Travelling to a destination for the very first time is widely agreed as an eye opening experience. It changes the way you see things and the value of things we know and love in our everyday lives.
Cuban culture speaks for itself. For anyone who has travelled to Cuba, you know exactly what I’m talking about. But for those of you who haven’t experiences the beautiful culture Cuba has to offer this is the place to be. Be ready to book your ticket!
While enjoying the ride from the airport to the resort, I was filled with amazement. For the entire 180 minutes my camera was continuously flickering, trying to capture each and every moment of my home for the week. As the trip continued, each day nearing closer to the day we would head back to Toronto, so many parts of Cuban culture was learned, experienced and captured.
Cuba is known for being a strong and independent nation, from enduring their treacherous past, to withstanding threats of the Western culture, the nation refuses to stop their fight. This, makes Cuba, well, Cuba.
Throughout my week spent in this Caribbean dream destination, I was able to witness many aspects of Cuban culture.
Getting Around Town
The cars that partially filled the narrow city streets were like nothing seen before. As a car lover myself, I was in awe. With every mode of transportation passing by I was amazed that such a nation existed. The reliance of horse and carriages as well as bicycles carriers throughout Havana, the cities’ capital, played a vital role. While on route to our resort, we passed multiple surprisingly and unusual ways of getting around the country.
And let’s just forget about our modern day cars. Nissans, BMWs, Honda’s, Cubans know nothing of the sort. Since Fidel Castro came into power, he prevented the importing of foreign cars and parts . This is just another way that Cuba’s culture is strengthened against their threat of Western modernization. Instead of the Western modern day cars, Cubans fill tourist attractions with taxis from the 50s. That’s right. Classics. These 1950 Chevrolet cars flood the streets just like Honda Civics flood Toronto! It was mesmerizing- at least for a car fanatic like myself. Do these cars amaze you to? Comment below, let me know what you think about them!
During our trip, we took multiple trips, experiencing as many excursions as we could possibly squeeze in to our 7 day vacation. The buses in which were used for our transportation to and from the resort and excursion location were shockingly imported from China. I found this pretty odd, considering that we, as North Americans, are so used to seeing our vehicles take after the way of American automotive manufacturing.
For one excursion in particular, we decided to do a Jeep Safari Adventure. This allowed a large group of us to each drive a Jeep through the streets are cities such as Caibarien and its local villages. When you hear the word Jeep, our North American mindsets jump straight to the image of vehicles such as a Jeep Wrangler. We’re wrong. Cuban jeeps, are Suzuki 4x4s, and to shock our Westernized culture, they all carried manual transmissions.
Cuba’s culture reflects the nation’s continuous uphill battle with the threat of Westernization. They strongly refuse to amend Castro’s ruling; and as a result they enhance and enrich their culture in terms of their modes of transportation.
Art & Music
Cuban culture is a mixture of everything this island is made up of. From the Spanish language to music to the art created by the locals. When you walk through the market located on the Island’s offspring, recognized as the tourist’s only section, there are many locals with shops that fill the inner allies as they tend to their vendor stalls.
They sell just about anything in the market. Clothing, art, souvenirs, music, anything you can think of, this market will have. The art that is produced throughout the market is not like the art you see in stores in the Western society. Instead locals created and crafted many pieces that reflect the Cuban spirit and history. One of the most interesting pieces that I came across through my many visits was the creation of toy cars using nothing but pieces from a locally brewed, beer can. The Cristal beer can logo could be seen on all sides of the toy car, showing the Cuban culture through their usage of resources in which they have.
What are your thoughts about Cuban culture? Do you think they should continue preserving what they have, or do you think they should accept the Westernization threat? Comment below to let me know your thoughts!