Thursday, March 13, 2008


Birthdays are BIG in Brazil, indeed I would say that they are the major on-going way that families and friends and whole communities celebrate themselves and each other. Unlike my familiar American culture, birthdays are not a big occasion for Hallmark greeting cards or fancy presents. Instead, they are a time for a FESTA.

It's also a time to share memories of the past

Saturnino and Tufi looking at a rare photo of Mestre Irineu's sister
Clara (mother of Daniel Serra).

Solon (a son of Pad Luiz) gave a beautiful talk at the outset of the evening


about how important it is to to understand that the Doctrine of Santo Daime has many roots and branches in the larger family of Juramidam -- for example, the Alto Santo line under Mad Perrigrina and the line of the family of Pad Sebastião.

"We must never forget where we came from," cautioned Solon.

(Rodrigo Conti has assembled a wonderful history of the Daime at Genealogy of the Doctrine of Juramidam.)

The spiritual works of the night involved living connections to both Acre roots by singing the hinario Seu Feliz of Tufi Rachid Amin whose CICLUJU center was co-founded with Pad Luiz and is still active nowadays in the Alto Santo district of Rio Branco

Seu Tufi at the 70th birthday party for Mad Perrigrina in Rio Branco
last July.

and connections beyond Acre by singing the hinario A Bandeira of Eduardo Gabrish who, along with his wife Debora, lead the CICLUMIG center Flor do Ceu in Santa Luzia, Minas Gerais. (We will travel there later in this series of posts.)

Debora and Eduardo during yesterday's works in the forest.

I had to skip making photos and videos during these wonderful hinarios to save digital camera memory space for videos of the celebrations during Interval and following the spiritual work. And, since it was a birthday party, I naturally focused on the celebrations.

Here are Pad Luiz, Mad Rizelda and everyone dancing the Zigue-Zague (which was received by Pad Luiz and has become a standard part of the "Entertainments").

And the dancing continued with a hymn received by Tufi

The birthdays were not limited to Pad Luiz. They also include Janaína


and Junaída


At the end of the spiritual work many people rose to speak of love, friendship and appreciation for Seu Luiz



or to offer a hymn

The words and music were full of sweetness and people listened deeply


to the honoring of this man who lives surrounded by family and friends in this simple house at the edge of his beloved forest and church.


Then the party continued. First at the church with Saturnino singing hymns and Pad Luiz dancing with Mad Rizelda forró style

While everyone scattered to change clothes and shift over to the dining area, the young local artist Clementino worked on a portrait of Pad Luiz


which became a wonderful birthday present


As more and more people arrived at the dining area it was as if the vibration and force of the Doctrine kept becoming more present, more energized. Then there was a really funny scene where they dressed Pad Luiz as Mestre Irineu and gave him a bag of candy to distribute.


Here's the video...

Next came the birthday cake and PARABENS


and an incredibly high energy version of one of the songs of Master Irineu's entertainments.

Here's a rough (very rough) translation of the song:

The house is this
The house is this
This is the house
For our party

Anyone who wants
Come here
But come ready
To dance

We sing
And here we dance
But we must

And then still more dancing with Nei leading the singing.

As the party ended, I looked at the clock


It was 10am -- 16 hours after the spiritual work had begun at 6pm the previous night. I wondered how we had done it? Then I noticed the portrait of Mestre Irineu that had been painted by Joana and given to Seu Luiz


and I thought of the words from the hymn Lá Vem Mestre Irineu:

There comes Master Irineu
With his staff in hand
Blessings to all
That are in this salon
Our Master comes happily
To cheer up our party
Brings the strength of the phalanx
Of the caboclos of the forest

Perhaps it happened exactly like that.

And the result was .... Well, look at these faces.















See all the photos of the Birthday of Master Counselor Luiz Mendes here.

1 comment:

patcegan said...

Your blog is beautiful, Lou. How are you doing? My life continues to unfold in the most marvelous and mystical ways. What a blessing Daime is for me. Hugs, pat