Monday, October 5, 2015

Culture Corner 10.5.15


Up, up and away
I honestly had the best summer of my life in 2015 and my trip to Brazil was possibly the most transformative experience of my life. Going to Brazil has provided me with so much information in terms of a cross cultural comparison of the educational system in Brazil and comparing it to my own personal experiences being educated in the United States. I will always remember the students in the Steve Biko Cultural Institute and the experiences that they shared with us.  
My partner in crime Vanessa! <3 in Rio San Vermellho

I also truly enjoyed the lectures at the historical sites by all of the educators included on this trip.  This was a learning experience to be treasured because it was my first time making historical connections while I was physically standing in slave quarters.   Seeing how the legacy of slavery has created obstacles that are still in existence and affecting Afro-Brazilians was painful to witness but at the same time I felt compelled to absorb as much as I could.  I learned about the Quilombo population and the importance of these communities of self-liberated black people that fought against slavery and the colonialist regime.

Bruh, I hiked
SQUAD = Pricilla, Jazmin, Terron, Jackie, Tom, Francesco

I also felt that an example to combat the hegemonic racism in existence was the law that was  passed making it mandatory to teach Afro-Brazilian culture since it wasn't apart of the curriculum. Despite the fact that this law was passed many Afro-Brazilians still were not learning about important contributions that Afro-Brazilians had made to Brazilian culture.

A cathedral that was used to convert Slaves to Christianity.
a view of the giant cross from the slave quarters.

This created a need for places like the Pierre Verger Foundation which provides a space for young Afro-Brazilians to practice capoeira, African dance and a place to do their homework.  The space is also home to one of the only libraries in the community.  It also offers a place where people can feel welcome. I didn't feel like an outsider there, I felt like I belonged, I felt as if I was at home.  We were welcomed with an amazing home cooked meal for lunch.  During lunch we would speak to the Brazil Cultural students to help them with their English, and they would also help us with out Portugese.  The students were honestly the highlight of this trip for me.  Interacting with them and telling them about our ideas and aspirations towards seeking higher education (especially our desire to become educators also) was a rewarding experience.

Jazmine, Tea, behind me with her hand in my face LOL and the beautiful Jazmin
Friendship braclet (the green one) someone ties it on and you make a wish when your wish comes true it falls off. I am so impatient y'all.

The ribbon friendship bracelets tied to the front of the Cathedral.

Pasteles in Prairo De Forte.
Don't remember what it was called, but it tasted like ambrosia.

 One of the many beautiful Cathedrals we visited in Bahia, hanging from the ceiling are body parts, when people are healed they usually hang one of the body parts from the ceiling and attach a message to the wall thanking God and the Orixas for healing them.  This church is an interesting representation of religious syncretism (an amalgamation of both Christianity and the Yoruba Candomble religion).

My Mellon Mays Family. Have fun in Paris Maryam!!! Je te manque moi BAE LOLLL

I went snorkeling here....anyone who knows me personally knows this is a major feat because your girl doth not swim.

the view from the top of my hotel in Rio San Vermelho.

I miss my hammock at Sao Pao, in Prairo De Forte

Learning about Yoruba and Angola Candomble at the Pierre Verger Foundation. I was given the opportunity to perform a Candomble dance without any preparation, the woman (in the blue pants with the cane) told me that the ancestors told her to choose me, and they would also guide my movements.  I danced to perfection that day.

About to have a Capoeira lesson in Cachoeira, Bahia, Brazil.

Hanging out with the Brazilian Baes Felipe Vale and Jefferson Rocha #BaeWatch
Street art at the local Market (sidenote, I miss seeing Portuguese on the walls).

Why don't we have colorful money here in the U.S. ? Hmmm.

I can only hope that  I will have the opportunity to be in the same intellectual space with other young motivated scholars sometime in the future and you can definitely expect more photos from me soon. I will be in Cape Town, South Africa in a few months. #Globetrotter #ICollectPassportStamps #TakeAdvantageOfTheStudyAbroadOffice.

Obrigada, Eu Amo Bahia!

-Lisa Del Sol

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