Practice English Speaking&Listening with: I Connected With My Puerto Rican Side For The First Time

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- [Destinee] Wepa!?

What did you just have me say?

(Upbeat Latin music)

My grandmother is full Puerto Rican,

like from San Juan, Puerto Rico.

My dad is half Puerto Rican,

which makes me a fourth Puerto Rican.

So, I was like,

"Am I appropriating too far out?"

Going to doctor's visits where they be like,

"check the box on if you are black or if you're Hispanic."

I was like, "Do I check both?"

And my mom be like, "Nah, you're black."

I'm like, "Okay!"

And so, I always kind of felt like I was Puerto Rican,

but wasn't Puerto Rican enough to claim being Puerto Rican.

So, being a military kid you're kind of,

for lack of a better word, exiled.

I remember my grandmother coming around,

and she was in our lives and a part of our lives,

but, again, just being military and always moving

and relocating and then with her getting older

she just couldn't make those trips like that anymore.

Which is really unfortunate,

especially because she recently passed

and I just assumed that I had all this time to

learn about the culture and the Puerto Rican

side of the family and before I knew it,

she wasn't here to share those

stories or experiences with me.

So, I'm here to live my best Puerto Rican life.

I'm gonna learn the language,

the food, the dance, the culture,

the full shebang.

(laughs loudly)

- [Destinee] I have.

(Upbeat Latin music)

- [Ivan] Hola Destinee, como estas?

- [Destinee] Hola!

(cheek kissing sounds)

- [Ivan] So the first thing I want you to

know are slang.

Puerto Ricans love shortening words.

Puerto Ricans love cutting letters

and stuff like that so Acho derives from

muchacho but then Acho is used more like

a reaction to things.

If a party if canceled and you're like

Acho! - [Destinee] Acho!

- [Ivan] Argarete!

If you get too lit? - [Destinee] Argarete.

- [Ivan] But the all time favorite.

- [Destinee] I think it's a bad word.

- [Ivan] It's a bad word,

we might have to bleep it.

Say it!

- [Destinee] Puneta - (exclamatory happy sound)

- [Destinee] Oh whatchu got me out here saying?

- [Ivan] You felt that! - [Destinee] I felt it!

- [Ivan] You felt that word! - [Destinee] I felt it.

- [Ivan] Okay. This literally means -

(crickets chirping)

I don't even know what it means.

(Destinee laughs loudly)

- [Ivan] Cause we use a lot of words for good

situations and bad situations.

Five minutes in you're like happy

and you say "Puneta!" and then

five minutes later you're like "Puneta."

Now we're getting to this.

- [Destinee] Que es la que hay?

- [Ivan] Uh huh

- [Destinee] What is something today?

- [Ivan] Que es la que hay? But that

just means "what's up?"

- [Destinee] Wow!

- [Ivan] So let's just reenact.

We're walking.

De Ti!

- [Destinee] Que es la que hay?

Oh that was all over the place. (laughs)

- [Ivan] This word got famous when our new icon

Bad Bunny - - [Destinee] Yes

- [Ivan] became a sensation.

(angelic music)

I feel like you're ready for the next step.

- [Destinee] Ooh

- [Ivan] I give you a solid "A".

- [Ivan] When you don't feel like

- [Destinee] Estamo bien

- [Ivan] you're talking Puerto Rican,

just start cutting down words.

You can even say cancel that "E" "S"

and you're like "Tamo bien".

- [Destinee] Tamo bien. (laughs loudly)

(Upbeat Latin music)

- [Destinee] Hey!

(exclamatory noises)

We're getting Puerto Rican food!


- [Ivan] I mean you said you've never had

Mofongo and that's like iconic.

You have to try Mofongo.

(upbeat Latin music)

- [Destinee] Hey! - [AC] Hi welcome!

- [Destinee] Que es la que hay?

- [AC] Bienvenido!

Monfongo's been here ten years.

Right now only brick and mortar

Puerto Rican restaurant in

Los Angeles county. - [Ivan] Nice

- [Destinee] So I'm new to the whole shebang

so can y'all bless me on what

is Mofongo?

- [AC] Well the Mofongo which is made

with green plantains and by the way

there's a lot of different versions

of this type of dish.

We take green plantain, you soften it

up here, we do it in the deep fryer.

We smash it up with chicharon and

garlic and then make it into like a bowl

and stuff it with meat.

- [Destinee] We're on a good train here, we

got something going.

I'm excited!

(slapping table)

I'm ready to devour this food.

- [Ivan] What are you the most excited to try?

- [Destinee] All of it.

(Exclamatory noises)

(Waitress describing dishes in Spanish)

(More exclamatory sounds) - [Ivan] Thank you!

So these are the Tostonos - [Destinee] Uh huh

- [Ivan] those are the little plantain discs

that are crispy that I was - - [Destinee] Yeah

- [Ivan] telling you about.

Arroz con gandules.

- [Destinee] Mofongo!

- [Ivan] One and only iconic Mofongo.

(content exclamation)

- [Destinee] Pigeon peas - [Ivan] Yep. Salud!

- [Destinee] My Grandmother made this, this I remember.

- [Ivan] Really? - [Destinee] Yes!

This I remember. - [Ivan] Wow!

- [Destinee] Yea I've had this.

- [Ivan] I got goosebumps from that.

- [Destinee] Wow, oh I'm not gonna cry.

I'm not gonna cry.

(Inaudible words and laughter)

- [Ivan] Salud. - [Destinee] Salud.

Oh yeah, usually I'm a very

textured eater. - [Ivan] Wow.

- [Destinee] But this does not mess with me at all.

And now I'm blessed.

- [Ivan] Hashtag bendicito

(angelic music)

- [Destinee] Happy girl, happy happy girl.

- [AC] How's the food Destinee? Good?

- [Destinee] Amazing, amazing.

The rice almost made me cry.

- [AC] We wanted to thank you for

stopping by.

We want to give you - - (celebratory exclamations)

- [AC] A honorary Puerto Rican

fanny pack.

- [Destinee] Thank you I appreciate it.

- [AC] No problem, thank you for coming.

Got it? (laughing)

- [Destinee] Yeah we gonna come back later.

(Upbeat Latin music)

- [Ivan] Yeah so we're seeing Maritxell Carrero.

She's been doing Bomba dancing for

years now and I'm super excited

because Bomba is such a cultural dance.

- [Destinee] Well I'm black so I have rhythm.

- [Ivan] Let's go Bomba dancing!

- [Destinee] Bomba dancing!

(Percussion upbeat music)

(exclamatory sounds)

- [Maritxell] Wepa!

- [Destinee] Wepa! Que es la que hay?

(Maritxell responds in Spanish)

- [Destinee] What was the name of that again?

- [Maritxell] Bomba. - [Everyone Else] Bomba!

- [Maritxell] Bomba Puerta Ricana.

It's our (inaudible Spanish words).

It portrays the history back to our

people that were enslaved.

Our African people that migrated from

Africa and brought in slave

by colonization.

And out of this pain and this suffering

our beautiful music, our beautiful

expression of power and dignity

and love.

And this is oral tradition, we learn it

from other people who teach us, elders.

So we carry that tradition with us.

- [Ivan] Have fun, enjoy and Bomba!

- [Destinee] Bomba! - [Maritxell] Okay wow!

(Percussion music)

First we start by recognizing the rhythm.

That is the Seis Corrido.

Right? So first thing I would like you

to do is just feel it.

Go as you move side to side, I feel

like you can get it.

She had a fear she wasn't Puerto

Rican, look at those hips! (Laughs)

She is following the basic rhythm.

He is called the Primo, he is going to

mark every movement that you make.

(Upbeat percussion music)

- [Destinee] Can I come out of this?

- [Maritxell] Ba, ba, ba.

And one!

Okay so because this is Bomba crash course.

- [Destinee] Yeah.

- [Maritxell] So I have to let you use the falda,

you have to use your falda.

- [Destinee] Ooh What is a falda?

- [Maritxell] So la falda, we have -

(Ivan makes presentational sounds)

- [Maritxell] Thank you, thank you.

(Upbeat percussion music)

This one is going to be the basic step.

Right, left, one two three four.

You got it baby, you got it, you don't even -

- [Destinee] I can do the basics.

- [Maritxell] There you go.

You see?

Uh huh.

Left, Right.

Left, Right, Right.

Then we say goodbye, turn out your arm

and then we leave in basic step.

(laughter and clapping)

- [Destinee] Wow, oh my goodness, a real

crash course.

- [Ivan] Wow I was sweating for you.

- [Destinee] This was so awesome, there was just

so many intricate parts and I feel like

it was a part of the culture

just watching you.

- [Maritxell] Now I challenge you to go

back to Puerto Rico to really feel it

because here we are doing the best we

can to carry Puerto Rico inside our blood

and our veins and our teachings and whatever.

But you gotta go there,

you gotta go to the source.

- [Destinee] I do.

I know I'm all sweaty and gross but can

we get a hug in here.

(Everyone proclaiming in confirmation)

Thanks y'all! (inaudible words)

(upbeat Latin music)

- [Destinee] Woo!


I don't know if you can tell but literally

from the jump I was like this.

Wow like this has been just a day of experience

and a crash course in being Boriqua.

I know that this is going to go beyond

just this video.

And it was so cool like letting these people

know like why I was on this journey and

everybody being so welcoming and so

enthusiastic for me.

It's undoing life long inner battle

with myself of "Am I Puerto Rican enough

to be considered Puerto Rican?"

Is it denying my black side if I say

I'm Puerto Rican?

And it's like you can be both and

literally everybody I met on this journey

was like "You can be both."

When I first got to Buzzfeed I did a video

with Curly about like things all Latina kids

hear from their parents.

And we showed it to my grandmother

while she was sick in bed and she

didn't have much energy but she was

able to get a smile and a chuckle out

of that video.

And so I know from her watching above that

she is like "At least you're trying mira,

at least you're trying."

(Upbeat music)

The Description of I Connected With My Puerto Rican Side For The First Time