About a year ago I read an article online entitled, Cubanology written by Claudia Fanelli, the daughter of Italian immigrants who grew to learn and appreciate the struggles that Cuba has faced over the last forty eight years since Fidel Castro came into power. This article served as a reminder to me of how truly valuable heritage and culture. A person without a unique cultural background is destined to never truly appreciate what it is to have pride and love for something intangible. I am saddened by the simple fact that I will never know the land that my grandparents knew before Fidel Castro took power. Cuba is a land that is rich in beauty, culture, and love. What I am grateful for is that although my family couldn’t bring Cuba with them, they brought its spirit. I am proud to say that I am Cuban-American. Although I was born on U.S. soil, my parents and grandparents taught me to appreciate the place our family comes from.
I was once told that I am an American first and a Cuban second. Though I am not fully convinced of this, I think it is a matter of perspective. I love the United States and I am grateful for all the things that it has provided for me. In Cuba I would have never had the education and work opportunities that are available to me now. It is with thanks to my Cuban upbringing that I have a chance to succeed in this country. I hope to one day pass my Cuban culture down to my children so that it does not fade. It is important to know where we come from and what our ancestors went through to make way for our better future. I only wish that they’ll value their roots and continue to pass it down to future generations as well. Again I ponder the question, am I Cuban or American? I now realize that I am a beautiful blend of the two! My Cuban heritage has mixed with the cultures of America to make me the person I am today.
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