u05a1- Cultural Autobiography

The puerto rican population is predominantly catholic

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The Puerto Rican population is predominantly Catholic. However, they still believe in the practice of many rituals that are said to be inherited by their Taino as well as their African roots. In Amelia Sanchez’s family it is tradition to paid tribute to many saints often accompanied by religious ceremonies, masses, processions, music, dancing, and cockfights. Puerto Ricans still believe in the power of the evil eye, in their saints' abilities to perform miracles, in remarkable acts of healing as a result of a strong faith, and in the practice of different forms of witchcraft. One religious holiday that is extremely important in the Puerto Rican culture is Christmas Day. During the winter season many Puerto Ricans engage in their traditional “parrandas” which is their version of the classic American caroling. Other religious holidays that are traditionally cele- brated by Amelia’s family in Puerto Rico are: Three Kings Day, Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Holy Week, Good Friday, and Easter. When it comes to the topic of religious practices, Amelia
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CULTURAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY 5 comprehends that in the counseling field one must be able to develop cultural sensitivity. Sue and Sue (2013) pointed out that, “enhancing multicultural understanding and sensitivity means bal- ancing our understanding of the sociopolitical forces that dilute the importance of race, on the one hand, and our need to acknowledge the existence of other groups identities related to social class, gender, ability/disability, age, religious affiliation, and sexual orientation, on the other” (p. 41). Undeniably, all of these amazing historical events, cultural traditions, and religious tradi- tions have made a strong mark in Amelia’s cultural heritage. Let’s now explore how other aspects in her culture have impacted and contributed to her concepts of pride and shame, discrimination and privilege, and worldview in regards to the counseling field. Cultural heritage and other concepts Some cultural aspects Amelia and her family are most proud of are: their tropical island, their language, their traditions, their roots, their flag, but mostly, their people. Throughout Puerto Rico’s history there have been many important individuals who have certainly accomplished great things in areas such as, politics, music, film, sports, and science among others. For in- stance, Sonia Sotomayor was the very first Puerto Rican and Hispanic woman to be nominated as well as confirmed as the U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice. Jose Feliciano, Mark Anthony, and Ricky Martin are just some of many Puerto Ricans who have become music legends also winning numerous awards worldwide for their talents as singers and composers. Benicio del Toro, Erik Estrada, Rita Moreno, Jennifer Lopez, Joaquin Phoenix, and Rosie Perez have become successful stars in film as well as theater. In addition, Roberto Clemente was the very first Puerto Rican to make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame with a record of 3,000 hits. On the other hand, Joseph M. Acaba was the very first Puerto Rican to become an astronaut. While all of this factors
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