Capoeira is spreading to new places and cultures and the shock seems unavoidable, maybe even inherent. There are religious, and cultural matters. Some are related to the clash of a socio-cultural practice like Capoeira, and the western individualism. Some may be related to westernised versions of Capoeira being practised in eastern countries. The truth is: there is no universal truth in the art-form; no matter how wise and/or knowledgeable one can be. Capoeira’s syncretic and intercultural birth as a weapon of resistance certainly has gave it characteristics and purposes that might be seen as universals, but I don’t think the diffusion process of Capoeira happens as smooth as most practitioners like to believe.
I once heard from a ‘mestre’ that one can not be truly a good capoeirista without embracing Candomblé. Saracura’s questions are related to that early syncretic and intercultural environment that gave origin not only to Capoeira but also to other Brazilian practices; all somehow fighting oppression and a colonialist agenda of acculturation. In the following post Saracura, from Aú Capoeira, share with us his concerns about the practice of both Islam and Capoeira. One guides his transcendent dimension defining him as person, the other draws him into a different universe inviting him to experience an embodied practical philosophy of life.
Saracura is opening up an important topic – Capoeira and religion – and inviting us to participate in it. What is your understanding about the practice of the art-form and one’s own religion? About about Christians, Jewish, or Candomblé people? And atheist people? How do we make sense of our Capoeira and our believes?
Obrigado pela participação Saracura! The path of apprenticeship is much more productive when taken with open-minded and honest friends. I’ll reply to your questions over the comment box. Axé!!
Questions about the practice of Capoeira and Islam
Hi, I have a question that I would like to gain some insight on. The question is related to integration of Capoeira with Islam, so anybody with a deep profound knowledge in Islam and/or Capoeira can contribute. Before I bring forward the question let me introduce a piece of information as a basis for this discussion as follows:
In Islam, for Muslims, to my understanding our faith/conviction is comprised of 3 main elements, which are:
1) what we believe in our heart
2) what we say
3) what we do with our limbs/body
So everything we say/do/believe is accountable in the day of judgement, so we can’t really say things even if its just for fun etc. (hence lying is a major sin) and the words we speak are a form of prayer and acknowledgement, even though we don’t mean it, hence we should watch our tongues, with intent/belief being a separate but parallel entity. From a more conservative viewpoint I think even singing songs with lyrics such as “father into your hands, I commend my spirit” is considered blasphemous, despite the intent as only singing a song.
My question is related to the Capoeira songs, as quite a few of the songs contain Christian elements, such as “Valha meu Deus Senhor São Bento”, “São Bento me chama”, or “Santo Antônio é protetor”, maybe even the louvação “Ié, Viva meu Deus”(which may be generic so maybe its ok) or any other such song with elements related to that. So by far I suppose if a song does not have lyrics that have elements of praise or worship but sings about history or tradition is okay to sing keeping in mind point 2) mentioned above. My question is, to your knowledge, how would you define the songs in this case? And taking a more conservative viewpoint, what songs should I then opt not to sing?
I know the songs can be very symbolic, so to my understanding, to learn about the songs significance and respect it is not a problem, just that singing those particular songs would most likely be a no go. With that, while considering the conservative viewpoint as well, I would appreciate any intellectual and factual feedback. Thank you and Axe!