Interview with Lydia Valencia on May 10, 2016, Segment 6

CENTRO: 100 Puerto Ricans Oral History Project, 2013-

Here Valencia talks about identity and culture. Born of a Chilean father and a Puerto Rican mother, Valencia discusses her identification as Puerto Rican. Early on, Valencia was steeped in Chilean culture through her father’s association with the Fraternity of Chilean Brothers. She even learned the cueca, a traditional Chilean dance, now the national dance of Chile. Valencia identified as Chilean until her first trip to Puerto Rico. She fell in love and never looked back. Valencia traces this sense of identity through a short stint in parochial school in Puerto Rico, struggling to learn to write in Spanish, and the dislike of warm milk. She tells a story of “institutional discrimination”: a New York City teacher would use Valencia during social studies classes as an example of what a “Chilean Indian” would look like. Valencia's sense of herself as Puerto Rican is so strong that identifying as “American,” by virtue of her passport, is challenging. The strength and endurance of Puerto Rican identity is transmitted to her children and grandchildren who are of multi-cultural backgrounds yet also self-identify as Puerto Rican.


Date
May 10, 2016, Recording date
Interviewee
Lydia Valencia
Interviewer
Elizabeth A. Burbach Gallardo
Duration
8m 22.0s
Location of interview

Puerto Rican Congress of New Jersey

Language
English
Object Type
Moving Image
Identifier
LyVa.2016.5.10.6
Related Keywords
Discrimination, Identity
Individuals or Organizations Mentioned
Fraternity of Chilean Brothers, New York City. Board of Education, Juan Aurelio Valencia Aguardio
Related Places
Lakewood, NJ (interview location), New York City (is referenced), Puerto Rico (is referenced), Mexico (is referenced), Chile (is referenced)
Related Dates
1950s, Date mentioned
Citation
CENTRO: 100 Puerto Ricans Oral History Project, 2013-. Interview with Lydia Valencia on May 10, 2016, Segment 6: LyVa.2016.5.10.6. Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library & Archives, Hunter College, CUNY. Web. 23 Sep 2020.
Use Restrictions

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted

Rights Holder
Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Library & Archive
Repository
Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Library and Archives
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