Personal Narrative Essay: I am Cuban

How many times have you been asked, "Where are you from?" Many times, I believe. Humans are naturally inquisitive about where others come from, hear their tales, and distinguish them as individuals. But how do you identify yourself? What one term, what one category, would you use to describe your identity? When I am asked to identify myself whether they ask about my culture or ethnicity and personality I always say Cuban.  I identify as "Cuban" since I am a native of the country and was raised there, therefore being Cuban shaped my character and distinct personality.  

Cuba is not like other countries; it is communist and developing. I remember being a child and never wanting to stay in my room; instead, I was always outside, playing, dancing, and inventing new games with strangers. That is why children in Cuba are carefree, lively, sociable, and outgoing. That's why I am carefree, lively, sociable, and outgoing. When it rains, I never shut my window and watch Netflix till I fall asleep as most people do in the United States; rather, you'll see me dancing in the rain alone, barefoot, and enjoying the gentle touch of the water pouring down on me. I do this because I grew up hearing stories about how dancing in the rain allowed rainbows to appear—I used to do it all the time in Cuba when I was a kid. These stories I was told as a child were more than just stories. The rain signified gloomy times, in my country's instance communism, and the dancing just represented life, doing your best to remain afloat in the hope of a rainbow, of freedom, of happiness. Cubans, like hopeless romantics, wish for a better future and a better nation, even though communism has existed for over five centuries. This is why I always hope for the best, even when there isn't much else to hope for. When it's pouring and the sky is gloomy, I find myself dancing in it. After a while, my feet start to hurt, but I remember that the sky can't stay grey long and that I'll see my rainbow once it is over—so I keep dancing. I never give up on people, and I never lose hope in mankind, because I was reared in a country where people were full of hopes and aspirations, even after fifty years of continual pain, poverty, sadness, and retribution toward those who made it out, toward those who found the rainbow. I am proud of my Cuban heritage because it has made me strong, vivacious, carefree, and persevering, but most importantly, it has made me the kind of woman who never loses hope.

It is challenging to encapsulate our essence in a single word, and it is even more difficult for most individuals to define themselves. I, due to my ethical and cultural background, can put my personality and identify who I am as a person as Cuban. Being Cuban represents how I was raised, where I come from, my ethnicity and culture-it is who I am. I am Hispanic, carefree, strong-willed, and driven. I never give up; I always find a way to stay positive. I am Cuban.


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