HAVANA TIMES — A Made-in-Cuba version of the video clip “Happy,” by U.S. musician Pharrell Williams is going viral both in the social networks and the alternative circulation channels in Cuba, including, of course, the controversial “Weekly Package.”
A blind man, three bricklayers, street musicians and a lot — a lot — of “ordinary” people take part cheerfully in this Cuban pastiche that replicates the choreography of the original video while incorporating a novel dimension: the background of Havana and real-life residents of the Cuban capital. The video has been seen by more than 73,800 visitors to YouTube.
To some cybernauts, like one who signs himself Joseph Marcos, “what’s surprising is that, despite so much physical poverty, there is such a joyful spirit.” Another one, who identifies himself as Carlos Gutiérrez, says: “I like this video; it’s charming. And we Cubans are uniquely cheerful.”
Perhaps most surprising is the fact that the video reflects a dynamism that presumably belongs to well-connected environments, skilled in the use of digital social networks and their logistics.
The creation of Elea, Serge and Emilie Muñoz Ruiz (as the authors introduce themselves) was intended to go viral, proof that Cuba’s “native” digital generation, although with limited or no access to the Internet, is a fast learner of how media contents are disseminated throughout the worldwide web.
“Happy in La Habana” is a demonstration of happiness and further proof that the Internet code and the sensitivity of this era are alive on the island and need only a minimal boost to activate themselves. That’s what happened earlier with other domestic videos, such as the ones that featured the inebriated Pánfilo or the fire in the gasoline station in Santiago de Cuba.