Coun­try gets the Hal­loween bug from TV shows

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

In­spired by pi­rated US movies and tele­vi­sion shows, young Cubans are turn­ing Amer­i­can-style Hal­loween par­ties into the is­land’s lat­est trend.

Trick-or-treat­ing may not have taken root, but across Cuba this week­end ele­men­tary, high school and col­lege stu­dents were dress­ing up, danc­ing and en­joy­ing a fes­tiv­ity that few knew as chil­dren.

“It’s out of the or­di­nary,” said 17-year-old Luis Ramos. “We didn’t cel­e­brate it a few years ago be­cause it wasn’t the cus­tom. But we’ve seen it in movies and TV shows.”

The ris­ing pop­u­lar­ity of Hal­loween is one of many man­i­fes­ta­tions of the decades­long in­ter­min­gling of Cuban and US cul­ture de­spite the half-cen­tury of hos­til­ity be­tween the two coun­tries’ gov­ern­ments. Cubans are im­mersed in US pop­u­lar cul­ture and, in­creas­ingly, US prod­ucts brought by ex­pa­tri­ates visit­ing fam­ily on the is­land. At a party at­tended by Ramos and friend Mar­i­lyn Al­varez in eastern Ha­vana on Fri­day night, the cos­tumes ranged from ex­pen­sive im­ported rented out­fits to hand­made cos­tumes cob­bled to­gether from items found around the house. “You can’t find ev­ery­thing but some peo­ple can rent an out­fit to wear and oth­ers can’t man­age it,” Ro­driguez said. “You cel­e­brate as you’re able to.” Yas­manni Manuel, a stu­dent at a mer­chant ma­rine academy dressed as a black-clad male witch, said he was de­lighted to have a new rea­son to get to­gether with his friends. “It’s a new trend,” he said. “It’s a beau­ti­ful party.”

COS­TUMES: Cubans get ready for Hal­loween par­ties

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