2019年11月23日 星期六

Race/Related: Black Voodoo in Brooklyn

Why voodoo remains a spiritual anchor for many Haitians around the world.
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By Pierre-Antoine Louis

I grew up in a Haitian household, and voodoo was not an infrequent part of our conversations.

My mother would often tell us stories about attending ceremonies with her family where they would dress in all white, bathe in a sacred pool and dance themselves into a trance as they called upon spirits. My father, on the other hand, liked to roll his eyes as he reminded us that voodoo, founded on the belief that the living and the dead exist side by side, wasn’t real.

Through both of them, I learned that voodoo was a part of our history and our culture.

Voodoo remains a spiritual anchor for many Haitians around the world, allowing us to explore our past and our devotion to our ancestors and what they did to survive. A few months ago, many Haitians recognized the 228th anniversary of the voodoo ceremony at Bois Caïman, which some believe was the site where the first insurrection of the Haitian Revolution was planned.

This week, my colleague Gina Cherelus visited a Fet Gede, or a Festival of the Dead, a Haitian tradition during which revelers dress in costume, eat, drink and dance to honor their ancestors. “This is something that our ancestors left for us and we need to cherish it,” said Agathina Ginoue Nozy, a Haitian immigrant who attended the event.

Fet Gede is one of the most anticipated celebrations in the Haitian voodoo religious calendar. But it is not just a moment for rituals and community. It is a moment to celebrate heritage and identity. As Ms. Nozy says, “voodoo is part of us.”

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