SALVADOR, Brazil, Jan 8 (IPS) – Millions of Brazilians usher in the new year by wading into the sea, dressed in white, scattering flowers on the water as an offering to the Afro-Brazilian deity Iemanjá, in return for her blessings for the year to come. But few of them realise that this tradition is rooted in a religion fighting for survival in the face of prejudice, racism and intolerance.
Jaciara Ribeiro dos Santos symbolises the counterattack launched by practitioners of Candomblé and other African-based religions, which have survived centuries of repression only to confront a new wave of attacks by fundamentalist Protestant churches.
Jaciara’s mother, Gildasia dos Santos, was better known as Mae Gilda (Mother Gilda) in her role as a “ialorixá” or Candomblé priestess. She lived in Salvador, capital of the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia, home to the country’s largest population of African descendants.
In September 1999, Mae Gilda saw her photograph printed in the Folha Universal, a daily newspaper published by the “neo-Pentecostal” Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, under a headline accusing her of being a “charlatan” and of endangering the “lives and wallets” of her followers.
Jaciara is convinced that her mother’s death by a heart attack several months later, at the age of 65, was a direct result of the psychological trauma caused by the slanderous attack.
Capoeira is for men, women and children; the only ones who don’t learn it are those are those who don’t wish to.
— Mestre Pastinha
Eu sou discipulo que aprende, [I am a student that learns,] E mestre que da licao. [And a master who teaches.]
— Old capoeira song
The flame of this beautiful art is now in your hands. You can dampen it, you can burn yourself or your brothers and sisters, or, afraid of its heat, you can let go of it. I hope that you take good care of your capoeira and kindle this fire alive and powerful, enlightening your life.
— Mestre Accordeon
We need to be in the actual life, the real life, because capoeira is fundamentally about the roda of life.
— Mestre Gato
My message is that they have to embrace capoeira with all their hearts because capoeira has a lot to offer to the people who dedicate themselves. The more you devote to capoeira, the more capoeira will return to you.
The elderly who exercised or gathered at the Temple of Heaven were captivated by two foreign men who one day appeared and performed some kind of street dance. The old people were curious about the movements. Later, they were taught to play strange musical instruments to accompany the dance.
This was a scene that appeared in a program produced by SexyBeijing.tv, an Internet TV station that focuses on Beijing life. Jamel Mims and Leroy Philpotts were the men on the show, doing Capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian dance form that incorporates self-defense maneuvers and is now finding a following in Beijing. Continue reading “Capoeira in Beijing seeks local following”
Much thanks to Chupateta for making this a real website. His only request now is that we really start to use it. I have a few ideas about articles, but if you would like me or Diego to write about a topic, please let us know.
Composed by a dynamic group of capoeira enthusiasts from all over the globe. Within our group there are different levels of capoeira, so beginners are always welcome, as well as everyone else! Classes are held weeknights and Saturday afternoon.
Weather permitting, CMS holds open rodas in Zhongshan Park. Additionally, we hold more formal performances upon request. If you would like to have us perform at your event, please visit the events page. For a full list of past and future events, please visit the Events page.
On September 19th-21st, CMS successfully held China’s first Batizado. CMS is excited about the success of this event. We would like to thank the visiting Instrutors, Contra Mestres and Mestre Marcelo. Contratulations to all the Capoeiristas who were baptized and received their Cordao. Last but not least, thanks to our sponsors, without which this event could not have happened. Don’t forget for check out videos and photos from this event!