Today is is Cuban Independence Day, the day in 1902 that Cuba gained independence from Spain. What better time to celebrate your Cuban heritage? From always seeing papi in his guayabera to those Sunday nights with dominos to seeing Materva in the fridge next to the Coca-Cola, here are 20 signs that you grew up Cuban-American.
1. You had at least one dog (or cat!) named Linda growing up.
We all remember that little cocker spaniel or maltese, right? Somehow, every other dog or cat of our Cuban family was named "Linda." Awww, so sweet!
2. Scrambled eggs & rice with platanos maduros was a typical breakfast.
Sure, there's the cereal known as "con fleys" (that's Corn Flakes, everyone) but what we really loved was mami's rice, scrambled with eggs and maduros in the A.M.
3. You grew up knowing that Celia Cruz was the only queen on this planet.
Need we say more? The Queen of Salsa is the only queen Queen in our lives, period.
4. Pasta de guayaba (with cream cheese!) was the holy grail of snacks.
Coming home after school? That's when mami will serve up the saltine crackers, cream cheese and, of course, the pasta de guayaba. Enjoy!
5. It was never too early for a kid to start drinking cafe con leche.
It's not unusual to be a 6-year-old with your very own cup of cafe con leche. Just sayin'.
6. “Coño” is a way to describe pretty much any way you could possibly be feeling.
Feeling sad? Feeling frustrated? Feeling excited? Feeling resentful? Feeling extremely happy? Yup, that's how we say it! Coñooooooo!
7. A typical Sunday night was playing dominos with family.
Dominos here, dominos there, dominos everywhere!
8. In your house, Jose Marti was the best poet that ever lived. Period.
What, you haven't heard of the famed Cuban poet?! How is that even possible? Our house is filled with his work.
9. A cortadito is a way of life, and you learned to make one early.
Known in Spain as a cortado, down in Cuba (and by that, we mean Miami) the half-espresso, half-steamed milk drink is properly called a cortadito.
10. Your familia is all Republicans, and you never understood why.
The Cuban population in the U.S. is predominantly Republican, unlike most Latinos who veer to the left. Want to know why? It is because, historically, once an oppressed people escape, they tend to lean in the complete opposite direction politically then the place they came from. Since communism is the extreme left of the political scale, Cubans in America tend to veer to the right instead.
11. You know there is no better Cuban restaurant than Versailles in Miami.
If you've ever lived, visited or heard of the Cuban part of Miami, then likely you've heard of Versailles. It's the staple Cuban joint, and yes it's amazing.
12. Mami frequently called you "gorda" as a term of endearment.
Gorda and gordita were frequently thrown around in our household, but it was always a term of endearment (even when it was annoying at times).
13. Your family's typical voice decimals are loud or louder.
It wasn't unheard of for mami to scream your name to come to the dinner table when you were just in the next room. You might have even scared a few of your friends with your family's loudness sometimes...
14. Platanos maduros, black beans & lechon all made it to Thanksgiving dinner.
They made great friends with the turkey, mashed potatoes and string beans you had to incorporate, too.
15. You know that merengue isn't just a dance, but a cookie too.
Merengue, the egg white and sugar cookie, was a staple in our households. Oh, didn't know that it actually came from the French meringue? Yes, it does!
16. You've seen more guayaberas in your life than anyone, ever.
Papi, tio, abuelo and pretty much every other Cuban man you've ever encountered wears them pretty regularly.
17. You grew up watching ”Sabado Gigante” every Saturday night.
Don Francisco forever!
18. Materva (and Jupiña!) were regularly stocked next to the Coca-Colas.
It's simply not okay to run out of these delicious beverages.
19. "Cuban Time" is very real, and yes, you just can't help it.
Oh, we're running 3 hours late? No big deal, so is everyone else!
20. Your family has a plan for when the Fidels finally croack.
Will you go back? Won't you? Every family has a different thought on this but you better believe we all have a plan for when things finally change.