Possibly you have heard on different occasions the expression “And your grandmother where is she?” However, not necessarily everyone is familiar with that expression or what it really means.
We Puerto Ricans use this phrase as part of describing our roots, culture, and race in general. We do not necessarily have physical characteristics that define a particular ethnic group and, therefore, you can find Puerto Ricans with a white, black or tan skin color. Also, our hair color is much as black or blond and our texture of hair is either straight hair, with curls or afro. Without forgetting also, that we have brown, black, green or blue eyes. From here comes the famous expression “And your grandmother where is she?”
We have the privilege of proceeding from three different roots: those who were, the Taino Indians; those who arrived, the Spaniards; and those they brought, the Africans. Of them, we not only acquire their physical features, but also their customs and culture in general. Therefore, it is not surprising when in a family group, there is the “blanquito,” the “trigueñito,” or the “negrito.” It is at that moment that we say, “And your grandmother where is she?” Let’s be proud of our roots, because it is what distinguishes us not only as a people, but also what we inherit from our ancestors.
By Joel Cintron