I have this game I play with my friends (and myself). The game is all about Cuban Appreciation.
As you can see, I have inspired my non-Cuban friends to have Cuban Pride. :-)
example, I will wake up and make my cafecito in the morning
and realize how happy the smell of café makes me and how great this cup turned out. Being a Mad Texter, I take a picture with my camera phone and send it to my friends. Most of the time the title of the picture will be something simple like “Reason #5” (of why I’m grateful to be Cuban).
By the way, Reason #5 is a perfect cafecito.
Some moments I only share with the 3 Cubans I know because they will have a better understanding of the joy I’m feeling in being Cuban.
Like when I saw the Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre for the first time.
For the most part, all of my reasons for why I'm grateful to be Cuban fall under 3 major catergories: The Food, The People, and The Music.
About THE FOOD . . . The biggest thing that people here in Southern California don’t understand is that Cuban food IS NOT SPICY. We do flavorful, but not picante. I don’t hold it against Californians; we are surrounded by Mexican Food and all of its spices. And our desserts are different too. One of my Mom’s favorites is Natilla. (And I just happened to post the recipe for it on Babalu today!)
Part of my Cuban Appreciation program with my friends involves cooking for them on their birthday’s. My Arroz Con Pollo is now in high demand.
As far as THE PEOPLE are concerned, my favorite part about Cubans is how much love we readily give away. I think part of our sense of unity comes from the whole exile thing, but I also think it is just in our nature to be happy, noisy, funny, loving people. When we went to Cuba Nostalgia a couple weeks ago I was so touched and so blessed to be among so many wonderful Cubans. I just adore listening to Cubans speaking in Spanish. And English, for that matter, because we have that non-accented accent. Heavenly. There is one person in particular who affected me deeply while I was there and so I’d like to give a shout out to my birthday buddy and adopted Cuban father, El Gusano, from La Contra Revolucion. Thanks for being there for me! And Happy Birthday!
While I love the food and the people, my first few reasons for being thrilled to be Cuban all involve THE MUSIC.
I think Willy Chirino said it best when he talked about those old school songs that as Cubans we have in our veins. We don't even know that we know the songs, they are just there. From Trio Matamoros to Beny Moré to Celia Cruz to the new sounds of today (like The Orishas).
One of my favorite songs is that classic one "Quiero un sombrero de guano, una bandera, quiero una guyabera, y un son para bailar . . ." It is one of those songs where it is virtually impossible for me to sit still. ESPECIALLY since it's a CUBAN one. So while at Nostalgia, I found another reason I'm grateful to be Cuban and have been dying to share it with everyone I know.
Gracias a Dios que soy Cubana!