Saturday April 21, 2018

Priests from Cuba’s Afro-Cuban religion forecast a prosperous 2017 in their New Year’s Prophecy

0
//
102
Santeria followers reach out for copies of the annual Letter of the Year, written by Afro-Cuban Santeria priests outlining predictions for the new year in Havana, Cuba, Jan. 3, 2017. VOA
Republish
Reprint

Priests from Cuba’s Afro-Cuban religion forecast a prosperous 2017 in their New Year’s prophecy and told Cubans to be hopeful despite the economic and diplomatic headwinds the Caribbean island-nation faces.

The ritual-filled Santeria religion, which fuses ancient African beliefs brought to Cuba by slaves with Catholicism, is practiced by millions of Cubans, many of whom eagerly await guidance from its annual forecast.

“This [reading] forecasts a favorable development from the point of view of economic management,” priest Lazaro Cuesta, clad in white as a symbol of purity, told a news conference Tuesday in Havana.

NewsGram brings to you current foreign news from all over the world.

That forecast contrasted with President Raul Castro’s gloomy depiction of the economy last week. He told the National Assembly that Cuba entered a recession last year in tandem with the crisis in Venezuela, a key ally, although the economy might eke out growth in 2017.

It also flew in the face of darker prophecies in recent years. The Santeria priests, known as babalawos, had predicted an explosion in migration and social unrest in 2015 and 2016.

Santeria priests attend the reading of the annual Letter of the Year, written by Afro-Cuban Santeria priests, listing predictions for the new year in Havana, Cuba, Jan. 3, 2017.
Santeria priests attend the reading of the annual Letter of the Year, written by Afro-Cuban Santeria priests, listing predictions for the new year in Havana, Cuba, Jan. 3, 2017. VOA

Santeria priests attend the reading of the annual Letter of the Year, written by Afro-Cuban Santeria priests, listing predictions for the new year in Havana, Cuba, Jan. 3, 2017.

Asked about the future of U.S.-Cuban relations given U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s threat to end the fledgling detente, Cuesta used an image to suggest both sides would continue to negotiate.

NewsGram brings to you top news around the world today.

Cuesta said the reigning Yoruba deity Oggun, god of iron, tools and weapons, would use his machetes to cut down the plants preventing communication.

“Independently of the instability anyone might feel, of the political happenings in the world, the letter of the year gives the Cuban people, and the world, hope,” he said. “If we are capable of hearing, expressing, understanding, contributing, the results without doubt will arrive.”

The babalawos recommended Santeria devotees wear white, avoid the excessive consumption of alcohol, and pay attention to possible acts of corruption.

They advised followers to protect coastal areas from waste and to encourage economic and sociocultural exchanges between countries.

Check out NewsGram for latest international news updates.

Senior babalawo Bebo Padron said this year’s prophecy called for Cubans to unite, possibly a reference to opposition to the country’s government and those who have emigrated.

Two of the six slogans for 2017 chosen by the faith were “Only one king governs a people” and “no hat can be more famous than a crown.”

Santeria followers have believed their gods were on the side of the Cuban revolution ever since a white dove landed on the shoulder of late revolutionary leader Fidel Castro during a victory speech in Havana. (VOA)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 NewsGram

Next Story

Twitter India celebrates Tamil, Malayalam New Year with emoji

Twitter in the recent past has created a few emojis to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Ambedkar Jayanti and Diwali

0
//
16
Twitter celebrates Indian festivals with emoticons. IANS

Twitter on Friday introduced its first-ever emoji that celebrates Puthandu (also known as Puthuvarusham) and Vishu — the New Year celebrations in Tamil Nadu and Kerala respectively — that fall on April 14.

Twitter to soon release Snapchat like feature. VOA
Twitter has celebrated other Indian festivals in past too. VOA

The emoji will be active from April 14 at 9 am until April 15, Twitter said in a statement. “We’re excited to celebrate Puthandu and Vishu with a special Twitter emoji which will be activated through English, Tamil and Malayalam hashtags,” said Keya Madhvani-Singh, Head of Entertainment Partnerships, Twitter India.

Various celebrities, including actor Mohanlal will join in the celebrations by wishing people a Happy Puthandu and Vishu.

Also Read: Twitter India rolls out sponsored ‘Moments’

People can tweet with the hashtags #HappyPuthandu and #HappyVishu — which will also be available in Tamil and Malayalam languages — and the emoji will appear.

The emoji is designed to represent people celebrating Puthandu and Vishu by holding diyas, symbolic of the welcoming of prosperity and happiness during the year. Twitter in the recent past has created a few emojis to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Ambedkar Jayanti and Diwali. IANS