to the Cuban culture (2023)

to the Cuban culture (1)

Cuba's unique and vibrant culture is heavily influenced by Latin American, European, African and Native American cultures. The country's culture has also been influenced by its turbulent history, from its days as a Spanish colony to the Cuban Revolution led by Fidel Castro in the 1950s, which opened the country to strong Soviet influence. Below is a brief synopsis of the many customs, traditions, and cultural practices that shape the Cuban way of life.

7. Social beliefs and customs

The Cuban Revolution brought about a tremendous change in Cuban society. The education and financial independence of women in Cuba were boosted by the revolution, which helped women achieve successful careers in agriculture, industry, and service-related jobs. In 1990, the ratio of men to women in health care in the country was almost equal. State day-care centers were built to enable working women to raise their children. Several laws such as the 1974 Maternity Law and the 1975 “Family Code” were passed by the Cuban government to allow women to achieve equality with men in all respects. While men in Cuba have traditionally expected women to do all household chores and raise children, despite their work status, People's Power has fought hard to ensure women are not oppressed at home by their husbands and their families.

(Video) Cuban Culture | Art, Music, Food, and Religion

Marriages in modern Cuba are mostly done with equal consent between the bride and groom, and premarital cohabitation is common. Divorce rates in Cuba are higher today than they were in colonial times. With sex education and the availability of contraceptives and abortion options readily available in the country, Cuban women enjoy great freedom in choosing their life course. Many households in the country are run by single mothers whose children are raised by grandmothers. The government of the nation promotes the values ​​of socialism and discourages selfishness and individualism. Like many Latin Americans, Cubans use touch to show affection and appreciation.

6. Religion, festivals and holidays

For a long time, Cubans were not allowed to practice any religion and were persecuted for it. The scenario began to change in the 1970s and eventually Cubans were granted freedom of religion, but with certain restrictions. In 1992, the country's constitution was amended, allowing full freedom of religion in the country. Currently about 60% of the Cuban population is Catholic. Many Cubans practice Santería, a hybrid of traditional African religion and Christianity first practiced by African slaves brought to Cuba by Europeans to work on the country's plantations. These people were often associated with witchcraft and magic and were discriminated against by other religious groups in Cuba. As the religion is mainly practiced by the country's black population, there are racist attitudes surrounding the religion. Therefore, many Santería devotees have resorted to a secretive practice of the religion to avoid discrimination.

Christian festivals are celebrated with great enthusiasm and joy in Cuba as Christianity is the dominant religion in the country. Secular holidays include January 1st and July 26th, both of which are associated with important events of the Cuban Revolution. The communist May Day holiday is also a public holiday in the country. October 10 is also a public holiday as it marks Cuba's uprising against Spain.

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5. Music and Dance

Music is an important part of Cuban culture. The music scene in Cuba is influenced by Spanish and African music. Some of the popular traditional music styles in Cuba are Mambo, Cha-Cha-Cha, Charanga, Danzon, Rumba and some others. Salsa was created from a mixture of these rhythms. Celia Cruz, a native of Cuba, is an internationally known salsa star and is referred to as the Queen of Salsa. Cruz began his career in Havana in the second half of the 1940s. In addition to traditional dance, Cuban youth enjoy rock 'n' roll. Cuban ballet is a very popular performing art form in the country. Founded by Alicia Alonso, the National Ballet of Cuba is recognized worldwide.

4. Literature and Art

Cuba began to develop its own literary style in the first half of the 19th century. At that time, slavery, miscegenation, colonialism, etc. were the focus of the country's literature. Cirilo Villaverde, author of Cecilia Valdés, a remarkable novel, is one of the most famous Cuban writers of the time. José Martí, considered a Cuban national hero, also created works in the late 19th century. Later, with the abolition of slavery, the country's literature brought themes based on independence and patriotism. The country is also the birthplace of testimony literature, a literary genre that records oral traditions or accounts of real-life people to produce a literary work.

Art in Cuba is a diverse mix of elements of African, South American, European and American origin. Famous Cuban artists include Federico Beltran Masses (a colourist known for his seductive portraits of women), Amelia Peláez (famous for mural designs) and Wifredo Lam, a painter (famous for his depiction of modern primitivism). Alberto Korda is an internationally renowned Cuban photographer whose photo of Che Guevara is one of the most recognizable images in the world. Street art is also very popular in Cuba.


Cuba is known for the handmade cigars made in the country. These are considered the best cigars in the world and the country produces almost 3 million of these cigars a year.

3. kitchen

Traditional Cuban cuisine is influenced by Spanish, African, Caribbean and partly Chinese cuisine. Pork is the meat of choice for a traditional feast and is usually served with rice and beans. Black beans are used in the preparation of various types of dishes. The rice, when cooked with black beans, is called congri rice. Common vegetables used in Cuban cuisine are tomatoes, cassava, lettuce, etc. Chicken, beef, pork, and eggs are used to prepare the non-vegetarian dishes. However, due to Cuba's poor economic situation, large parts of the population cannot currently afford sumptuous meals and are often dependent on food rations. Although Cuban coffee is world famous, most of the coffee grown here is exported, while the coffee consumed by Cubans is mainly imported from Africa.

2. Clothing

The Cuban style of dress is often described as cool and relaxed, with a tradition based on authenticity and simplicity. The guayabera is Cuba's most famous traditional garment, worn by men as a classic linen or cotton shirt, usually white, with or without embroidery. Shirts are worn for both formal and informal occasions, including weddings. Panama hats and linen pants complement the look of Cuban men wearing guayabera. The Guayabera style is now not only popular in Cuba, but is also worn by fashion-conscious men all over the world. Guayabera dresses for women are also popular. Women and men in Cuba also wear Western-style clothing and a pair of jeans is a favorite of most. Low-cut tops and short skirts and bright dresses make Cuban women look very beautiful. Fancy frilly and frilly dresses and traditional African headscarves are occasionally worn by Cuban women.

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1. Sport

Cubans love sport and sport plays a very important role in the social life and identity of the country. Baseball, soccer, volleyball, boxing, etc. are popular sports played in the country. Baseball is by far the most popular sport in Cuba. The country's government encourages sport by selecting talented young athletes to attend special boarding schools, where they can practice various sports alongside their usual studies. The practice is one of the reasons the country has been consistently good at international games like the Olympics. In 1992, the country won more medals per capita than any other country at the Olympic Games. The best athletes in the country are revered as heroes by Cubans.


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What is the main culture of Cuba? ›

Cuba's culture is a rich amalgam of African, Spanish, and Caribbean pastimes; the food, the religions, and of course the music and dances all combine elements of the Old World and the New.

What are 3 cultural facts about Cuba? ›

Cuba is known for its unique music style and dances such as the rumba, mambo and cha-cha-cha originally were invented in Cuba. The literacy rate is 99.8%. The educational level in Cuba is very high, education is free in Cuba. Baseball is considered as the national sport of Cuba.

What are some values of Cuban culture? ›

Cubans like to be friendly – to locals as well as visitors. In fact, they view generosity, kindness, and willingness to be hospitable as very highly valued qualities. Touching people is normal. Here, it's more a demonstration of affection or used for emphasis when speaking.

What is considered disrespectful in Cuba? ›

Try to avoid these taboos when in Cuba: Spitting on the ground or blowing your nose in public. Taking pictures of anyone (without first asking their permission). Littering (this is not only rude, but it's also against the law).

What is Cuba's culture and language? ›

Nearly all Cubans speak Spanish exclusively. The dialect is similar to that in the other Hispanic Caribbean islands, although the rhythmic speaking and the use of highly expressive hand gestures are distinctly Cuban. Languages spoken by the indigenous population are extinct.

What are 3 things Cuba is known for? ›

Cuba is famous for its cigars, its rum made from sugar cane, its ladies, Salsa and other Cuban dance styles, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, 1950s-era cars, Spanish-colonial architecture, Cuban National Ballet, Buena Vista Social Club and Guantanamo Bay.

What are 5 things about Cuba? ›

Cuba facts
  • OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of Cuba.
  • FORM OF GOVERNMENT: Socialist republic.
  • CAPITAL: Havana.
  • POPULATION: 11,382,820.
  • MONEY: Peso.
  • AREA: 110,860 square kilometres.

What city is known for Cuban culture? ›

A trip to Cuba is not complete without a visit to its vibrant capital, Havana. Known for its old architecture, vintage cars, beautiful beaches, and tasty Cuban cocktails, the city has become a popular tourist destination.

What is a traditional Cuban? ›

The sandwich is made with ham, (mojo) roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, and sometimes salami on Cuban bread. Salami is included in Tampa, where there is a large Italian population, but is not usually included in South Florida. Cuban sandwich.

What is the Cuban American family culture? ›

The typical Cuban American family is more matriarchal. Women have greater authority and are self-supporting. Children also have more freedom in the U.S. Cuban traditions are linked to the Caribbean culture and celebrations.

What is Cuba family culture? ›

The traditional Cuban family structure is patriarchal, a dominant male and a passive female is common, but mainly among older generations of family.

What can Americans not do in Cuba? ›

If you want your stay to remain peaceful, here are some things you should never, ever do when visiting in Cuba.
  • Don't talk about politics.
  • Don't stay in the orange casa particulares.
  • Don't work on a tourist visa.
  • Don't take photos of police or soldiers.
  • Don't be shy.
  • Don't get confused by the two currencies.
Oct 30, 2017

What not to wear in Cuba? ›

Can't wear beach clothes, cutoffs, and hats to restaurants, evening events, or entertainment venues. Men wear long pants and shoes. Women wear a sundress, skirt or slacks, and a blouse. Bring a light jacket or sweater as rooms, restaurants, tour buses, and other public areas can be overly air-conditioned.

What is forbidden in Cuba? ›

Cuba has strict laws on the use, possession or trafficking of illegal drugs. Cuban courts tend to hand out severe penalties for those convicted of drugs-related offences. Pack all luggage yourself and don't carry items for anyone else. Cuba prohibits the import of all meat products and fruit.

What are Cuban people known for? ›

The culture of Cuba is celebrated around the world, especially its music. Music is an important part of Cuban society, and the traditional musical styles are still popular and influential to this day. Cuban is a vibrant country full of music, poetry, dancing, singing, and chatting.

What is Cuba's traditional food? ›

In Cuba, rice and beans offer sustenance and comfort as a side dish to almost every meal. It's typically prepared as black beans and white rice in hearty portions. Some dishes require other ingredients, like arroz con pollo or rice with chicken. Plantains are another Cuban staple.

What are the cultural groups in Cuba? ›

The ethnic groups of Cuba are to a large degree informed by the history of the island. As mentioned above, there are four main ethnic groups: white Cuban, Mulatto, Mestizo, and Afro-Cuban.

What is a fact about Cuban? ›


Cuba is the 17th largest island in the world. Cuba is the most populated country in the Caribbean, with more than 11 million residents. It is widely claimed in Cuba that the island was discovered by Christopher Columbus. The Capitol of Cuba is Havana.

What is Cuba's culture and religion? ›

Cuba is a primarily Catholic country. Another large religion in Cuba is Santería. Santería is a blend of Catholicism and traditional Yoruba religions. When African slaves first arrived in Cuba during the 16th century, they were taught a few simple prayers and were baptised by the Spanish.

When did Cuba ban Christmas? ›

In 1969, Castro abolished Christmas as an official (paid) holiday, because it had a negative impact on the country's production of sugar. Cuba's 30-year ban on Christmas came to an end in 1997, after Pope John Paul II's historic visit to the country.

What was Cuba fighting for? ›

The war originated in the Cuban struggle for independence from Spain, which began in February 1895. The Cuban conflict was injurious to U.S. investments in the island, which were estimated at $50 million, and almost ended U.S. trade with Cuban ports, normally valued at $100 million annually.

What is Cuba's national animal? ›

The national animal of Cuba is the Cuban hutia (Capromys pilorides). Also known as Desmarest's hutia, this endemic animal is an omnivorous rodent, weighing up to 19 pounds and capable of growing to two feet.

What is an important history about Cuba? ›

Cuba was first settled by the Guanahatabey and Taino Native Americans. They were farmers, hunters, and fishers. Christopher Columbus landed at Cuba in 1492 and claimed the land for Spain. Columbus named the land Isla Juana, but later it would be called Cuba, which comes from the local Native American name of coabana.

What are the 12 reasons to visit Cuba? ›

The 12 categories of authorized travel to Cuba are: family visits; official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations; journalistic activity; professional research and professional meetings; educational activities; religious activities; public performances, ...

What heritage is Cuban? ›

Genetics. An autosomal study from 2014 found the genetic ancestry in Cuba to be 72% European, 20% African and 8% Amerindian. This study was of Cubans in Cuba, not the Cuban exile community in United States or other parts of the world, who may have different genetic profiles.

Where do most Cubans live in USA? ›

Over 850,000 Cuban-Americans reside in Miami-Dade County, where they are the largest single ethnic group and constitute a majority of the population in many municipalities. Florida is followed by California (110,702), New Jersey (99,987), Texas (86,183) and New York (78,478).

Why is it called Miami Cuban? ›

You should have probably heard of the Cuban link to be addressed as the Miami link chain. There's a reason for that. It's because these necklace chain types originated in Miami out of a rapid movement in the early '70s.

What is Cuban style? ›

The Cuban style is an amalgamation of nostalgia and influences coming from Colonial furniture, African arts, and bright colors of Latin culture. It can also be summarized by combining these elements: 1950s furnishings.

What is a typical Cuban breakfast? ›

A typical Cuban breakfast consists of bread slices wet in café con leche, a combination of strong coffee with warm milk. The other two meals, lunch and dinner, usually includes a table full of food with dishes that mix white rice, beans, legumes, meat and salads.

What do Cubans speak? ›

The Spanish spoken by Cubans is a variation of Castilian Spanish, brought over by immigrants from the Canary Islands in the 19th and 20th centuries. Today, Cuban Spanish and Haitian Creole are the two most widely spoken languages of this vibrant island nation.

How has Cuban culture influenced American culture? ›

The U.S. and Cuba share a history and geographical proximity that serve as threads in a rich, dynamic, and deeply interwoven cultural fabric. Cuba's undeniable influence on American culture has persisted for decades, from exclusive Cuban cigars to world-renowned stars in entertainment, music and sports.

How do people dress in Cuba? ›

An average wardrobe in Cuba today is likely to consist of casual slacks or jeans, shorts, skirts (for women) and T-shirts or loose-fitting tops. One traditional Cuban garment is in widespread use on the island, though. It's called a guayabera shirt, Havana shirt, Mexican wedding shirt or cigar shirt.

What is a Cuban dance called? ›

The cha-cha-cha, or simply cha-cha, is the name of a dance of Cuban origin. It is danced to the music of the same name introduced by Cuban composer and violinist Enrique Jorrín in 1953.

Is family important in Cuban culture? ›

The extended family is as important as the nuclear family; both offer a sense of stability to members. Most Cuban families are extremely traditional. The father is the head of the family, the authority figure and the decision maker. Mothers are greatly revered, but their role is secondary.

Do Cubans have eggs? ›

"In Cuba, it is common to eat eggs for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Eggs are also fast and easy to prepare, which make them a great option for a quick meal. They are almost always served hot, with the exception of huevos rellenos, a cold egg dish similar to deviled eggs, which are sometimes served at parties.

What food is illegal in Cuba? ›

After the new measures for the non-commercial import of food, medicines and toiletries, Cuba maintains the prohibition of the entry to the country of fresh, frozen, dehydrated or salted meats, as well as fluid milk and unpasteurized dairy derivatives, due to existing sanitary regulations.

Is Cuba friendly with America? ›

Relations between Cuba and the United States were formally re-established on 20 July 2015, with the opening of the Cuban embassy in Washington and the U.S. embassy in Havana.

Can you flush toilet paper in Cuba? ›

Many locations will also not have a high standard of running water. You will not necessarily be allowed to flush toilet paper or have taps to wash your hands. It's advisable to carry your own toilet paper and hand sanitiser wherever you go.

Are tattoos allowed in Cuba? ›

While tattoos themselves are not illegal in Cuba, the island's traditional “machista” culture has long stygmatized the practice, relegating it largely to seamen, prostitutes and prisoners.

Does Cuba have condoms? ›

Cubans use them to fish, ferment wine, fix punctures or tie up hair; latex condoms have become the ultimate multipurpose tool on the island where shortages of basic goods have forced locals to become masters of invention.

Why is food not good in Cuba? ›

The U.S. Embargo makes it virtually impossible to get some ingredients in the country, while the lack of flavour or use of spices is often just due to the Cuban's disinterest in hot, spicy food.

What money do Cubans prefer? ›

The Cuban National Peso (CUP known as 'moneda nacional') is the official cash currency in Cuba but cannot be exchanged outside of the country. Some casas particulares (guest houses/ bed & breakfasts), and private bars and restaurants prefer cash payments in dollars or euros.

Why can't you eat beef in Cuba? ›

And that meant allowing tourists to do and eat things Cubans couldn't. Like beef. In 1963 Castro and the Cuban government made it illegal for Cubans to kill their cows without state permission. The law was intended to be temporary after a hurricane killed 20% of the nation's cows.

Is Steak illegal in Cuba? ›

Cuba's Penal Code

The sale, transport, or trade of illegal beef also carry fines and jail sentences of six months to 2 years. These severe laws are not for any religious reason, as many might wonder, they are simply the government's efforts to protect what remains of the domestic livestock.

What is the main religion in Cuba? ›

The Catholic Church estimates 60 percent of the population identifies as Catholic. Membership in Protestant churches is estimated at 5 percent. According to some observers, Pentecostals and Baptists are likely the largest Protestant denominations.

What cultural groups are found in Cuba? ›

The ethnic groups of Cuba are to a large degree informed by the history of the island. As mentioned above, there are four main ethnic groups: white Cuban, Mulatto, Mestizo, and Afro-Cuban.

What language do Cubans speak? ›

The Spanish spoken by Cubans is a variation of Castilian Spanish, brought over by immigrants from the Canary Islands in the 19th and 20th centuries. Today, Cuban Spanish and Haitian Creole are the two most widely spoken languages of this vibrant island nation.

What do Cubans wear? ›

An average wardrobe in Cuba today is likely to consist of casual slacks or jeans, shorts, skirts (for women) and T-shirts or loose-fitting tops. One traditional Cuban garment is in widespread use on the island, though. It's called a guayabera shirt, Havana shirt, Mexican wedding shirt or cigar shirt.

Do Cubans celebrate Christmas? ›

There's a reason why here at Cubania we talk about the Cuban way, and Christmas is no exception! Banned from 1969 until 1998, Christmas celebrations weren't really a thing while Fidel was around. It wasn't until the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1998 that Cubans were able to celebrate Christmas again.

What is the most common food in Cuba? ›

In Cuba, rice and beans offer sustenance and comfort as a side dish to almost every meal. It's typically prepared as black beans and white rice in hearty portions. Some dishes require other ingredients, like arroz con pollo or rice with chicken. Plantains are another Cuban staple.

What sport is most popular in Cuba? ›

Baseball. Baseball is the most popular sport in Cuba; 62% of the population plays it.

What do you call a Cuban person? ›

Cubans (Spanish: Cubanos) are people born in Cuba and people with Cuban citizenship.

What is a common activity in Cuba? ›

While Cuba is known for its historical architecture, vintage cars, and white sand beaches, adventure also awaits around every corner. Water sports like snorkeling, scuba diving, and surfing are favorite visitor activities in this Caribbean destination.


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