Para Cenar Habrá Nostalgia de Fior E. Plasencia

Fior E. Plasencia comienza su colección de poems con un prólogo en Español e Inglés. Del lado izquierdo es el Inglés y del lado derecho es el Español. Esta colección es fluida con su bilingüismo y sus imágenes del inmigrante Dominicano a Nueva York.

The most powerful idea that I took away from Para Cenar Habrá Nostalgia, is the idea of Campesino o Ciudadano. Plasencia starts her poem “Residencia Extranjera” with “Cuando estaba recién llegado/ mí perfume olía a campesino.” And sure if you enter ‘campesino’ into google translate, you’ll get that the English translation is ‘peasant,’ but that is not true for Dominicans in the United States. A campesino is someone that is back home, or someone who is here, but still has the qualities of a campesino. Ciudadano does mean citizen–google translate isn’t lying to you there.  The idea of Campesino o Ciudadano is powerful because I believe that it is one of the many problems that Dominican immigrants, and all immigrants, to the United States face. Are you loyal to your patria or do you assimilate and become a citizen of these 50 United States? Then some would probably ask the question, “why can’t you have both?” And someone else will probably ask, “why can’t you have none since we’re all one race; the human race?” Well, the answers to those questions can only be revealed to the immigrant.

In God We Trust/Dios, Patria, Libertad!

Many times when I speak to my relatives from back home they say that I have been Americanized. I agree with them, but that doesn’t mean that I have forgotten what it means to be a Dominican or a Campesino. I was a Campesino for the first three years of my life. I am still a Campesino even though I only remember the Dominican Republic through my mother’s photos and stories. But I’ve lived in the United States for most of my life now, so I am a Ciudadano. But am I one or both or none? I don’t have an answer to that question and I don’t I ever will until I am close to death praying to Nuestra Señora de la Altragracia for mercy.

 

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