CUBA IN A BOTTLE – EPISODE 1

CUBA IN A BOTTLE – EPISODE 1


In Cuba? There’s rum in the air! At six in the morning
the bell rings to wake us up and we start getting ready for work. Then we go to the kitchen to have our breakfast. Pillin’s ration. My ration. The “Cat’s” ration. Danay’s ration… If you don’t adapt to this life, you get what we call “the sparrow”. That’s when you start to miss your family and your kids. You become very melancholic
and lots of men end up quitting. We get in the truck and we go to the fields and in the fields you know how it is… with the hot sun up there. Today we cut in pairs. Who doesn’t have a partner yet? Don’t look at me! I come here. I cut cane.
But we joke a lot and we pass the time. The friendships we have are important.
They’re like my brothers. It becomes a habit and if I don’t see them
for a while, then I miss them. It is what it is… Human feelings that
sometimes we don’t really understand.Ding-a-ling-a-ling! The bell is ringing!
Ding-a-ling-a-ling! Come on Congos! Let’s go to the sugar mill!This place was the slave owner’s farmhouse. First French and then Spanish slave owners. These are the barracks where the slaves slept and they sang their Mambos. Traditional songs to their Gods who helped them to survive. They cut the cane, and loaded it onto carts and they made the sugar here. Come on Congos, let’s go to the sugar mill!Ding-a-ling-a-ling! The bell is ringing!
Ding-a-ling-a-ling! Come on Congos! Let’s to go to the sugar mill!Come on Congos! My Nganga!
Come on let’s go to the sugar mill!The Spanish came to this country to make themselves rich and many of them did so with sugar. First they enslaved the native peoples
and then, when they couldn’t take it any more they took black people from Africa,
because black people are stronger workers. Always under the whip, because you know they didn’t treat us like people.
They treated us like animals. We were just animals to them. Do you understand? I feel affection for this place…
and at the same time I feel pain because this is where our ancestors died. Our black people, who came from Africa.
Under the whip of the foreman and the driver. Our ancestors, who are now the spirits
with whom we work here. They drank aguardiente. When you offer the spirits aguardiente,
it makes them happy. This is the true “Malafo of the Congos”. Malafo, aguardiente… Malafo maputo. Damn, it’s tasty! Just a little bit.
Just a drop, not too much. How is it? This is good, and it strengthens your spirit.Let’s see, let’s see!
Let’s see if they are true!I grew up with my aunt, who was a Santera.
She’s been a disciple of Obatala for 50 years. That’s how I started. Then I passed it on
to my wife, my children and all my godchildren. Now we’re going to the other little shop,
to see if we can pick some things up. It’s closed. It’s never easy! Generally, the Orishas (Gods) drink aguardiente. If you don’t have aguardiente, you can give them rum.
But always white rum. Alcohol has a strong power because it purifies people and gives them joy and release. It allows them to enter another world. All the Orishas drank rum or aguardiente.
So in daily life, we represent them like that. Through rum and aguardiente. When I have a spiritual gathering here in the house,
my son always plays a rumba. – After it’s all over.
– It’s the tradition of this house. – The rumba comes as a… how would you say it?
– As the end of the party. The drums are out there right now. Always ready for musician friends to come,
sit down and start playing… And out goes Chino… …to sing. And that’s how the rumba starts. Cuba is very musical. Musical… and always accompanied with… rum! It goes with rum because that has always been there.Our country…Cuba in a bottleA captured ray of sunCenturies distilledIn the story of our Cuban rum.Come to my Cuba and see!Hot as my sun!Come to my Cuba and see!Aguardiente and Rum Mulata.Come to my Cuba and see!The guiro is good.Come to my Cuba and see!Tell me now, you’ll see!This is how we use it.I can sing sweetly, so I give you all a blessing.
A friend from Sarabanda called for a blessing for us all.And so I beg your pardon, and ask for your blessing.
Orula, god of knowledge is never wrong, so his blessing to you all. Aché!

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