Nov 8, 2017 in Opinion

Keeping African Roots Alive in Brazil

Nigerians brought to Brazilian as Slaves during the colonial era, still practice their traditional divine dancing ceremony alongside the indigenous Brazilian Candomble priests. About half of the Brazilian population indentifies themselves as black. AS a result, majority of them openly declare to be African religion followers.  However, Brazilians affiliated to African religious practices experience racial discrimination in school as well as from the police. According to Edna Teixera, candomle African religion was practiced in the Samba backyards until 1970 when it was openly practiced. Through slavery, Africans from different nations interacted in Brazil, however, their customs were forgotten as they adapted to Brazilian culture. According to Fabiana Frayssi “So a piece of African earth is embedded in Brazilian soil, and Brazilian earth is embedded in Africa, keeping memories alive in the shade of the trees.” (Frayssinet, 2012)

The indigenous African society in Brazil has kept the African cultural spirit alive in Brazil despite cultural interference by the Brazilian culture. However, beside the religious culture, the Africans should maintain an all round African culture especially the family culture.  The interesting aspect is the integration of various African cultures into one religious culture. The African cohesion has remained strong despite discrimination from the Brazilian society.  Although the African society is nearly half of the Brazilian society, the Africans still practice their indigenous religion while hiding.

The article introduces a new form of global issue of concern. Immigrants should be allowed to practice their cultural programs without prejudice as long as they do not interfere with the society.  It is troubling that the contemporary society still practices racial discrimination, despite global awareness on the importance of equity.

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