Vacaciones Con Panameñas

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Photo by: David Singleton

I wouldn’t trade my family for the world. I wouldn’t give them up for anything.  Even if I got the chance to see Michael Jackson moon walk across my living room floor or to receive an all expense paid trip to Fiji. It isn’t happening and it isn’t worth it. Family is not only essential to me but it is important to my culture.

Life is way too short to let them slip away that’s why you must spend every second you possibly can with them.My family is extremely unique and I know we would have the highest watched reality show. If we had one.

Do you hear that VH1, TLC, Lifetime? Anybody? I will keep dreaming about that just like my dream about a Ferrari pulling up full of cash. It probably won’t happen but you get what I am saying. Many aren’t that familiar with Panamanians and our culture but our family traditions aren’t all the same nor or they limited. Holidays are the best with us I promise you that and if maybe we were offered that reality show you could probably watch our holiday specials. Wink! Wink!

Holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas are the most exceptional spent with my family. This is where all the love and fond moments are created.?”
It is special because my Abuela always cooks amazing food that literally touches your soul and makes you full for a week.  All my Tias ,Tios , cousins and family friends come to celebrate with us.

The meal Ohh man ! Did you hear I said the meal?  It’s like a buffet, but more like a buffet full of her love because she always cooks with her heart. On holidays, she makes: Turkey, Ham, Arroz con Pollo, Lasagna, Oxtail, and Collard Greens and so much more. I always ask myself if I am on another planet or if this is real life.  I snap back to reality and say yes it is.

The best part is after everyone finishes their meals and digest. This is when the party beings. There is not much of an option in my family whether you want to join or not. If you come to celebrate with us ,you are automatically apart of our family and we make you feel a part of the fiesta. When the salsa music is playing on the stereo my Tia Carola is one of the first to start feeling the music and begin dancing and getting down.

Her expression through her dance makes her come alive and you see how happy she is. It also makes you want to dance with her, but when you’re like me who can’t ever seem to get the Salsa four step right. You sit back and just clap and smile yelling “Bailar Tia, Bailar”. She doesn’t care she pulls you to come dance along with her she wants you to enjoy your time. Eventually everyone starts dancing together and it almost looks like the Soul Train Awards but with a salsa twist.

But when the reggae comes on that is an entirely different story. You think New York City never sleeps, well you ain’t seen nothing yet until your Thanksgiving turns into Friday Reggae Night at a local lounge. That one family member you thought was quiet and shy that turns around really quick when they start getting down to some Vbyz Kartel.

It happens.  My family loves a good time, we like to move away from being serious all the time and crack jokes and recollect warmhearted moments that could maybe be shared with future generations.

All of these memoirs add on into our legacy of love that we share with one another.

And Yes! Your invited to our next holiday so be prepared. Bring your dancing shoes.

-SignedJenay

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