Radio26.Cu – Matanzas, Cuba

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Reunion of two cultures in Matanzas

Gloria Machado León 16 diciembre, 2013

Yimara Bastille decided to keep alive the memory of his grandfather, who always participated in the pilgrimage dedicated to the descendants of Spaniards, in Matanzas, The Black Madonna the Virgin , patron saint of Catalonia . After the pain that entails the loss of a loved one, now the young mother is accompanied by her little closer to that tradition that is also yours.

“I have Spanish ancestors on both sides of my family. My grandparents came to Cuba during the nineteenth century from Catalonia and Galicia. I have dedicated myself to make part of the family tree , with the places from which they came . Participating in the festival of the Colla is a very interesting and moving experience because it is a beautiful celebration of the descendants of Spain . I was not coming since I was little , but I decided to start attending again because my grandfather loved this tradition and we instilled attachment to Mother Spain , then here is like being reunited with my grandfather. ”

Maybe its cause is not the same but , no doubt , love these customs bequeathed to Cuba by the Spanish culture is so strong that José González Abreu , a grandfather of 84, each year is based on his crutches and reaches the Ermita Catalans to honor their ancestors.

The Feast of the Colla had its origins in the pilgrimages celebrating the Catalan families settled in the city, dedicated to the Virgin of Montserrat, who built a chapel in 1875. The significance of the holiday goes further to consider it a celebration of our traditions , said Roberto Ruesca , president of the Friends of the Spanish culture in Matanzas.

” In Catalonia colla has two meanings : the first is associated with a kind of guild , for example, winemakers , bakers and builders and , most importantly, why take the Catalan name for the festivities was the followers virgin who wanted to build him a house in the mountains. The tradition comes in 1875, when the Catalans residing here finished building the chapel in honor of Monserrat in Spain .

” The Feast of the Colla is developed to pay homage to the Virgin of Montserrat. This represents a space for Matanzas to rescue the history and custom that also belong to us and are part of the idiosyncrasy of the Cuban people. ”

This Sunday during the final day of this festival evokes the Catalan presence in the city of Matanzas, an extensive program of activities began with a retreat of the Concert Band in Freedom Park was developed.

The traditional toast fellowship was followed by a recognition of the work of associations of Spanish culture in Matanzas city, as well as Mario López Navia, Director Gener library and Del Monte and Rolando Estévez, who was in charge of the finish virgin who now rest in the Ermita de Monserrate .

Subsequently, these accompanied the pilgrimage to the shrine The Black Madonna , where Monsignor Manuel Hilario de Céspedes García- Menocal , Bishop of Matanzas, blessed the new image carved in wood life size which returned to your site after decades of absence due to deterioration of the earlier sculpture.

It was loyalty to these traditions that made the City Matanzas keeps alive one of the oldest Hispanic legacies , the Feast of the Colla said Perla Diaz Duran , president of the House of Asturian Matanzas.

“Following the Spanish Casino is built today and provincial library Gener del Monte, the Hermitage happens to become heritage of this and became the party of the Spaniards in the city. But Monserrate was always the focal point of Hispanic associations Matanzas. Few places in the world can boast of keeping alive a tradition as well . ”

María Dolores Rosik , president of the Charitable Society of Natural Catalonia , stressed the importance of the event in safeguarding a tradition adopted by the Matanzas .

” In Catalonia such activities are also performed , although this has its peculiarities as the toast of fellowship and the journey to the heights of Monserrate. I think it’s very important to stay because a people that respects their traditions and history , has nothing . ”

Deborah Brent , a Canadian who happened to be near, was also interested in knowing what the event was about.

” It strikes me that it is a way to recover some of the history , not only for the elderly because there are too many young people here and I am also interested in the origins of this festival. My husband and I are traveling throughout Cuba cycling to know her better. Yesterday we spent casually through the park, we entered the building , we saw the exhibition mounted and we decided to come here today to share this moment with you . All that represents a bit closer to their culture , their people are very interested . ”

Perla Diaz Duran also talked about why you need the event of the Catalans in Matanzas and the role of the younger generation in their rescue.

“Young people are the repository of all that folklore and are responsible to continue it . ”

This December marked the 138 years of the festival of Colla , a space in time with a perfect symbiosis of art and religion , symbolizes a reunion with Antanas traditions inherited by our people.

Original text by Jessica Mesa Duarte en diciembre 16, 2013

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