Clash between traditions and religion
The religion in the villages where we are active varies with the ethnical group and the history of the village. In villages who are predominantly Muslim, there are no catholic or protestant. In animist villages, you can find Muslim, catholic and more recently protestant villagers.
In any case all villagers are more or less animist.
Animist tradition is very strong with the Bobo ethnical group. Regularly (every 7 or 10 years) there are initiations for the boys. During 3 weeks (it was 3 months 20 years ago), young boys /adults of the village are isolated and receive teaching from the eldest including a special language only to be used between initiated boys. Part of the tradition are the masks. They will also learn how to dance and how to behave with the mask. Those 3 weeks can be very intense, they have to find their own food and survive in the bush. Beating is common for those who do not follow the rules.
The Bobo Muslim villages have kept some of the traditions, but without the initiation. They have also some type of masks (white masks) who are coming out only once per year and at night.
The catholic priests have been here for a long time and they do not try to go against the animist tradition, even if they do not accept some of them.
Recently in villages where we are active, protestant churches have been set up. Pastors are more strict than the catholic priests. They are telling the women coming to church that they can go to bed with their husband until he converts and they forbid young adults to participate in the initiation.
Things were ok until now since initiation is only every 10 years in those villages. But initiation happened in 2019. The boys who refused to participate to the initiation where beaten by the masks. The pastor and another man went against the mask and one of the mask was wounded with a machete. This was very bad specially if you had up the frustration of the men who could not sleep with their women.
The masks of several villages destroyed several protestant chapels. The High commissionaire came to calm the situation down. During several days there was many gendarmes in the area.
The situation is calm now, but protestant believers are not welcome. One of the woman working at the LAP in the kitchen was beaten and the door of her house was broken.
I hope that villagers of any faith will learn tolerance.
In March, Vincent came to Burkina and he helped us set up an aquapony system: fish and vegetables. We are a bit more than 2 months further and the set up seem to work.
We still have the 60 cat fish we put at the end of March.
The 8.346.000 FCFA (12.750 euro) are in the white bags!!! She carried it from the village to our office in her bag. We have plan to go to her village next week, but she is afraid to keep so much money with her.
In Sissa, a total of 312 women had credit for one year with an interest of 7%.
Quotes of the week
Religion may make you love God, but nothing is stronger than religion to make you loathe men and to hate mankind.
God made various religions to respond to the diverse aspirations of men, times and countries. All the doctrines are only so many paths.
Have a good week,