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Cuba Culture

Cuban culture is a complex mixture of factors and influences coming from various places of the planet. Cuba, the meeting point of different cultures namely European, African, Amerindian and North American has however suffered a lot with the revolution of 1959. Limited to its coasts, confined within its borders, with censorship and exodus of its people to brighter futures and fleeing repression Cubans did not evolved at the same pace as others cultures within the region.

African slaves participated in the formation of Cuban culture and Cuban identity. Coming form the different parts of Africa the Congo, Bantu, Yoruba, Mandigas and Carabalis, the various ethnic groups gave birth to a new culture first among the African communities themselves. In the second run, the slave community of Cuba associated their culture to that of their masters’ culture with as consequence bringing further development in the Cuban culture for the slave owners coming from different regions of Spain transported in their luggage their culture too. The first influx was from Castile and afterwards, the Spanish immigrants came from the provinces of Galicia, Catalonia and the Canary Islands.

This blending of the African traditional cultures together with the Spanish ones shaped before the abolition of the slavery itself the lives that made and defined the norms, folkways beliefs and cultural traditions of today’s Cuba. Other immigrants coming from China, the Haitians who fled the Dominican revolution in the year 1944 and Russian arrival also contributed to the elaboration of now Cuban culture. The Chinese brought their cuisine and the Chinese instrument the ‘cornetin chino’ or Chinese cornet, a Chinese wind instrument.

Dance and music plays an important role in the Cuban culture. It is part of their daily life. Their music with the interplay between the African and European as well Amerindian music have influenced music all round the world with the conga, clave, batá drums, flute and violin. All types of music are popular in Cuba namely the classical, the campesina musica and the rhumba. Deeply rooted in the Cabildos, the Cuban music, the Son an Afro Cuban music with poetic Spanish lyric accompanied with the guitar was the starting steps of the Cuba music; the rumba (or the Americanised term rhumba), Mambo known and danced in the whole world, also uses the African rhythm, Cha-cha cha, same as Mambo but with a much slower rhythm Bolero, Mozambique, Pilon, Dengue a caballo and Mosanch, is danced sang and played simultaneously.

The Cuban government policy under the vigilant eye of the Cuban communist party promotes a culture that originates in popular traditions. Many cultural institutions work actively for the preservation and promotion of Cuban culture in diverse fields as art, theatre, sculpture, literature, films, dance and music while at the same time trying to involve all Cuban nationals in their endeavor.





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