Monday, November 5, 2012
Uruguay,Umbanda and something else.
This is an Updated posting! Thanks to all who read the blog and commented!!!.
November 2, here in Uruguay, is called "Día de Los Difuntos" or "Day of the Dead". It coincides with All saints day in some churches. It seems that here in Uruguay some people go to the graveyards and clean up the graves and decorate them with flowers on this weekend.
But there is another ritual that one can run into that's a little scary.
I only mention this because I tend to write about things that I stumble into or observe here where I live. This weekend I literally walked into or came across a tradition tied to a ritual of voodoo.
This is not the norm for Uruguayans as shown by some comments.
As an Uruguayan I'm a little offended that we could be seen as a country filled by Umbandist practitions, since this is NOT the norm for our society.
Another commenter wrote:
Of course those things on the beach were not offerings to the dead. These kinds of offerings of food and liquor could be offerings to Lemanjá, the goddes of the Sea of the afroamerican religion of Umbanda. It is a mix of beliefs of the african slaves with the catholic religion. But the presence of chicken can be a signal of black magic rituals...the day of the dead has nothing to do with this offerings, you can see them all the year long in places like parks and beaches and another commenter wrote:
Those beach offerings are part of Umbanda (a religion with african origins)
It was a beautiful clear day and hot! Kinda of muggy hot where you tend to sweat when exerting yourself. So I broke down and took my dogs to the beach after a self-imposed ban of it because it was a mess from the last wind storm. The beach looked a little better, not much but a little, so we went into the water, dogs and I (legs only). On coming out and walking along the sand I began to smell an odor which of course, dogs love to check out. That's when I saw the cause. An offering of some kind.
2 dead chickens were laid on a Styrofoam plate each, along with 2 bottles of Alcohol (1 whisky, 1 Sangria wine) and a jar of honey.
There is a Umbanda spiritistic religion (of African-mixed origins) practiced here in Uruguay. Also there is a separate cult practice, a following to a "goddess or Virgin of the Sea" called Lemanjá. I've seen a stature set up of that on the beach at Punta del Este. It's a pagan nature religion celebrated on February 2 where little boats are floated out to sea asking for wishes to be granted. However, these two cults don't offer up animal sacrifices as the chickens would indicate. So it's seems that I stumbled into something else entirely.
In the future I won't be reporting on anything like this again. I would never have reported on it now, except for the fact that I ran into this scene. While learning about people's customs and traditions is interesting and I freely share what I learn about them, I can only go so far into certain types of them. I have to remember that I have important lessons learned. Wherever I go in this world I must remember this warning about Spiritism and magic practicing beliefs and the dangers of them. Please look up in the Bible book of Deuteronomy Chapter 18 and verses 9 thru 13. *** Start with verse 13, then go back and read verses 9 10,11,12 and 13 again in that 18th chapter. Among the many types of religions here in Uruguay, Christian or otherwise, there are over 11,000 Jehovah's Christian Witnesses also, here in Uruguay. Native Uruguayans born here who like me stay away from Spiritistic practices because we were warned to keep free from them. If you have any questions about why it's a good idea to stay free from this, feel free to ask any of Jehovah's Witnesses for a free home Bible study or even a simple discussion.
I just thought you'd like to know what's happening.