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Benin: Residents Celebrate National Voodoo Day, Where Followers Of The Onc...

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By Reuters

VARIOUS OF GOAT SLAUGHTERING CEREMONY VOODOO FOLLOWERS WATCHING CEREMONY VARIOUS OF VOODOO PRIEST AND FOLLOWERS PRAYING AND GIVING BLESSINGS VOODOO FOLLOWERS WATCHING CEREMONY (SOUNDBITE) (French) CHIMENE AHUEFA, VOODOO FOLLOWER SAYING: "This is what our grandparents practiced before the arrival of white people, before they came to change our names, we do not appreciate that. We love our tradition. It's something that our grandparents installed in us and its our wealth. You can see Westerners come from all over just for this January 10th celebration. I truly appreciate this, I like practicing my voodoo." VARIOUS OF SOSSA GUINDEGUE, HEAD OF VOODOO PRIESTS IN BENIN VARIOUS OF VOODOO CALLED EGUN EGUN DANCING WITH WOMEN VARIOUS OF PEOPLE PLAYING DRUMS MORE OF VOODOO EGOU EGOU DANCING MORE OF FOLLOWERS DANCING (SOUNDBITE) (French) CHANGO KASUBI, VOODOO FOLLOWER FROM FRANCE SAYING: "For me who is from the diaspora, it's an immense joy to return to the land of my ancestors. Since I was very little at school, I was taught that our ancestors were the Gaules (French in Roman times), until the day I learnt that my ancestors were not Gaules. My ancestors are here in Africa. So for me, this represents what I am. My ancestors are my structure, they are my back bone." VARIOUS OF WOMEN DANCING VARIOUS VOODOO PRIEST TOGBE DIAZ KOMLAN DANGBE SPEAKING PEOPLE LISTENING DURING VOODOO CEREMONY (SOUNDBITE) (French) TOGBE DIAZ KOMLAN DANGBE, VOODOO PRIEST SAYING: "Along with Western religions, voodoo is represented by 41 deities and represents our mystic force, our protector and benefactor. Voodoo is not an evil force, it depends on how some people interpret it, just like in any other mysticism." VOODOO FOLLOWERS ENTERING PRAYER ROOM VARIOUS OF DOCTOR ERIC GBODOSSOU, PRESIDENT, ASSOCIATION TO PROMOTE OF TRADITIONAL MEDICINE (PROMETRA) VOODOO FOLLOWERS (SOUNDBITE) (French) DOCTOR ERIC GBODOSSOU, PRESIDENT, ASSOCIATION TO PROMOTE TRADITIONAL MEDICINE (PROMETRA) SAYING: "Despite external pressure and the stigma attached to voodoo, which is said to be diabolical, or that is how the West defines it in a negative way, but despite this negativity attached to it, they (the government) have had the courage to rehabilitate voodoo and to give it it's own day like Easter or Tabaski, just like any other religious festival, it really is courageous." VOODOO FOLLOWERS DANCING
Dateline: 2012

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