The puzzling reactions on my friends’ faces never get old. We’re sitting at a restaurant and everyone’s eating a burger except for me. Instead, I’m probably eating a salad (@ Umami Burger), animal farm fries (@ In-N-Out), or a hot dog (@ Shake Shack). “Why didn’t you order a burger?” they always ask and I always tell them it's because I've never had one.
Maybe it’s because my food standards are slightly pretentious (never eaten at Taco Bell either), or maybe I want to fight American obesity (nah), OR maybe it’s because I’m Polombian and we just don’t eat those kinds of foods.
What do I mean by “POLOMBIAN”?
It’s a hybrid nationality of Polish/ Colombian descent, one I have identified with my entire life. Though I was born here in America (Queens, NY to be exact), I never felt quite felt “American”. Even at a young age I felt so strongly about this that I refused to eat fast-food hamburgers, just to prove the point that I was not going to assimilate entirely to American foods/customs. But don’t get me wrong- I LOVE America. It’s because of this melting pot of a country I am able to exist. My mother was born and raised in Poland and my father was born and raised in Colombia. They both later in their lives moved to America and met each other at a University taking English classes in New York City (the best city).
After I was born, we only lived in that one bedroom apartment in Queens for a couple of years and then moved to New Jersey (or JUUHR-ZEEY) in a small predominantly white community- where I started to slowly recognize the difference between me and everyone else. I only knew who Britney Spears was by observing girls dance to “Hit Me Baby One More Time” on the play ground while at home I had been listening to Frédéric Chopin, (Poland’s homeboy composer), and Carlos Vives- the Colombian Grammy Award-winning singer. Those were my jams, from classical/jazz to latin/bossanova beats. So whom on the playground could I bond with? Especially when my mother dressed me up in thick stockings (always covered in wood chips), dresses, and braids that boys loved to pull on in a not so charming “carrots” Gilbert Blythe type of way. However I’m sure that I was not the only kid on the playground who felt this way at some point and time. Icons like Britney Spears are identities we all try to hide behind and unify with. Since the 90’s it has gone on to the Spice Girls, Beyonce, and the Kardashians. I think it’s important we seek identity for ourselves, otherwise we would all fall amidst the trending uniform of hair extensions and lip injections. Why not stick to and embrace your own identity? I am the non-burger empanada pierogi eating Polombian and I love it. What do you stand for?