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Author(s): Simoni, V.
Editor: Natalia Bloch
Kathleen Adams
Date: 2022
Title: Migrant, tourist, Cuban: Identification and belonging in return visits to Cuba
Book title/volume: Intersections of tourism, migration, and exile
Pages: 45 - 59
Reference: Simoni, V. (2022). Migrant, tourist, Cuban: Identification and belonging in return visits to Cuba. EM Natalia Bloch, Kathleen Adams (Eds.). Intersections of tourism, migration, and exile (pp. 45-59). Routledge. http://10.4324/9781003182689-3
ISBN: 9781032022802
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): http://10.4324/9781003182689-3
Abstract: In the course of field research among Cuban migrants in Barcelona, I encountered various personal stories and anecdotes about return visits to Cuba. A striking feature in many of these narratives was the value placed on being and behaving like an “ordinary” Cuban when visiting the island. Exemplifying their attunement to the “Cuban lifestyle,” Cuban migrants I talked with – who had all left the country in the last thirty years and mostly in the last decade – highlighted their return to simpler routines and behavioral and consumption patterns, in terms of accommodation, food, transportation, dress code, and the rhythm and pace of life more generally. Forget one’s mobile phone, forget about checking emails and Facebook daily – via these conversational observations, they presented selves that knew and appreciated what it was to live in Cuba as Cubans. Regularly, such portrayals were contrasted with the attitudes of “other” returning Cuban visitors said to be less sensitive to the Cuban reality and to flaunt their newly acquired foreign tastes and superior socio-economic statuses, a recurrent target being “ostentatious” Cuban Americans coming from the United States. In tension with these narratives, however, were anecdotes by the very same research participants on the differential treatment they regularly received back in Cuba, as “Cubans living abroad” (los cubanos que viven en el extranjero). These could be stories of “interested” (interesados) kin, friends, and acquaintances that only sought to draw money from the “rich Cuban from abroad,” scheming, deceiving, and treating them as they would any other foreign tourist. Such narratives of concrete interactions and events during the migrants’ visits spoke of challenges of recognition and belonging.
Peerreviewed: yes
Access type: Open Access
Appears in Collections:CRIA-CLI - Capítulos de livros internacionais

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