Cuba, hedonistic yet hard to understand country
When meeting foreigner visitors around Cuba or when a Cuban is abroad, is really hard not get into deep cultural, politic and social talking. We still being a peculiar country in Western civilization surrounded by beaches, breathtaking landscapes, intoxicating music and different people. A good friend one day asked me, what is that your people have that makes Cuba such an intriguing country? Even when I still don’t know how to answer that, I can give you some hints.
On holiday in Cuba you’ll certainly have the feeling of travelling back in time: vintage American cars from the 50’, decay banners claiming socialist Soviet style thoughts and enchanting (sometimes crumbling) architecture will be your first impressions. But let talk about our roots and history, it may help you understand us a bit.
Cuba is a blend of cultures: Spain colonized us back in the 16th century bringing slaves from Africa to work on plantations; then more than a few English, French and Chinese people came during the 18th and 19th to the island seeking freedom and a wealthier life. In the begging of the 1900’ the Americans got in, and until 1959 Cuba, mainly Havana, was known as Hollywood playground. One of the biggest casinos, cabarets, oak bars, stylish mansions and French boutiques “naturally” flourished in every corner of the dazzling city. Then Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and the rebels came from Santiago de Cuba mountains proclaiming the Revolution and the whole story changed: Americans were kick out and a different country was born on 1959. Free education plus one of the best health system in the world but also a controversial economy and tough political lines raised. Few years later the Soviet Union came in, giving us another version of East Europe life style. So, here it goes again: Spanish, African, French, American and Russian people mixed with Cubans. No wonder why we claim to be an exciting country!
Walking on the streets you might find old people discussing about baseball (the national sport) or latest news, then beautiful “mulatas” (mixed race Cuban ladies) dancing in the middle of Old Havana streets, with no idea of what’s happening in Cuban foreign politics but they are happy as they can be just hearing salsa music and inviting you to dance. Then you’ll see Cuban from all ages queueing in any shop trying to buy food or first aid amenities, not an easy task to do most of the days. They won’t be happy to talk about the government, although we always end doing it. But you will also find brand new private restaurants almost everywhere in Cuban main cities, where locals owners are trying to build serious business under a capitalist management. And later young people, a mix head issue; no-one knows about politics, they don’t want to know. Why? It’s seems a waste of time for them, at the end they were born and raised in the current system and also their parents, changing something seems pretty unreal. However, they are well integrated in society, in their own ways. Cuba is vastly known for its musicians and artists; there are easy to find: galleries, street performances, theatres or just sitting in a park with a guitar. You’ll see young Cubans hanging out at any time, I believe is our favorite thing to do, just meet with friends. If there is not enough money for a couple of drinks, then it’ll be just one; but an easy talk and a chill out timing is compulsory. Cuba is changing, and we want to change a lot of things. The question will be, where that change will leave us?
An island who feels continental
We love to talk, make jokes and laugh (sometime from ourselves) and a decent plate of food and a well-made cocktail are the perfect match; that could come from Spanish people. We want to live and think like Americans, and that’s a truly reality; and also exist an endearing attraction to do things in a massive scale, like our dearest Soviet fellows.
An island who feels continental, that’s Cuba. A hard to understand, but a relaxing and a different place to discover; and who knows, with latest news like Chanel fashion house doing world-exclusive catwalks in Old Havana we might add new flashes of identity! Do more than read about Cuba, come and visit us, we can promise a unique experience. Contact us: www.scuktravel.com