Thursday, April 8, 2010

Happy Birthday, Senor Marti

Celebrating Jose Marti's birthday in Trinidad de Cuba.

Jose Marti is a national hero in Cuba. He is one of the most revered ones, perhaps even more than Che Guevara, and that's saying a lot.
We were blessed to be in the country on his birthday. It's a national holiday and in Trinidad De Cuba there was a parade and even more music than usual.

Later on in Santiago De Cuba we visited the cemetery which houses his mausoleum. Every half hour of every day beginning at 10 a.m. an honour guard marches to his mausoleum and back. I've forgotten how long into the evening it lasts.

Among his other accomplishments he was a poet. The song Guantanamera contains some lyrics by Marti.

It's one thing to be told about a country's hero, it's a much more layered and lasting event to see his life reflected in the celebrations of his country.


carla said...

why do I come here? turns of phrases which stick in my mind all day.


Leah J. Utas said...

Carla, thank you so much for saying that. It made my day--hell-- my week!

Writing Without Periods! said...

What an interesting take on this hero. Love the photo.

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks so very much, Mary.

the Bag Lady said...

How lucky for you to be there during the celebrations! I have to confess, I had not heard of him, although I have heard the song, Guantanamero!

Hilary said...

That song is running through my head now. How cool that you were there for this celebration.

messymimi said...

It is unique to share a country's celebrations with the people. I was in Paris on Bastille Day one year, and I agree, it sinks in deeper.

Leah J. Utas said...

Hilary, it was most exciting.

Messymimi, Bastille Day! Now that must be memorable.

solarity said...

*perhaps* revered as much as Che? I'm shocked! Was Che a poet?

I've never read Martí in translation; I fear the music would be completely lost, but who else but a revolutionary could write this quatrain:

Todo es hermoso y brillante,
Todo es música y razón,
y todo, como el diamante,
antes que luz es carbón.

[Everything is beautiful and brilliant,
Everything is music and reason,
and everything, like the diamond,
before it is light it is coal.]

Thanks for bringing that to mind.

Mary Anne in Kentucky

Leah J. Utas said...

Mary Anne in Kentucky, thank you for that. Marti's words are brilliant.

All I can say is Che is a god there.