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Haitian culture is unique and is difficult to understand. Many Americans have thought they understood the Haitian culture, only to be left in total shock and disbelief when they suddenly realized that appearances are deceptive.

Haitian culture is enegmatic. Intentionally. It flows from the development of Creole as a language. The language was developed first of all for the Haitian slaves to communicate with each other. They had been captured from many different tribes in Africa. The average lifespan as an adult male slave in the Haitian sugar cane plantations was four years. Therefore, the turnover was incredible. It was cheaper for the plantation owners to keep buying new slaves than to treat their slaves "humanely"!

So, the slaves developed Creole to communicate with each other. The second reason for Creole set the stage for Haitian culture: they needed to speak to each other in the presence of the slavemasters without being understood by the slavemasters! This is a crucial point to try to grasp. Haitians, though among the friendliest and most charming people on earth, do not want to be understood by outsiders (blan yo).

Haitian culture is also a culture of survival. Life in Haiti is hard, difficult, and miserable. Haitians refer to their lives as la misè (the misery). The statistics that are frequently quoted say that 7 of 10 children die in Haiti before the age of 5. It is quite possible that the statistics are worse since the earthquakes and the devastation that has followed the earthquakes in Haiti. Although the average lifespan of Haitians is quite short, that is because the high mortality rate of children brings down the average significantly. Most Haitians live long lives, simply because of this: If they can survive to age 5, their bodies and immune systems must have sufficiently developed to survive the hardships of Haiti that they will be able to overcome most diseases. The immune systems of most Haitians are so strong that a Haitian can be a carrier of diseases that will kill visitors if they contract it from the carrier.

Haitian culture is also a culture of imitation. Haitians imitate and integrate ideas, words and concepts from other cultures almost without thinking. It is almost (almost) as if haiti actualités du jour ( https://www.signalfmhaiti.com/politique/ ) has no soul of its own, but appropriates bits of the souls of other cultures.

Haitian culture is animistic. Animism is the worldview that non-human entities, including animals, plants, and often even inanimate objects or phenomena, possess a spiritual essence. And, the Haitians believe very strongly in the spirit world. They believe in loa: spirit beings.

So, to understand Haitians (if that is possible), one must begin from an understanding that Haitian culture is enigmatic, survivalistic, imitating and animistic. And, this still does not tell us everything we need to know, because, after all, they are enigmatic: they do not want outsiders to understand them.

They are the most lovable people I've ever met. Charming. Intelligent. Resourceful. Wise. And, given the opportunity, they are very hard working. Never forget to respect them. If you treat a Haitian as a servant, you will have earned their contempt.

The second reason for Creole set the stage for Haitian culture: they needed to speak to each other in the presence of the slavemasters without being understood by the slavemasters! Haitian culture is also a culture of survival. The immune systems of most Haitians are so strong that a Haitian can be a carrier of diseases that will kill visitors if they contract it from the carrier.

Haitian culture is also a culture of imitation. Haitians imitate and integrate ideas, words and concepts from other cultures almost without thinking.

  • October 12 at 22:10
     

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