Monthly Archives: March 2011

Put Your Money In Your Mouth

City College of New York (Hello fellow CUNYANS!) is conducting a campaign to raise funds for their prestigious Dominican Studies Institute. This center has given much funding to scholars conducting research in Dominican history, literature, sociology, among other disciplines. One of DSI’s  primary goal is to build a healthy endowment that will continue their effort in promoting the Dominican culture in all of its dimensions, as well as to continue making all of their resources available to those interested in all things Dominican.  Click here for information on how to donate.

New Book: Dominican York

Premios Casandra 2011

I was finally able to get my hands on pictures of the most anticipated Island event. Click here to friend me on facebook to see the good, the bad, and the oh-so-ugly. BTW Why do you think that (to my knowledge) no one at the Casandras has ever worn an Oscar de la Renta gown?

The Audacity of Yorks

According to scholars, the social landscape in certain parts of India is carefully stratified into a pyramid where the Brahmins or priests are at the top and the Paryahs or untouchables occupy the bottom. This is called a caste system in which members of each group are born into their corresponding strata, practice endogamy, and are expected to die within their rank. For the untouchables, it’s a life with no hope for upward mobility, and if someone of a higher status comes within close range of an untouchable, such member is required to immediately undergo a thorough cleansing which is not limited to a bath and prayer. Caste systems were created in supposed effort to maintain “harmony” and forestall social chaos.

This got me thinking that if Islanders ran the country according to India’s social configuration, us Yorkies would be the untouchables of Dominican society. Along with the poor, we would be expected to relegate ourselves to our corresponding level with no hope of progress up the echelons of the social ladder. So far, we can always count on being “reminded” of our rightful place, as stated by many of the self-professed members of the upper class who have read this blog or who have vehemently stated on other cybervenues their disdain for Dom-Yorks:

-You can keep on being a ghetto creepy creature.-

-You are not and will never be part of the Dominican upclass.-

-All you do is bring shame to us real Dominicans.-

-If you are a real, first generation Dominican York you probably are mano de obra barata, nothing more.-

-Dom-yorks are the biggest chopos(*)-.

(All comments were posted in the official language of the Dominican Republic: English)

The following remark however, clearly illustrates the reason why us Yorks pose such a threat to the crumbling of the pseudo upper crust of the Island.

-Stop saying that you, with your poor ass and lack of class, can do the same we real educated and relatively well off Dominicans can do-

A reader of mine once said that money is the great equalizer. The threat that Yorks pose to Islanders is that we can have as much as or (gasp!) more than the average middle class individual living on the Island. Thus the social spheres that Islanders so desperately want to protect are rapidly becoming dissolved due to our ever-growing acquisition power. Me explico. If you believe that buying a luxury car is what separates you from the rest of the lesser mortals, then you will at any cost, try your best to prevent the underdog from doing the same. However, the salesperson at the car dealership is only interested in a profit no matter where the money is coming from. So now that Dom-Yorks can afford to buy not just one, but (gasp!) two luxury cars, the wannabe crème de la crème has no other option but to mortgage their house to buy an even more expensive car that will index the separation between Them and Us. Islanders thrive on exclusivity because it somehow leads them to believe that living in a bubble of privilege secures their supposed status in society. The problem is that because Dom-Yorks are surpassing Islanders in possessions, entrepreneurial ventures and education, Islanders are pissed that they need to work that much harder to outdo us.

Here are two examples of how the audacity of Yorks might infuriate the good people of the Island.

For my birthday, I decided to take my girlfriends out for a limo drive around The City. I was discussing the aftermath (pun intended) with my dad, and we came to the conclusion that between the four-hour 2010 Chrysler stretch rental, the case of vintage champagne and the consumption of other libations at our final destination, I had spent about fifteen hundred dollars. This is a whopping fifty-five grand in Dominican pesos! I have been told that this amount can well be considered a decent salary by Island standards. All I can say is that for a an average Yorkie such as myself, I rest assured that I will not have to wait months to make that money back, nor did I have to pawn my jewelry to have a little New York City style birthday celebration.

Another story is that of my friend’s mom who had returned to the Island on vacation. A successful business woman with a net worth in the millions of dollars, she had bumped into her childhood friend at an event. The Islander had asked what she was up to. My friend’s mom told her that for the past two decades she was running a very successful franchise. ¿Y qué título tiene esa profesión? She asked. Ninguno replied my friend’s mom. ¡Ah bueno! The Islander said disenchanted as she hurriedly blew off my friend’s mom with a good-bye kiss. Word has it the Islander was in the bathroom cleansing herself from her brief encounter.

Our audacity to step out of our “confinement” enrage Islanders so, the best they can do to make themselves feel better is shower us with epithets and slurs. Well sticks and stones… We shall laugh all the way to our investor’s and retirement fund consultant’s office. I leave you with a final remark, courtesy of another Dom-York detractor:

Well…they are, above all, New Yorkers. Who would want hang around those people? (*)

To what I say: No sweetie. You don’t want to hang out with us. You just want to be like us. Have some Irish stout and shut the fuck up.

Note: Quotes marked with an (*) were found on this thread.


Parentheses

Hello my darlings! As I prepare to publish my next piece, with joy I inform you , “Nuala Knows” appears as the first eight results in Google search. Nuala Knows was also picked up by Kari Cruz from Cruzie, a blog about fashion and lifestyle. Thank you my fans and stay tuned for my next rant.

Happy Anniversary!

With a fresh and new appearance, I wish all of you Nuala followers a very happy anniversary! I can’t believe that it has been a year since I first published that little infamous piece called Life on Two Islands, which gave initiation to this  project called Nuala Knows. As I upgrade my site (now http://www.nualaknows.com) to make it more exciting and inviting, I want to extend my most sincere gratitude to my subscribers and to the people that take the time to comment, be it in agreement or disagreement. Nuala Knows has been an idea in making for many years now, and with every story and anecdote, my sole purpose is to trigger a discussion about whether or not the Island has indeed cambiado muchísimo. I think it’s fair to say misión cumplida.

Finally, many of you have pondered about my background, expertise, travels, psychological health, upbringing, education, socio-economic status,  etc. etc. connect with me via Twitter and Facebook to learn more about Planet Nuala. You can also send me your ideas and invites to nuala@nualaknows.com

Again, many thanks and cheers to you!