DESPITE this year’s Creole celebrations being scaled down due to Covid-19 pandemic health precautions–the Cuban Embassy in Saint Lucia took time off to celebrate and share in its grand Culture Day activities with a warm gesture.
Friends and supporters gathered recently at the residence of Cuban Ambassador Alejandro Simancas Marin for celebrations in commemoration of Cuba’s Day of National Culture.
Ambassador Marin provided guests that included Prime Minister Allen Chastanet and Mrs. Raquel Du Boulay – Chastanet, other government officials, artistes and well-wishers with a thorough insight into the activities that focus on Cuba’s Culture Day.
While noting that Cuban culture is deeply rooted in the region, Marin told guests Cubans also highly appreciate the works of Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott; whom the ambassador referred to as a ‘Caribbean Man’- “The Pride of the Caribbean”.
He explained that the celebrations take on multi-dimensions in Cuba with a full day of craft displays and cultural performances to promote Cuba’s arts, music and culture.
Ambassador Marin said the celebrations are reminiscent of 152 years ago with the processing of Cuban arts and culture.
“Certainly, Cuban culture and identity is characterized …by the mixture of Hispanic groups and that is why we say that we Cubans are a mixed group, a melting pot of the best of our roots and traditions.
“That is why we Cubans avoid any kind of division amongst us … we defend our unity and we are all Cubans. We are identified by our music, our dance, our cigars and rum … our baseball, which we call ‘the ball’. The Cuban which we implement in not only our foods, but also our way of being nosy, cheerful, open and always hospitable and supportive,” he said.
Quoting the Cuban freedom fighter Jose Marti, Marin asserted: “Being cultural is the only way to be free…and of course, preserve and make culture the corner stone of the nation and the (pursuit of) universal rights of all Cubans.”
The National day of Cuban culture is observed annually on October, 20.
The ambassador provided the gathering with an insight into the historical roots of this patriotic Cuban anniversary, which originated on October, 20, 1868 when the national anthem of Cuba was sung for the first time. In addition, he presented the documentary “My First Calling”, which narrates the epic literacy campaign carried out in Cuba in 1961.
Ambassador Marin underlined the historic ties of friendship and cooperation that unite Cuba and Saint Lucia and expressed his deep gratitude to be able to share this moment with the Saint Lucian government representatives that included President of the Senate Jeannine Michele Giraudy-McIntyre, and Culture Minister Senator Fortuna Belrose.
The event also provided an opportunity to exchange and promote bilateral cultural relations, in particular with the authorities of the Cultural Development Foundation [CDF], who are collaborating with the Cuban Fund for Cultural Property to evaluate and strengthen cultural cooperation. Consequently, it is anticipated that this harmonious bilateral relations and especially, “the historical and close cultural and identity bonds that unite us in the Caribbean are highlighted.”
In addition, on the morning of this October, 20 as was done in Cuba, members of the Medical Brigade from their respective work locations in Saint Lucia, sang the notes of the Cuban national anthem, known as “La Bayamesa “, in memory of that patriotic event that took place 152 years ago.
As a celebration for the Day of Cuban Culture, the Provincial Concert Music Day began in Las Tunas with the intonation of the notes of the National Anthem by the Euterpe Chamber Choir and the Band of Concert of the territory.
The activity was a kind of ajiaco seasoned with music, dance and declamation, with the presence of examples of what makes Cuban culture great in the world from its diversity and the deep roots from which each manifestation takes from.
Among the artists who made the moment prestigious were the troubadour Richard Gómez, with a version of El Mambí; the concert guitarist Félix Ramos; the saxophonist Juan Borges; as well as the young interpreter Ana Irma Pérez Perelló with one of the songs by Adolfo Guzmán that recently became prestigious in the voice of Beatriz Márquez.