Puerto Rican Women and Children: Issues in Health, Growth, and Developmentby Gontram Lamberty
Julio Morales describes the Puerto Rican nation as being comprised of those individuals who identify themselves as Puerto Ricans. This includes almost 6. 2 million people who live primarily, but not exclu sively, on the island of Puerto Rico, and in the northeastern United States. One gets to be a Puerto Rican by various means. You are Puerto Rican if you are born in Puerto Rico, although at the same time you are an American because you were born there. You are Puerto Rican if your parents are Puerto Rican, even if you have never visited the island, have never eaten arroz y habichuelas, and have never spoken a word in Spanish. You can be a second and third generation Puerto Rican of mixed marriage, be highly acculturated to American culture, but when asked, you say proudly, "I am a Puerto Rican. " You can meet some of us whose world is bicultural, a world where English and Spanish are easily interchanged, where traditional Thanksgiving turkey is followed by lechon asado at Christmas as the main treat, where salsa or bolero are enjoyed with the same passion as rock'n roll or the big band sound. It is a world where various cultures have merged and the historical forces of slavery and Spanish and American colonialism have left their indelible marks on the psyche.
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