Vodou regained its popularity among Haitian-Americans after 2010, when a horrible earthquake struck Haiti. Those Haitian immigrants who lived in the United States turned to their native religion to cope with the difficulties they faced. So, how does Vodou help them? How does it connect them to Haiti?
Vodou became the thing that helped many Haitian-Americanss overcome their anxiety and misery of loss during and after the earthquake. Many of them were unaware of the destiny of their relatives and close friends, many found out the terrible news. Vodou ceremonies brought together spiritual brothers and sisters sharing their pain and therefore easing it. People prayed to the spirits for their relatives to survive and for those who could not make it.
Haitian-Americans who profess Vodou explain that the ceremonies make them feel like a feather full of lightness. This is sort of a therapy for them. When they suffer from pain they do not go to the doctor, they go to Vodou. During the ceremonies people dance and sing to the drums. This is how they connect with the spiritual world and this is where they draw strength and relieve from any pain.
Those Haitian immigrants who turn to Vodou feel that they go back to their roots, connecting with their ancestors. Many young Haitians raised as Catholics or members of other confessions choose to become a member of Vodou family. This way they can connect to their spirits, nature and the motherland of their ancestors. It gives them a feeling they are at home.
Unfortunately, due to the misconceptions that Vodou is connected with black magic and demons, many Haitian-American Vodou members have to pretend to be Christians and to practice their real religion secretly. Some people even truly believe that the earthquake in Haiti is interconnected with Vodou and its practitioners. In a sense, there is a religious war arising around Vodou. Nevertheless, Haitian-Americans keep professing the religion of their ancestors, remembering how it helped their African identity go through slavery and their Haitian culture survive during colonialism.
In conclusion, Vodou plays an important role in the lives of many Haitian-Americans. This is a source of release and calming. Some Haitian immigrants turn to this religion to become closer to their roots and discover their homeland and its history.