"Miami Cubonics": A Ten-Word Guide, According to Palo!'s Steve Roitstein
Te gusta Papa Yon?
On August 16, Miami's favorite Afro-Cuban funk band, Palo!, will be throwing a free party at PAX celebrating their 10th anniversary with tons of free giveaways from Car2Go, Azucar Ice Cream, El Rey de las Fritas food truck, and all kinds of other stuff. The concert will be filmed and recorded for a live album and live DVD, as well as a PBS documentary by Emmy-winning filmmaker Joe Cardona.
Of course, though, it's also gonna be a celebration of Cubanismo en general. Because, as band founder Steve Roitstein says: "The thing I enjoy most about Cuban culture is that they know how to have fun, they know how to party, they appreciate flavor and sabór. That is a good way to live."
And as evidence of the Cuban people's verve and influence, just consider the long list of Miami Cubonics that have been adopted by the entirety of Dade County. Here are Steve's ten favorites.
10. Bibaporrú: Vicks VapoRub
"I was married to a Cuban girl in my mid 20s," Steve tells us. "And one week, I got a really bad cold. And she told me, 'What you need is Bibaporrú.' I was like, 'Is that some African thing?' So we go to the store and she picks up the Vicks VapoRub, and I'm like, 'Of course! Bibaporrú!' And that's when I started to really appreciate the Cuban use of English words."
Via Steve Roitstein
9. Papa Yon: Papa John's
"That one is especially funny, because it's kinda like ... Well, for a lot of people, papaya is a bad word. In Havana, that word means the female sexual organ, and papayon means a very big papaya. That's why they call the papaya la fruta bomba in Cuba. So when people go to get pizza here, they might say, 'Vamos a comer Papa Yon,' and it's really funny."