The culture of Cuba is a complex mixture of different, often contrasting, factors and influences. Cuba is a meeting point of European, African, Chinese, and continental North American cultures; little of the original Amerindian culture survives. Since 1959, the Cuban Revolution has also greatly affected Cuban culture, down to the most basic aspects of daily life. Much of Cuban culture, especially Cuban music, is instantly recognized throughout the world.
Music of Cuba
The music of Cuba, including the instruments and the dances, is influenced mostly by African, European (especially Spanish) and to a lesser extent Chinese music. Most forms of the present day are fusions and mixtures of these sources, mainly the first two. For instance, the son montuno merges the Spanish guitar, melody, harmony, and lyrical traditions with Afro-Cuban percussion and rhythms. Almost nothing remains of the original Indian traditions.
Traditional Cuban food is, as most cultural aspects of this country, a syncretism of Spanish, African and Caribbean cuisines, with a small but noteworthy Chinese influence. The most popular foods are black beans, rice, and meat.
One example of traditional Cuban cuisine, or criollo as it is called, is moros y cristianos, "Moors and Christians", rice with black beans. Criollo uses many different seasonings, with some of the most common being onion and garlic. Cassava, rice, beans, eggs, tomatoes, lettuce, chicken, beef andpork are all common ingredients.
Coffee is of high quality and grown mainly for export, the common coffee drink in Cuba is imported from Africa.
Religion in Cuba
Cuba's prevailing religion is Catholicism, although in some instances it is profoundly modified and influenced through syncretism. A common syncretic religion is Santería, which combined the Yoruban religion of the African slaves with Catholicism and some Native American strands; it shows similarities to Brazilian Umbanda and has been...