I am often faced by others with my choice of speaking about, studying and practicing Haitian Vodou instead of Candomblé. I understand that this question is usually born out of a legitimate and innocent curiosity, but a feeling of strangeness soon arises - the kind that does not quite understand the need to go to Haiti to seek spirituality. I don't feel like defending myself. I dont need it. My spiritual path is only mine and I walk it as I please. However, in addition to an unnecessary defense, this succinct question raises an interesting question: after all, can you make Haitian Vodou just like you do in Haiti here in Brazil?
The answer is yes and no. The real answer, however, is: for what? Confused? It's simpler than it looks. Haitian Vodou has no standardized shape even within the Haitian territory. There is a wide variety of understandings and practices. So, not even in Haiti are they making Haitian Vodou equally everywhere. It is clear, however, that there are certain preserved structures, as we have talked about before. Is it possible to maintain these structures in Brazil? My sincere answer, from what I have seen so far, is that it does. It's possible.
However, if each Vodou house in Haiti gains its own contours, this is also the case here . That's where our "Brasilidade" comes in - a way of doing things, a unique way of understanding the world and everything. Of course, this will change our relationship with spirits and their relationship with us. In fact, on this land, these spirits begin to discover new things and to express themselves in slightly unique ways.
I don't want to defend a lack of characterization of Vodou. I don't mean to say that anything goes. What I intend to communicate is that it is not possible for the Brazilian to make Vodou identical to Haitian and that it is fine. Haitian Vodou is already in Canada, the USA and various other countries - and I'm sure that in these places there are also many particular features.
Basically, I'm going back to a topic that is always within these written discussions of ours, which is the question that it is the interaction with spirits is what determines a spirituality like Vodou. Yet, we often forget that much of the organization of a spirituality is an expression of the human side of the equation. And we already know how varied the human is, from country to country, from state to state, from individual to individual.
So, trying to reproduce exactly, detail by detail, everything that is done in Haiti is an effort that seems to me wrong. Again, I need to emphasize that this does not mean that we can and should do things carelessly or without respect or without following certains settings, but that with time and experience and the interaction with the invisible, we will understand how Vodou works and that, naturally, things will change - and fighting this is useless and, honestly, quite counterproductive.
So, when asked if it is possible to make Haitian Vodou in Brazil - even if indirectly - I always answer: Yes, as only we know how to do it.