit certain syllables and letters in our Spanish accents. For example “Como tu estas?” can easily be said “Como tu ‘ta?” when we speak. We tend to shorten some words and omit certain syllables which make our words flow smoother…

Why I am “Dominican Abroad” and Not “American Abroad”

What does it mean to be an American? We are a 236-year-old relatively nascent country of immigrants, influenced by cultural values from around the world. Every few decades a new wave of immigrants enter and form their own diaspora communities for a few generations until they slowly assimilate into what we call the American culture; but…

Ten Common Misconceptions About Me, A Dominican American Abroad

“I wish I had your perfect life.” An Instagram user sent me this message recently. It isn’t the first time someone has sent me some variation of that message this week. These, coupled with the growing accumulation of other questions and comments from readers and Instagram followers has motivated me to finally clear up a few…