When visiting any country, it is essential to educate yourself on a few do’s and don’ts to assimilate easily with the locals. It makes moving around so easy and many people are pleased to know you took pains to know something about them or their culture.
Usually, many tourist guides advise you pick up a few phrases to make life easier when on vacation. Although the locals know it is impossible to learn everything pertaining to their culture, there are some things you should never say when in Puerto Rico.
This phrase is regarded as disrespectful and saying these words would probably spark a physical fight with whomever they were uttered to.
“Are you or your family immigrants?”
Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory and it is one of the few territories that has its own local government but follows U.S. laws and is governed by U.S. leaders. Hence everyone on the island is a U.S. citizen so questions like “are you an immigrant?” is quite a sensitive topic to many and should be avoided at all costs.
“Why clap when the plane lands?”
This Puerto Rican custom might seem weird to many tourists. It is better to appreciate the reason behind this custom even if you might not understand it. When planes land at San Juan International airport, Puerto Ricans clap as a show of gratitude for landing safely.
“Mexican and Puerto Rican food are the same”
There are a lot of similarities between Mexican and Puerto Rican food, however, they are not the same. Traditional Puerto Rican dishes have their oomph to them and so must be appreciated as such. Some include alcapurrias, mofongo and codfish fritters.
“You don’t look Puerto Rican”
Should Puerto Ricans have a look is the question you are most likely to get back. Truth is Puerto Ricans are diverse; they come in all shapes, colors and sizes so they do not appreciate being put into a certain stereotypical mold. It’s important not to assume that Puerto Ricans should have a tan with dark long hair.