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Cuban Culture

Cultural Roots

The Cuban population is a melting pot of ethnic mixes from every corner of the world. In the early days slaves cross bread with masters creating the mulattos of today. Later, people of Russian, Chinese and European decent created the make up of today's Cuba. Nevertheless, three dominant chief roots melt, giving shape to the Cuban nation gradually making up the current ethnic society. First of these roots is that of the aborigines inhabitants; their ethnic contribution was reduced by the impact of the conquest and colonisation process. It is for this reason that the more significant roots in the Cuban nationality are Spanish and African. The first was the result of migration from the metropolis, which has been going on throughout our history more or less regularly. During the first centuries, after conquest, most groups came from Castile mainly from Southern of Spain. Later, massive migration arrived from Canary Islands, Galicia and Catalonia. More recently and during the last century Eastern European and Chinese immigrants have further enriched, what is, the unique racial mix that makes up Cuba today.



The African roots also left a very particular mark in the process of the formation of Cuban culture. Coming, primarily, from five different ethnic groups (yoruba, mandingas, congos, carabalies, bantu) as arriving slaves worked at the plantations giving place to new cultural associations among the African communities themselves. As mentioned, at the plantations, before abolition of slavery, began the process of syncretism among the slaves' and 'masters' creating this new culture and genetic mix, different from its origins. In the present definition of Cuban culture, these three roots shape the basis of traditions, culture and popular believes.

The culture and art of Cuba

The culture and art of Cuba is a wonderful mix African, Spanish and so-called afro-Cuban cultures: the African rhythms and the Spanish poetic melodies in music, afro - Cuban a point, a surprising mix of French and Spanish of influences in the fine arts and architecture.

In general, Cubans have a high cultural level, which makes them more talkative and sensitive. Various cultural manifestations such as literature, painting, movies ballet and modern dance have achieved great development in Cuba, and several Cubans in in these fields have attained world acclaim. Cuba has 265 museums, over 100 art galleries, around 70 theatres, 120 publishing houses, 354 public libraries, 315 community centers, 46 schools of art and an international film school located in San Antonio de los Baños, Havana Province.


Cuban culture is a colourful, interesting, an often bizarre mix. This mix of different, often contrasting, factors and influences can be seen at many levels of Cuban culture. In Cuba, the intermingling of races is one the most obvious examples.

The Cuban Revolution has greatly affected Cuban culture, down to the most basic levels of daily life. Despite the often shallow Revolutionary propaganda spouted by the Government (sometimes in billboard form), the revolutionary cause has become thoroughly embedded in Cuban culture. This is because many Cubans greatly appreciate the social benefits of the Revolution, especially in the areas of education, and health care.

There is a strong artistic presence among the Cuban people, whether from artists formally trained in state-provided art schools, or self-taught amateurs. Cubans greatly enjoy music; in fact, several popular forms of music and dance such as salsa and the cha-cha-cha originated in Cuba.


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