January 13, 2006 by AK
Black Brazilians and Americans come to Benin to join Voodoo worshippers:
At a ceremony in the southern town of Ouidah, Voodoo high priestess [of what god?] Nagbo Hounon Gbeffa sacrificed a goat, a rooster and a chicken as divine offerings [to what deity?].
“I’m very moved,” said Faith McDouglas, a 37-year-old nurse from Omaha, Neb. “I’ve understood many things regarding my origins, because I’m a descendant of slaves.”
O Faith — Faith! African-Americans must have been going through an identity crisis since the Emancipation Proclamation, but is this the answer? Slaughtering poultry on the beach to please whimsical phantoms? Or, perhaps, what you realized is the opposite — that despite the pain, suffering and humiliation black people endured in captivity, they saw a different, new and true light along the way and shall not return to the sanguinary rituals of their ancestors?
Russians have been going through an identity crisis of varying severity for I don’t know how long, too. We’re at another acute stage right now, I suppose. Some young people are looking back in search of ancient Slavic and Viking gods to worship. A thousand plus years later, those gods look winsome and attractive, and those rites innocent and nature-friendly. No mention of wife-burning, nor of the two Christian Vikings, father and son, who were slaughtered by a crowd in Kiev after refusing to let the young man be sacrificed to the comely gods. (Saints Theodore the Varangian and his son John.)
The problem here seems to be ignorance — it is hard to argue about Russian identity without studying Russian history, the teachings and history of the Church, European and Asian history and a few other fields. But there is more: looking at history as merely a sequence of mostly ugly events makes, one want to start it all anew, time rewound to its first syllables.
BTW, many Russians are descendants of serfs (emancipated in 1861). Many serfs, especially those who served in their masters’ mansions, were nearly slaves.
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