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53th Virtual Cucalambeana Fiesta

This time, the bamboos of “El Cornito” will not be witnesses to the controversies and songs, but the digital scenarios. The pandemic forces us to reinvent ourselves and culture does not escape these designs.

Las Tunas, Cuba.- For this reason, the province did not want to overlook the advent of the 191st birthday of Juan Cristóbal Nápoles Fajardo (El Cucalambé), the greatest bucolic poet of the 19th century in Cuba, on July 1st, and sought another way to revere it: a virtual Cucalambeana Fiesta, which will take place from June 29 to the onomastic date.

According to Yanetsy Ramírez León, a specialist in International Relations of the Provincial Directorate of Culture, exponents of the traditions of countries such as Mexico, Honduras, Colombia, Chile, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Bolivia, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Italy, the Canary Islands, Panama, Argentina and Uruguay have already confirmed their participation.

“They have sent us videos with reading and sung décimas, as well as images of their work; they are excited about the idea. In Colombia, for example, children and young troubadours will participate,” she said.

Work is currently underway to create the platforms that will disseminate the exhibitions, interactive forums, promotional capsules, song recitals and other initiatives. Facebook, YouTube and Instagram will serve as support for such purposes, both the institutional and personal profiles of workers in the sector. In addition, the webpage www.tunarte.cult.cu will publish allegorical materials.

According to Ramón Batista, director of the El Cucalambé Ibero-American Center of the Décima, this year there are changes in the conception of some spaces. "The Cucalambé contest, of written décima, is extended until the 2021 edition, but instead poets from all over Cuba will be able to honor the bard with three works.

"For its part, the 'Justo Vega' will be held online with the intervention of 12 competitors from a similar number of provinces. Also sponsored by the Iberoamerican Center of the Décima and the Improvised Verse, it will be broadcasted by national television programs with great audiences and a collage will be made with the winning stanzas of the 20 editions of that contest.”

As usual, children and adolescents will star in the Cantos de Colibrí space, where they will share décimas, tonadas, oral narrative stories, and other artistic expressions. The head of the Promotion Commission, Míriam Rojas Chacón, reported that they are already receiving the videos and for other section, related to the customs, photos of traditional dishes and information on their ingredients.”

She added that the décima recitals are being prepared and that there will be a space for female poets, where they can share creations with the help of audiovisuals. As for the theoretical section, institutions such as the Iberoamerican House of the Décima and the Cultural Centers System will play an important role.

Meanwhile, the Hermanos Saíz Association (AHS) collects photos of peasant women, to finally select the 53 that most reflect the characteristics of our indigenous flowers, an amount corresponding to the current edition of the Supreme Fiesta of the Cuban Peasantry.

So far, the international guateque Hermanando Tradiciones is expected to close this peculiar event, with the performance in cyberspace of improvisers and troubadours from the Island and other countries.