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sledding

Cuba, an island so little solemn.

The verb "plañir" means to mourn, or grieve over. So, a "plañidera" is a woman who is a professional mourner, paid to mourn at funerals. The custom dates back to antiquity, but made its way to colonial Latin America. In Cuba, as early as the 16th century, colonial officials outlawed the practice, because the plañideras "no lloraban con emoción .. sino más bien con .. un aire de zumbón descreimiento" (they didn't cry with emotion, but rather with an air of waggish unbelief). These same officials also were forced to order that taverns remained closed until mass was over ... "Cuba, una isla tan poco solemne." Thanks, Juan Nicolás Padrón

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sledding

February 2018

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