Thursday, November 28, 2013

Cuba Is a Multicultural and Multiracial Country

Cuba Is a Multicultural and Multiracial Country
November 28, 2013
Dmitri Prieto

HAVANA TIMES — "Cuba is a multicultural and multiracial country," said a
journalist for Cuba's midday news while reporting on an activity
organized for an anniversary of Havana's Arab Union.

I'm glad someone's finally realized that the concept of a "mixed race"
is obsolete and dangerous.

Obviously, we can't expect this new take on things to become official
overnight, but the reporter's words were music to my ears.

At the very least, the official media discourse ceased being monotonous
for an instant…

In my opinion, trying to reduce Cuban identity to a series of
stereotypes about its "national sport" (baseball, but, why not soccer?),
"national dance" (danzon, but, for many young people, it is reggaeton)
and "character" (eternal happiness, but, aren't Cubans also entitled to
be sad once in a while?), is extremely dangerous.

As regards the issue of "multiculturalism", I have maintained a personal
and friendly polemic with one of the leading authorities of Cuban
socio-cultural anthropology, who claims there's only one Cuban culture
as such.

I doubt my arguments will help solidify an opposing viewpoint (in fact,
I am immensely wary of the now fashionable concept of
"multiculturalism"), but, the mere fact that I am part of a fairly
neglected diaspora within Cuba leads me to think that we need a free
debate about how diversity (understood as all of the dimensions of being
human) is part of Cuba's culture/s.

Source: "Cuba Is a Multicultural and Multiracial Country - Havana" -

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