A report by Yosley Carrero for the Xinhua Web.
Eduardo Hernandez works as a gardener at Havana’s Chinese language cemetery positioned on the very coronary heart of the nation’s capital.
Over the previous three years, he has helped protect the graveyard the place generations of Chinese language have continued to venerate their ancestors following centuries-old traditions.
Holding the dignity of the diseased in excessive regard, Hernandez often begins his day early by landscaping in addition to cleansing gravesites and walkways.
“I often take away weed and mud from gravestones. This place is a part of the frequent historical past of two sister nations,” the 57-year-old advised Xinhua whereas wiping sweat off his face.
Chinese language migrant employees first arrived in Cuba in 1847, beginning a brand new custom of cultural trade that has paved the best way of the unwavering hyperlinks between the 2 international locations.
Situated in Nuevo Vedado district and established in 1893, the cemetery will not be solely honored by Chinese language descendants but in addition attracts researchers who need to be taught extra concerning the historic website.
Amongst them is 71-year-old Maria Teresa Montes de Oca Choy, president of Chinese language Migration Chair at Cuba’s Fernando Ortiz Society.
“This cemetery is exclusive on the island and has a really particular which means for Chinese language descendants right here,” she mentioned. “It’s a clear expression of the respect Cuban folks really feel towards Chinese language migrants’ legacy.”
“The wonder and solemnity of this place is spectacular,” added Choy.
Declared a nationwide monument by the Cuban authorities in 1996, the cemetery covers an space of about 8,000 sq. meters.
Its architectural design is a fusion of Chinese language and Western traditions that displays values and beliefs of Chinese language descendants.
Strolling alongside the centennial Chinese language cemetery, one can simply learn off the names of medical doctors, academics and fighters for the independence of Cuba from their gravestones.
Chinese language descendants within the Caribbean nation often adorn graves with flowers and burn incenses to honor the recollections of their family members.
Throughout Qingming Competition, also referred to as Tomb-sweeping Day, lots of of Chinese language descendants go to the tombs of their household and buddies with choices similar to meals, drinks and floral preparations.
Jorge Rios, who works as an undertaker on the graveyard, advised Xinhua that though the competition was suspended this yr as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, he has discovered that Chinese language folks have some ways to pay their respects to the departed throughout Qingming.
“I’ve witnessed how a lot Chinese language folks and their descendants respect their ancestors,” he mentioned. “I’m so pleased with being one of many guardians of Havana’s Chinese language cemetery.”