Finding ‘family’ away from home on Mother’s Day at Trinidad, Cuba

On my second trip to Trinidad I found myself in town on Mother’s Day. Like everywhere else, it is also a very special day for Cubans and it celebrated in a big family way. The day before Mothering Sunday, streets and shops are busy with fathers and children making the shopping for the big family feast that is to follow and bakeries are producing in frenzy oversized, sugary cakes to be offered to celebrated mothers.

Finding myself so far away on that day from my mother and family, the family I stayed with at casa particular invited me to join the celebrations. I was touched by the way I was embraced by the family to celebrate this unique day.

Mother’s Day is special everywhere in the world but what I experienced on that Sunday in Trinidad was unique. Mother’s Day in Cuba was not a closed-door family affair, it was extended to everyone. I am not a mother but that didn’t stop every passerby from well-wishing me when crossing paths at the street. Mother’s Day was a fiesta, laughter and music were echoing at the streets and through the open yards of all houses. Cakes of all colours and sizes were in the arms of families on their way to join celebrations and barbeques were set. Houses opened their doors not just to family members but to neighbours and friends. Fresh fruit, simple good food and music orchestrated an unforgettable afternoon. There was a continuous movement and at times neighbouring houses were joined in one big celebration. It was not just a celebration of Mothers but a celebration of family, friends, people and life.

This is the thing with travelling. You find yourself so far away from family only to be ‘adopted’ by one when you least expect it.

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