By Angela Padron

With the recent changes to Cuban-U.S. policies, more and more people are becoming aware of Cuban culture. Though its people are still oppressed by the government and live in difficult conditions, their culture is vibrant and unique in many ways.

After the Revolution took place in the 1950’s, the culture in Cuba changed. Many people say that when visiting Cuba it is like going back in time to the 1950’s with all of the vintage American cars lining the streets due to a lack of importing of newer cars to the island.

Cuba

Green retro car on the street in the center of Havana, Cuba.  May, 5, 2014.

Cuba’s culture contains a variety of influences, from Spain, France, Asia and Africa but has developed into its own unique culture. Music is an important part of Cuban culture, and musical and dance styles like salsa and rumba are well-recognized around the world.  The country is also the birthplace of dances such as the Danzón, the Son, the Bolero, the Mambo and the Cha Cha Cha. Besides having a passion for music and dance, people in Cuba are passionate about sports, especially baseball.

Dancers, Cuba

Colorful stiltwalkers dancing to the sound of cuban music in Old Havana.

Cubans are also known for their cigars and coffee. A popular dish is called “moros”, “congri” or “moros y cristianos,” which is a mixture of black beans and rice. Many fruits and vegetables grown in the tropical climate are also consumed by Cubans. A popular sauce called “mojo”, made with oil, garlic, onion, spices like oregano and orange or lime juice, is used to marinate several meats in Cuban cuisine.

Cuban Cuisine

Marinated roast pork with black beans and rice complete the Cuban meal.

As more people push to end the embargo on Cuba and lift certain travel restrictions to and from the U.S., the Cuban culture will slowly but surely become more well-known to Americans.

 

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