Thursday, February 02, 2012

Dominican Heritage Month, Day 2

Being a Dominican from Bed-Stuy had its pros and cons. PRO: I didn't have to deal with the ratchetness that was Washington Heights. Because there weren't many of us for miles around we kept to ourselves and lived rather peacefully. CON: I didn't get to be one of those kids that was shipped to DR every summer for fun in the sun. In fact, I've only been there three times in my entire life. THREE TIMES!

Us kids did manage to stay connected to the Island not only through our elders (who watched us like hawks!) but through a great program called "Santo Domingo Invita." Every week hosts like Negro Santos took us to different regions of the Dominican Republic and made us long for fresh guavas and coconut water, fish and goat (yes, goat. Child, don't ask!).

And the music! Musica tipica Dominicana, as hokey as it may sound (an accordion, dude; that shit includes a very prominent accordion.), moved me.

Most of what I learned about DR was learned on the weekends, thanks to "Santo Domingo Invita." I didn't know it at the time, but it was instilling in me and sense of pride in the place from which my people came. There's always been room in my cold, Jaded, American heart for the Dominican Republic and "Santo Domingo Invita" made that happen.

Take a minute and look for Santo Domingo Invita in your TV Guide. Watch an episode or two, whether or not you speak Spanish. It might give you a small taste of what it was like to have grown up like me.

Wonderful, beautiful, Dominican me.

*besos...wondering if I can watch this streaming online*
you know, N already has two out of the three instruments needed for a "traditional" merengue band; she's only missing the accordion. thank god!