Bespoke Cuban Holidays for the Discerning Traveller

What are your most dearly-held values and beliefs is not a topic that necessarily crops up a lot in normal, every-day conversations. In some cultures it might be seen as impertinent to ask; an inappropriate question, even a disrespectful invasion of privacy. But here in Cuba it’s a meaty matter, greatly valued, and so batted back and forth in conversation with great regularity. It was, then, the first question I asked my friend – 32 year old, film-editor – Joana, when we met last week.
A maths graduate, she moved into film and is now known as one of Havana´s very best, young, creative movers and shakers. It was, she says, the challenge that hooked her; the process of editing; choosing the right path in a maze of crossroads; like putting together a puzzle of an unknown size. She vividly remembers her mother taking her to the cinema when she was a child, and that although she wasn’t old enough to really grasp the meaning (or mysteries, she says) of the big screen, it was when and where her passion began.
´´Since then, it’s also been my main way to deal with hard, even desperate situations; as a key, too – a way in which to understand the world around me¨.
Her aim (media-romantica, she says!) is to be part of creating cinema that’s stimulating, meaningful, thoughtful and passionate – for tomorrow´s children; ´´…a solace of other-worlds and dreams´´, like the ones she discovered as a child.
But back to values and beliefs. Intelligence, integrity, loyalty, decency and honesty are her most cherished ones, she says. ´´Oh, and desinterés´´. This word (and its opposite, interés) is used a great deal here and both are very useful words to know. There´s said to be interés if someone is doing something just for personal gain; like people hanging around tourists just for money or other favours, for instance. Disinterés is the opposite, and it’s a big compliment to give to someone who is simply doing the right thing; such as voluntarily helping a stranger, visitor, or someone who has more options or possibilities than themselves.
Joana is one of those young Cubans, then: intelligent, loyal, decent and honest. Oh, and without interés.

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