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Articles Havana Carnivals 2018. Photo: Fernando Medina. Havana Carnivals 2018. Photo: Fernando Medina.

Who goes to the carnivals?

There are two kinds of people for whom life is a continuous party: the very rich and the very poor. 

Washington Irving

A place without glamor, without smoking area. A place without cover. That is the Red Square of Ten of October in the time of carnivals. Yes, because music and lights are no longer the exclusive heritage of the boardwalk and also turn on in the other municipalities of the city. By decentralizing, we decentralize carnival.

Here people can come in flip flops, in sports shorts, with rolls. Here the summum chicken. There are many police officers whose presence conveys a sense of security.

Anyone can recognize the erratic walk of the drunkards; consecrated honoris causes of the Kurdish, in his one-person dance with earthly gravity. "Where are the people of Lawton, the people of Párraga, Luyanó ...?", The singer harangue. As good devotees, the neighbors of the periphery faithfully fulfill the three commandments of the timba: hand up, giving waist, and down.

After an hour of concert, the first group withdrew from the stage. Behind came an orchestra of the hard, of which "warm." Everyone knows they should take advantage now, because if not in the House of Music they will be 10 CUC.

Then he went to the blackout. There was a massive sigh. No one was leaving.

Thirty minutes later the light was made, and an exclamation. Hallelujah

At eleven o'clock the night is just beginning.

Meanwhile, I thought. I've seen bars where the Presidente beer - the beer plankton - costs 3.45 CUC, above double the average price. Bartenders wait for you at the door and smile at girls “of those who, when they shake, sweat Chanel number three" Sites very chic, so popular that it even queues to enter. The entrance can be worth, say, about 5 CUC.

I would never want these and those to wear the same clothes or like the same music. I only observe the differences. I note that they don't exchange, they don't mix. They inhabit, so to speak exaggeratedly, in parallel universes. Not next, but one above the other.

(In defense of the bars, which have already had enough bad press, we must clarify that they are not to blame. They are the showcase of other distinctions. They simply offer what some are willing to pay.)

Culture and tastes apart, what everyone does with their free time is a function of their income. Because Carlos Marx knew what he was talking about: man thinks as he lives. Men and women - I would like to add - have fun as they win. Or as they have.

Instead of dancing - alienating me, as someone once told me - I was in such thoughts. I saw people sweating and renewing, free and under the moon; and I couldn't ignore the contrast with that other Havana night.

When research indicates a growing stratification of Cuban society, I imagine that they refer to something like this.

Eileen Sosín Martínez A journalist in training and professional coffee drinker. She sings not in the shower, but in the kitchen. More posts

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