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Zoe's no little Chickadee Any Longer!!!
Julio Suris is a man who has many things to be thankful for, one thing being Tio to his niece, Zoe. He recently went to Cuba for her Quince Anos celebration. For those who are in the dark, El Quince is considered to be an important step in the life of a teenage girl. It's celebrated usually on the day of their fifteenth birthday. This day is highly valued because it is seen as an expression of gratitude to the Creator for the life of their child. It also brings the entire community, both secular and religious alike, together to witness the renewal of the promises made at the young lady's baptism.
For Julio, the entire experience was something that he'll never forget. The ceremony took place in the lush expanse of the Sancti Spiritus province. The enitre village was there to bask in the glow of the moment; including many close relatives and Zoe's friends from school. As Julio later remarked, "I was very proud to see my niece become a beautiful young woman today." Afterwards, everyone ventured to an open-air reception. The air was filled with the delectable aroma of roasted pork and the smoke of hand-rolled cigars. Stories flew about the place like swift pigeons and children played in the grass. Old and young alike danced like the flames of the fire nearby and as Julio danced with Zoe to the sweet sounds of a country band, his heart swelled with joy.
Artisans of The Cigar
Women's Day passed by three weeks ago and it took me to back to the time several years ago when I was lucky enough to join in the Women‚s Day celebration at the Museum of Tobacco downtown Havana. I was very delighted to be among these wonderful women. I need only to imagine the beautiful expressions on the faces of all of the women being honored this year for their role in the creation of the Cuban cigar to recapture the feeling of that moment. It helped me to regain the sense of the incandescent splendor that these women possess within. It's no small wonder that they are aptly known as the Flowers of The Tobacco.
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