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realclearworld

Cuba Nostalgia: Memories of a Quinces celebration

Via The Miami Herald:

A quince party in Cuba: a real fairytale to be recalled at this weekend’s Cuba Nostalgia

http://www.cubanostalgia.org/images/poster_2013.jpgLike many teenage girls in Cuba, Lydia Hortensia de Castroverde yearned to be a quinceañera — to one day dress like a princess, enter a banquet hall full of family and friends on her father’s arm to dance a waltz, then blow out the candles on a spectacular cake. In effect, flying out as a butterfly from a cocoon. A beautiful human spring.

On Christmas’ Eve 1957, at age 14, she verbalized her dream to her parents: “ Mami, papi, I want a quince party.”

It was a difficult time to host a society event in Havana as political upheaval loomed and a revolution was brewing. A month earlier, Havana had been shaken by simultaneous bombings. A rebel leader named Fidel Castro had taken up arms against Fulgencio Batista’s government. No longer could people feel safe on the streets.

Papi at first refused to throw my party because he feared someone could bomb the event,” recalls Castroverde. “But Mami insisted, ‘our only daughter wants a quinceañera party.’?”

In the end, Castroverde got her wish.

This weekend at the annual Cuba Nostalgia festival in West Miami-Dade, the glorious quince Castroverde’s parents threw for her — and preserved in photographs in a large pink album and in 17 minutes of film — will be shown and showcased at the MiamiHerald/elNuevoHerald exhibit. Castroverde will also be there Saturday from 11 to 8 p.m. to tell how her mother, Hortensia, a well-known opera singer, pulled off a quince in tumultuous times.

It proved to be one of the last. large-scale quince parties in an elegant, pre-Castro Cuba.

Continue reading HERE.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/05/15/3399801/a-quince-party-in-cuba-a-real.html#storylink=cpy

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