Cuba is celebrating today the Day of the Cuban Culture. And this year, which has been rough for the country, the Days of Culture showcased an important programme of activities nationwide. The sanitary situation posed a big challenge, but cultural activities luckily went ahead.
The celebrations in 2020, which conclude today, paid tribute to four icons of Cuban culture: Prima Ballerina Assoluta Alicia Alonso in her 100th birthday; singer Omara Portuondo and painter Alfredo Sosabravo, who are celebrating their 90th birthdays; and Cuba’s favorite cartoon Elpidio Valdés, created by Juan Padrón 50 years ago.
More than cultural symbols, they are symbols of a nation. And along with them, the huge cultural heritage treasured in this island, heritage of this people.
Cuba dances along with Alicia. Cuba sings with Omara. Sosabravo has depicted his home country. And Elpidio Valdés impersonates this national spirit, which is that of our heroes.
Culture, of course, is much more than artistic and literary expressions of a people.
It is precisely culture the one building links among men. It is the testimony of a future, the area of their spiritual growing.
Cuba celebrates its culture in the day Perucho Figueredo shared with the people in Bayamo, ten days before Carlos Manuel de Céspedes began the first of our independence wars, the lyrics of the combat march, which would later turn into our National Anthem.
That revolution was, first and foremost, a cultural revolution. It was the result of the blossoming of the Cuban tradition.
El Grito de Yara (Yara’s Rebellion) was the absolute consolidation of our nationality. In Bayamo, on October 20th, the Revolution was endowed with one of its greatest symbols.
We do not exist detached from our culture. The milestones of our history and its artistic and popular expression have developed into a wonderful mosaic of our nation.
To what extent does culture describe us as a people?
What does it mean to know we have inherited a great culture?
What has been the role of culture and its greatest exponents in the consolidation of our identity?
Suffice to say that culture is the people.
The greatest achievement of the cultural policy of the country has been to defend the inalienable right of people to enjoy each art expressions and manifestations.
There is no greater or lesser culture, but a converging, rich, and inclusive framework.
It is a heritage shared by whole generations blended with history.
The Day of the Cuban Culture is a reaffirmation of commitment.
Alicia Alonso echoed several times an old statement: art does not have a homeland, but artists do.
And even though great Cuban artists have reached resounding achievements abroad, most of Cuba’s cultural heritage has been created here.
This is not a culture of emphatic diaspora.
In any case, everything done abroad with quality is also part of our wonderful culture.
The Cuban culture will always serve as a bridge. It brings us together. It puts an identity together. And certainly shines among other nations.
Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff