Cuba: A Passionate and Diverse Nation
The name Cuba comes from the word “coabana” in the Taíno language and can be translated as “where fertile land is abundant” or “a great place.” The Republic of Cuba is a country comprising over 1,600 islands including the Island of Cuba and Isla de la Juventud (“Isle of Youth”). It is located in the northern Caribbean Sea where the Caribbean meets the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Thanks to its geographic features, Cuba is described as the key to the Gulf of Mexico.
Havana is the capital of Cuba and also its largest city. It is the economic and political centre of the country. There is an old town and new city in Havana. The old town was created during Spanish colonisation. It features narrow roads, old Spanish-style buildings and is home to the official residence of the Cuban president and the majority of overseas Chinese citizens in Cuba. In 1982, Old Havana and its Fortifications were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The nation's population is dominated by white people and also includes black, Chinese and other groups. There is a lot of cultural diversity in the country. Cubans embrace Catholicism, African religions, Protestantism, Judaism and various local religions.
Sugar production plays an important role in Cuba's economy. Over seven percent of the world's sugar is produced in the country. Cane plantations cover 55 percent of its arable land, and cane sugar accounts for about 40 percent of its national income. Twenty-one percent of Cuba's territory is covered by forests, making it an important producer of valuable hardwood. The nation's cigars and rums are of course world-famous and it is the home of the Havana Cigar.
Europeans found that Cuba was an ideal place to grow tobacco. Cuban tobacco and cigars have become the country's calling card. The country currently has 35 cigar brands and produces more than 315 million cigars annually, among which 250 million are consumed by Cubans and 65 million exported to other countries. The Havana Cigar is sometimes considered the best in the world.
Cuba is a mysterious, attractive and glamorous country. It features more than 7,000 km of coastline and over 300 white sand beaches. Varadero Beach is considered one of the eight best-known beaches in the world.
At the “Colourful World” event, Cuba's booth featured models of vintage cars, bicycles, ceramics and young girls, which are often seen on the streets of Havana, to depict daily life in the country. A staff member at the booth pointed to some items and mentioned: “This girl is of African descent, and she is wearing traditional African dress. She is a typical Cuban girl. The cigars and rum next to her are Cuban necessities. This type of vintage car is commonly seen in Cuban streets. This bicycle is different from Chinese ones in design. Cuban bicycles usually have a semi-closed canopy above their handlebars and back seats.”
The staff member added that Cuba is known for its salsa dancing, which is a type of Latin dance accompanied by fast paced music. Pairs of dancers look like two people that are falling in love. The dance is sometimes considered a magical dance that can inspire the dancers' love.