If you’re from Miami you might be looking at this title and think I’m crazy. I mean we are a city full of horrible drivers who get high on Cuban coffee. Majority of us only speak Spanish and get mad at those who don’t know any Spanish. We’re also incredibly rude and speak our own lingo that no one else in America understands. But it’s a city filled with culture and for that I’m grateful.
I am proud to be Portuguese American. Portuguese as in my family comes from Portugal in case you confused that with Brazilian (opposites sides of the world). A small but mighty country filled with beautiful lands, amazing food, and kind people.
Growing up was rather difficult. There wasn’t and isn’t many people of my background around me besides my family and family friends. On tv I saw and still do see spanish and american shows. On the radio its the same thing. There’s hispanic, asian, and Caribbean restaurants and supermarkets. If I want to remember the snacks I had in Portugal I have to drive over and hour to the only portuguese market besides the one in Orlando for the taste of my parents homeland. It sucks. Point blank it completely sucks. People would ask me where Portugal was. “Isn’t it basically spanish?” Which hurt. But they weren’t cultured as I was. I grew up surrounded by people who weren’t like me. Therefore I became more knowledgable than them.
Imagine I as a little girl not only had to speak English among friends, I had to learn Spanish in class and speak Portuguese at home. It was all incredible and confusing. Already at a young age I knew more languages than most of my classmates. I had three under my belt more or less.
Also being surrounded by cultures different from my own made me a more open-minded and understanding person when it came to people. I learned about the different Hispanic cultures. Their food and music. I learned about the different Caribbean cultures. Their food and music. But know one knew mine.
I’ve met people who have found it weird that I read subtitles and listen to music in languages other than Spanish and English. But I’ve done it since I was little because I’m not Spanish and I’m not just american. I am also Portuguese. I have family in France. I listened to French music when I was young and became obsessed with a french girl group called L5. For me it was normal It was normal to watch foreign movies and listen to foreign music. It wasn’t until I was older and saw the faces people would give me that I knew it wasn’t “normal” per say.
I’m grateful for Miami for teaching me that there is more culture out there besides my own. That there is more beyond our borders of America. A beautiful melting pot is what Miami is and I am so beyond thankful. And I ask all of you to open your minds. Open your hearts. There is so much greatness out in the world.