My research on urban culture also involves looking at the culture of death: graveyards, processions, and other distinctive local practices. Today I went to the Necropolis Colon and took some pictures. This grand park of rest - built in the third quarter of the nineteenth century - is still in use. But many of the old mausoleums belong to families who have left Cuba, and have fallen into disrepair. This gives some of them a picturesque ruin aspect.
There are many fine marble carvings on the graves, demonstrating the various families' wealth and piety: a veritable army of angels watching over the departed of Havana, radiantly white in the equatorial sun.
One grave had a rather interesting inscription: ''¡Ay...!'' (roughly "Ouch! Agh!") - a perhaps honest but rather unusual epitaph. (I'd be interested to know whether anyone else has seen something similar anywhere else).