Que Pasa USA aired on PBS in 1977. For those of you not familiar with the show, it centers around a Cuban immigrant family, learning how to adjust to life in “el exilio” and is completely in Spanglish. They are the ambassadors of Miami’s native language and really, the how-to guide to life in Miami as a Cuban-American for over 30 years. I always say that this show is my family, on screen. I even wrote my college entrance exam for UCF comparing my family to theirs. As a modern day Carmencita – the baby of the family (on my mother’s side) here are 5 examples of how this show is still relatable after all these years. And yes, this will be in Spaniglish. It’s only fair, after all.
1. There is always one nosey neighbor who will come by your house when ANYTHING is going on. Bonus if she is always trying to upstage you too. There is nothing like a chismosa and un bofe all rolled into one.
2. Menos el cura, this is still what the average cuban american house looks like. Well, the Cuban American family with immigrant parents. Your cuban parents still think some of the clothes you wear is “picuo” even though its totally “coolisima” and living in their house is like jail y la tienen cogida contigo.
3. The old school double standard: boys can fool around, girls must be saints. And you always have that one slutty friend who wanted to bang everything that walks. It may be addressed in a very PG13 fashion but the reality of sex and teen pregnancy is very much seen today as it was back then. Ask any cuban abuelo and you will always be told that “la culpa la tiene este pais”.
4. The struggle of the first generation americans and their cuban parents/grandparents who don’t speak english is very real. Anyone who was around one relative who didn’t speak english has to deal with the constant “Eh?” after every word they say in english OR when they butcher a word in spanish. “Pero chico, hay que ponerse tan feo para hablar en ingles?”
5. Exiled Cubans never expected to be here forever. The reign of tyranny in Cuba was supposed to end sooner rather than later. Months turned into years, years turned into to decades. We’ve established first, second, and third generation Cuban Americans who don’t have the same tie to their roots as the older family members do. But find any old school Cuban – the ones that came here with the promise of going home one day and they will have that one little memento which they are holding on to for the day in which Cuba will finally be free.