Sevilla – Semana Santa Pasos

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You can look up the history of Semana Santa in Sevilla and its elaborate processions. I will not address that in this blog and when I am back online I will post some of the hundreds (yes hundreds) of pictures I have taken here. No, this blog is an on the ground response from my perspective as a Black American being surrounded by what at first felt like the world’s largest KKK gathering.

Let me be clear, in my entire time in Spain I have not felt any hostility and negativity directed at me because of my pigmentation (sadly I cannot not make the same statement about my life back in the States). And that statement holds true in Sevilla. But, we often live in our historical memories and it took me awhile to get used to seeing people, un monton de gentes, in robes and pointy hats that looked exactly like those of the KKK. Now, I must admit, this being Europen some of the robes were more fashionable and included colours not normally seen on the KKK. There was, purple, brown, beige, yellow and green to name a few. But, it was the all white ones, with the big cross in the center that caused the collective DNA in my body to stand on edge and prepare for fight or flight. It took all my conscious mind to allow my daughter to accept the piece of candy handed out to children during this time–for the record I still have not let her eat it.

The all black robes are just creepy. Shades of the Spanish Inquisition abounded in my mind. But, as I traveled to the different churches and experienced the faith of the true believers I have began to feel more at ease in the crowds and I less openly practice my karate moves done to ward off any one who may be here literally undercover and want to relive their “southern heritage”.

The processions are indeed magnificent and music from the bands cannot be captured in a picture or a small screen. Also, I must confess (this is a Catholic country after all) that when a woman, an older woman, a true believer on the patio of her piso (apartment) broke out in spontaneous song as the procession emerged from the church carrying a display of the Christ (pbuh) baring his cross; this woman singing with the voice of an angel on high touched my spirit and caused an upswell of emotion that one would not expect from such as I.

The spirit that exist within those who truely come from a place of love and worship of their God can reach out and touch those who do not share the same traditions; but indeed share the same love. A feeling so powerful that it can smooth the sensitivities of collective memories and allow for one of a different faith tradition to share in the transcendent experience of another people.

Feliz Semana Santa
Wishing you Prosperity

Published in: on April 1, 2010 at 10:16 pm  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I can completely understand why/how it raised your collective DNA – I know it certainly raised the hair on the back of my neck!

    Interesting that they were possibly the inspiration for the uniforms of the KKK. Sad that it would be taken from a religious festivity but then again, much of the hostility in the world has religion as its base.

    Glad you are well!

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