photo: iStock

Being a second-generation Latina, I often feel like I am straddling two different worlds. While I often find myself feeling like a Cuban phony compared to others who share my background — especially because I’ve never actually been to Cuba — there are other times where I literally feel the Cuban running through my blood, wanting to shout it from the rooftops for all to hear. Here are 10 times I’ve felt my inner Cuban coming through loud and clear.

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When I tell people how many quinceañeras I've been a part of

photo: Giphy

Quinceañeras are a big deal in the Cuban culture, so it's no surprise I was part of at least 10 of them growing up.


When people ask the difference between a colada and cortadito

photo: Giphy

You mean this isn't common knowledge? For those that don't know, a colada is is 3 to 6 shots of Cuban-style espresso served in a Styrofoam cup meant to share with people. And a cortadito is a standard espresso topped off with steamed milk. 


When I see a Santa Barbara statue

photo: Giphy

And get the urge to fist pump the bodega owner who has her on display.

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When people confuse the Cuban flag

photo: Giphy

For Puerto Rico, or worse, an entirely different country altogether. 


When I hear Celia Cruz come on at a wedding

photo: Giphy

Drake who? It's all about Celia at Cuban celebrations.

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When I meet people who don't know how to play dominoes

photo: Giphy

It literally hurts my heart. 


When I swap high school stories with non-Cuban friends

photo: Giphy

What do you mean you didn't have a salsa club?

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When I meet people who've never heard of Elian Gonzalez

photo: Giphy

Because his story rocked every Cuban's world.


When I browse the menu of a Colombian or Peruvian restaurant

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Whenever I see Gloria Estefan on TV

photo: Giphy

She will always be queen.