1. The art of hospitality
Perhaps one of the most beautiful, humbling things about the Cuban culture is that a Cuban will give you the clothes off his back and the shoes from his feet if it makes you more comfortable as a guest in his country. Cubans are proud, extremely generous people and want to offer you their absolute best. They’ll pull out the good china, the whitest table cloth, and they won’t hesitate to spend a month’s salary to create a beautiful meal for visitors.
While this can be overwhelming, one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in Cuba is how to graciously accept the hospitality. I thought I was being polite on one occasion by turning down a cup of coffee, as there wasn’t enough for everyone at the table. After much loud arguing I could hardly understand, someone turned to me and said in English, “Don’t reject the old lady or she’ll go nuts!” At that moment I realized what true hospitality is.