"The Fragrance of Flowers in the Air..."

Contramestre Cristina from Grupo Ypiranga de Pastinha in Rio de Janeiro was one of the guests at the 10th Annual Women’s Conference held in Washington, DC last month. It was really great to get to know her and learn about her path within Capoeira Angola in Rio de Janeiro. She wrote a wonderful piece for the conference, reflecting on the Women’s Encounters in Rio de Janeiro:
The fragrance of flowers in the air, the scented water cleansing the place… We could almost hear the beating of our hearts, accelerated by the expectation of the challenge that awaited. The arrival of Mestras Janja and Paulinha, bringing the courage that comes with feeling supported as well as the certainty of our purpose in that moment: the confirmation that our path was possible, despite of our fears, insecurities and the strangeness of our presence in the complicated universe of capoeira. And there were so many of us! A surprise that came to light when we formed an immense roda of women during that March in 1999. Where were all these women hiding themselves during the everyday rodas?

The memory of this moment instigated us, provoked within ourselves the desire for other actions…

… Our confrontations, our inquiries, ours afflicted lives and our huge desire to add all this to our passion for capoeira, turned this into a continual search for the understanding of diverse ways to create paths for us to exercise our power.

That is beautiful (and it sounds even better in the original Portuguese). You can read the whole thing in the latest issue of Caxixi, the literary magazine devoted to Capoeira Angola, available at FICA-DC.

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