June 6, 2012
SANTARÉM, PA— There are many religions in Santarém, Parà, but one religion stuck out like a sore thumb. A religion that did not focus on God, focus on good or bad deeds, and did not focus on praying. Out of all the religions practiced in Brazil, the most common religion (Catholicism) was not my favorite.
Candomblé is a religion that focuses on spirits, sacrifices, and welcoming everybody. In the few religious events we went to in Santarém, I never saw anything so colorful, beautiful, and unusual. We attended pai de santo, a man named Clodomilson de Ogum’s house in Santarém. It was one of the most interesting and lively things I attended during my two week stay in Santarém. A group of eight Roger Williams University students and an RWU journalism assistant professor and RWU anthropology assistant professor explored the city of Santarém for two weeks. Their trip was through a program called Amizade where the site director, Nathan Darity, chauffeured, guided, and provided knowledge for the group.
During the two week stay in Santarém, we went to the zoo, learned some capoeira, hiked, kayaked, completed community service and various other things; Candomblé was one of the most eye opening things to me. I do not want to join the religion, but it is something that I think everybody should experience because it is so interesting. The way the people were acting, how people were responding, and the emotions that were displayed were incredible.
Many religions that I am aware of are primarily about prayer, God, and good karma. Candomblé is something that is so unusual and mysterious to many people. This is a religion that should get their name out, reach out to people, and explain to people what it is all about. This could happen by utilizing the Web, posters, and word of mouth.