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Santiago de Cuba: Flounce and Fire of the Caribbean Basin

02-07-2018

Santiago de Cuba’s Fire Fest (Fiesta del Fuego) is going to be held on July 3 – 9, 2014, and this time around it will be dedicated to Surinam, a Caribbean and South American country characterized by its multicultural roots, with an impressive diversity of ethnic groups, languages and traditions.

Like every year, this is going to be a one-of-its-kind opportunity to enjoy the Caribbean’s live culture, and participate in regional fest where joy, rhythm and color know no bounds in the different expressions of art and culture. Santiago de Cuba is a cultural city and becomes a multiple stage that includes every corner in order to contribute to the spiritual enjoyment of locals and visitors; who make the most of this opportunity and establish an intercultural dialogue, in search of the Caribbean human being and the feeling of a big country —both insular and continental—, that comes together for culture and peace.

Surinam accompanies us to show it cultural potential. It is a diverse country, with different ethnic groups that range from the original natives to an important mosaic made up of Indians, Javanese, Chinese, Jews, Lebanese, Brazilians and Dutch, who brought their language to this Caribbean enclave. A rich miscegenation that puts together habits and customs, languages and lifestyles to give a hallmark to its identity. On this people, our beloved poet Jesús Cos Causse said: “Surinam is a crystalized pigeon on its way to the South.”

As part of the comprehensive plan of activities scheduled for this edition, the colloquium entitled “The Caribbean Unites Us” is going to be carried out to debate topics related to the vitality of our regional culture.

The Caribbean Festival wants to give special meaning to the 35th edition to take place in 2015, since it coincides with the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the foundation of Santiago de Cuba village.

The City of History, the rebel, hospitable and heroic Santiago is ready to celebrate five centuries of a process that has brought about a solid identity, illustrated in the passages of its history and values gathered in the cultural life of its people.

Its foundational square - Cespedes Park - gives way to the cathedral with its centenarian bells and the archangel Gabriel that always invites; is Municipal Government Palace where the triumph of the Cuban Revolution was announced, the ancient colonial house from the 16th century that practically takes us back to its foundation, and other mute witnesses of the life in Santiago over the past 500 years. Santiago was born and grew up here until it became the splendid city it presently is.

Santiago is preparing itself to show the reason why every stone of its streets has been the pedestal of a hero, and how its joy is the vital breath of traditional ballads, son and rum. Come to this city that is proud of the cultural heritage it treasures and honorably represents Cuban traditions.

Omar López Rodríguez is the head curator of the city of Santiago de Cuba
 

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