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My culture

Mar 16, 2021 1:12 PM

Photo Essays

How important is your culture in your family? Both of my parents are from Puerto Rico so the Puerto Rican culture is very important to my family. We like to show our culture through items in our house.

The girl in the picture is my little sister, she is wearing a traditional Puerto Rican dress. This dress is called “el traje jibaro.” El traje jibaro is a dress worn in Puerto Rico that is very characteristic, and among its residents when the dress is worn it is pride. If you look to the left side of the picture there is also another item, the Puerto Rican flag.

Dominoes are very important to our culture. In Puerto Rico, we play with the traditional Double 6 rule. Dominoes for Puerto Ricans is not just a game of strategy or just a pastime, but also an activity played around the community. Dominoes is played by Puerto Ricans of all ages. It is primarily known as a family game since it is learned by children from their fathers, uncles, and grandfathers.

This object is a piece of decoration in my house. It shows two instruments placed in Puerto Rico, the conga (drums) and the cuatro (guitar). Not only does it show instruments played in Puerto Rico, but it also shows El Morro. El morro is the most popular historical site in Puerto Rico. Thanks to El Morro, the Spaniards were able to defend Puerto Rico from invasions by the British, Dutch, and pirates. Its full name is El Castillo de San Felipe del Morro.

This wooden mortar is called a “pilon.” It is an important item to my culture because it is used to create our traditional dishes. The pilon is used to prepare spices, mixes, and condiments. It also can be used to grind and crush garlic, plantains, corn, and coffee. It is also perfect for grinding fresh herbs into a herbal paste which is how Puerto Rican sofrito is made. It is also a key tool needed to make Mofongo, a signature Puerto Rican dish of mashed seasoned plantains stuffed with meat.

The object that you see in the picture is called a “tostonera.” Like the pilon, my family uses to make signature Puerto Rican dishes. The tostonera is a wooden plantain presser used to make tostones, which are plantain slices. The plantains are then laid in the bottom of the press, when pressure is applied to flatten out the slice.