What is the central idea of when I was Puerto Rican?
The main theme that stands against Esmeralda, both in Puerto Rico and in New York, is the problem of financial instability. This instability might be what pushes Esmeralda to work hard enough to find her true potential, in spite of all the difficulties that poverty put in her path.
Who are the main characters in When I Was Puerto Rican?
When I Was Puerto Rican Characters
- Negi. The protagonist and narrator of the book.
- Mami. Mami is Negi‘s mother.
- Papi. Papi is Negi‘s father.
- Abuela. Abuela is Papi‘s mother and Negi‘s grandmother (“abuela” means grandmother in Spanish).
- Tata. Tata is Mami‘s mother.
- Doña Andrea.
- Tío Lalo.
Who is Negi in When I Was Puerto Rican?
Negi’s real name is Esmeralda; she was given “Negi” as a nickname as an infant because her skin was nearly black. She’s the first child that Mami and Papi have together and is four years old when her memoir begins.
What does being Puerto Rican mean?
Puerto Ricans (Spanish: Puertorriqueños; or boricuas) are the people of Puerto Rico, the inhabitants, and citizens of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (a United States territory), and their descendants. Puerto Rico is home to people of many different national origins as well.
Why does Negi take off her uniform when fighting?
Negi is caught between defending herself from her classmates and avoiding Mami’s wrath. Removing her uniform, then, is a (rather amusing) way for her to shape Mami’s code to fit her own needs. Because Negi technically obeys, Mami gets to keep her sense of power over Negi while Negi also keeps a sense of agency.
What is the name of the healer who chooses Negi to close the dead baby’s eyes?
Because the curandera (healer) saw her and picked her out among the many little girls to do this honor. The closing of this baby’s eyes meant that he would go to Heaven.
What does Jamona mean in When I Was Puerto Rican?
Women who are jamona are defined by an absence of a relationship with a man, like it’s a negative thing, while men who don’t have a relationship with a woman are jokingly considered lucky, not defective. Negi realizes that bringing her to Abuela’s house was an excuse for Papi to see, possibly, another woman.
How many siblings does Negi have?
Negi is short for “Negrita” (little black girl), the nickname Esmeralda earned for her dark skin and hair. Later Mami punishes Negi and her two younger sisters, Delsa and Norma, for pestering their hen. When the children wail in pain, Papi says, “You know better than to cross your mother,” which makes Negi feel alone.
What does the guava represent in When I Was Puerto Rican?
The guava symbolizes Negi’s Puerto Rican childhood, particularly the fact that the guava isn’t ripe, which represents Negi’s coming of age. When Negi left Puerto Rico she clung to the overripe guava in her pocket, but as an adult she has no desire to purchase the guavas that are for sale.
Is Puerto Rican a nationality?
The Nationality Act of 1940 established that Puerto Rico was a part of the United States for citizenship purposes. Since Jan. 13, 1941, birth in Puerto Rico amounts to birth in the United States for citizenship purposes. While Puerto Ricans are officially U.S. citizens, the territory remains unincorporated.
Are all Puerto Rican Tainos?
According to a study funded by the National Science Foundation, 61 percent of all Puerto Ricans have American Indian mitochondrial DNA, probably from a common Taino ancestry.
Where did Puerto Ricans come from?
Most surprisingly, we found that roughly 60% of Puerto Ricans carry maternal lineages of Native American origin. Native American ancestry, higher than nearly any other Caribbean island, originated from groups migrating to Puerto Rico from both South and Central America.