My ancestors were jibaros - a strong and simple folk who lived in the mountainous heart of Puerto Rico They also spoke with a rich (and often funny) jibaro language. Jibaros are - and will always be - the backbone of Borinqueño culture.
Para ustedes, mi gente. Cariñosamente y con mucho gusto les presento:
The Jibaro Medical Dictionary:
- Quebranto: Mysterious and slightly elevated body temperature, but not high enough to be considered a full blown fever. Nevertheless, it is serious enough to miss school or work. This illness is unknown by the American Medical Association (AMA) and only understood by doctors of Puertorican origin.
- Patatú: Fainting or spasmodic attack of obscure origin that can manifest itself at any time. It could be serious enough to require hospitalization, yet mysteriously undetectable by modern medical technology. Victims tend to be both males and females over the age of 50 years. See PRS.
- Sereno: Occurs when someone steps outdoors suddenly at night and is sprinkled by a mysterious substance. There are no physical symptoms and can only be detected by the Puertorican elderly. The cause of this disease is unknown. NOTE: Children must not be taken out at night without proper head gear or risk of contamination is certain.
- Empache: Digestive disorder which occurs after the consumption of a large Puertorican meal, but especially during the holidays, i.e. Noche Buena. The only known cure for this disease is "una buena criolla" or "tirarse un buen opps!". Alka-Seltzer is completely ineffective.
- Chichón: Elevated cranial protrusion usually caused by the fall after a patatú (Refer to #2).
- Chochera: Syndrome affecting all Puertorican senior citizens to different degrees. It is characterized by all around senility and irritating behavior.
- Tratamiento: Permanent stay at nearest nursing home - the most common cure for chochera.
- PRS: Also known as Puerto Rican Syndrome: A severe form of patatú. This usually occurs when a family member is arrested or killed and shown on CNN or TeleMundo. PRS is characterized by a complete failure of all your muscles of your lower extremities followed by a fall; usually broken by a person standing behind you. A variant of this condition can also be observed when Yiye Avila or another well known televangelist prays for a person and touches their forehead. The person then falls and proceeds to flop around on the floor like fish out of water - known in some religious circles as being slain in the spirit.
- Cuerpo Cortao: Frequent and mild condition of unknown origin. Symptoms include (and not limited to) fatigue, lack of energy and chronic whining. The equivalent to the onset of the flu or the horrible feeling the day after a bout of alcoholic debauchery (hang-over).
- Moño Parao: Possible biochemical imbalance of short duration that causes strange mood swings, violent irritating behavior as well as general unpleasantness. Extremely common. It can strike any Puertorican regardless of age or sex.
- ¡De Repente!: Also known as Sudden Death Syndrome. Lead cause of all Puerto Rican drug dealers shot over 97 times.
Happy Latino Heritage Month!