Haiti, a name that means "mountainous country," is derived from the language of the Taino Indians who inhabited the island before European colonization. After independence in , the name was adopted by the military generals, many of them former slaves, who expelled the French and took possession of the colony then known as Saint Domingue. In , 95 percent of the population was of African descent, and the remaining 5 percent mulatto and white. Some wealthy citizens think of themselves as French, but most residents identify themselves as Haitian and there is a strong sense of nationalism. Location and Geography. Haiti covers 10, square miles 27, square kilometers. It is located in the subtropics on the western third of Hispaniola, the second largest island in the Caribbean, which it shares with the Spanish-speaking Dominican Republic.
Long stereotyped by the outside world as "black magic," vodoun is actually a religion whose specialists derive most of their income from healing the sick rather than from attacking targeted victims. Many people have rejected voodoo, becoming instead katolik fran "unmixed Catholics" who do not combine Catholicism with service to the lwa or levanjilProtestants.
The common claim that all Haitians secretly practice voodoo is inaccurate. Catholics and Protestants generally believe in the existence of lwa, but consider them demons to be avoided rather than family spirits to be served.
The percentage of those who explicitly serve the family lwa is unknown but probably high. Religious Practitioners. Aside from the priests of the Catholic Church and thousands of Protestant ministers, many of them trained and supported by evangelical missions from the United States, informal religious specialists proliferate.
Females are viewed as having the same spiritual powers as males, though in practice there are more houngan than manbo. Rituals and Holy Places. People make pilgrimages to a series of holy sites.
Those sites became popular in association with manifestations of particular saints and are marked by unusual geographic features such as the waterfall at Saut d'Eau, the most famous of sacred sites.
Waterfalls and certain species of large trees are especially sacred because they are believed to be the homes of spirits and the conduits through which spirits enter the world of living humans.
Death and the Afterlife. Beliefs concerning the afterlife depend on the religion of the individual. Strict Catholics and Protestants believe in the existence of reward or punishment after death. Concepts of reward and punishment in the afterlife are alien to vodoun. The moment of death is marked by ritual wailing among family members, friends, and neighbors. Funerals are important social events and involve several days of social interaction, including feasting and the consumption of rum.
Family members come from far away to sleep at the house, and friends and neighbors congregate in the yard. Men play dominoes while the women cook. Burial monuments and other mortuary rituals are often costly and elaborate. People are increasingly reluctant to be buried underground, preferring to be interred above ground in a kavan elaborate multi chambered tomb that may cost more than the house in which the individual lived while alive.
Expenditures on mortuary ritual have been increasing and have been interpreted as a leveling mechanism that redistributes resources in the rural economy. Malaria, typhoid, tuberculosis, intestinal parasites, and sexually transmitted diseases take a toll on the population. Estimates of HIV among those ages twenty-two to forty-four years are as high as 11 percent, and estimates among prostitutes in the capital are as high as 80 percent.
There is less than one doctor per eight-thousand people. Medical facilities are poorly funded and understaffed, and most health care workers are incompetent. Life expectancy in was under fifty-one years. In the absence of modern medical care, an elaborate system of indigenous healers has evolved, including Women are typically responsible for household maintenance and marketing garden produce.
People have tremendous faith in informal healing procedures and commonly believe that HIV can be cured.
With the spread of Pentecostal evangelicalism, Christian faith healing has spread rapidly. Associated with the beginning of the religious season of Lent, Carnival is the most popular and active festival, featuring secular music, parades, dancing in the streets, and abundant consumption of alcohol.
Carnival is preceded by several days of rara bands, traditional ensembles featuring large groups of specially dressed people who dance to the music of vaccines bamboo trumpets and drums under the leadership of a director who blows a whistle and wields a whip. Other festivals include Independence Day 1 JanuaryBois Cayman Day 14 August, celebrating a legendary ceremony at which slaves plotted the revolution inFlag Day 18 Mayand the assassination of Dessalines, the first ruler of independent Haiti 17 October.
Support for the Arts. The bankrupt government provides occasional token support for the arts, typically for dance troupes. Haitian literature is written primarily in French. Graphic Arts.
Haitians have a predilection for decoration and bright colors. Haitian painting became popular in the s when a school of "primitive" artists encouraged by the Episcopal Church began in Port-au-Prince. Since that time a steady flow of talented painters has emerged from the lower middle class. However, elite university-schooled painters and gallery owners have profited the most from international recognition.
There is also a thriving industry of low-quality paintings, tapestries, and wood, stone, and metal handicrafts that supplies much of the artwork sold to tourists on other Caribbean islands. Performance Arts. There is a rich tradition of music and dance, but few performances are publicly funded.
Enquete Mortalite, Morbidite et Utilisation des Services, - Courlander, Harold. Crouse, Nellis M. The French Struggle for the West Indies - DeWind, Josh, and David H. Kinley III. Harvard University, Fass, Simon. Geggus, David Patrick. Herskovits, Melville J.
Life in a Haitian Valley, Lowenthal, Ira. Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Lundahl, Mats. Metraux, Alfred. Voodoo in Haiti, translated by Hugo Charteris,Metraux, Rhoda.
Haitian dating culture
Moreau, St. Description de la Partie Francaise de Saint-Domingue, Murray, Gerald F. Columbia University, Rotberg, Robert I. Haiti: The Politics of Squalor, Rouse, Irving. Schwartz, Timothy T. University of Florida, Gainesville, Simpson, George Eaton. Smucker, Glenn Richard. New School for Social Research, Toggle navigation.
Culture Name Haitian. History and Ethnic Relations Emergence of a Nation. Food and Economy Food in Daily Life. Social Stratification Class and Castes. Political Life Government. Social Welfare and Change Programs The infrastructure is in a very poor condition. Nongovernmental Organizations and Other Associations Per capita, there are more foreign nongovernmental organizations and religious missions predominantly U.
Marriage,Family, and Kinship Marriage. Socialization Infant Care. Religion Religious Beliefs. Medicine and Health Care Malaria, typhoid, tuberculosis, intestinal parasites, and sexually transmitted diseases take a toll on the population. Secular Celebrations Associated with the beginning of the religious season of Lent, Carnival is the most popular and active festival, featuring secular music, parades, dancing in the streets, and abundant consumption of alcohol. The Arts and Humanities Support for the Arts.
Farmer, Paul. The Uses of Haiti, James, C. The Black Jacobins, Leyburn, James G. The Haitian People, Moral, Paul. Le Paysan Haitien, Nicholls, David. From Dessalines to Duvalier, Also read article about Haiti from Wikipedia. User Contributions: 1.
Eboni A. Randy G. Well written i must say This article truly revealed some forgotten facts about Haiti and it's culture Very helpfull!!! This article helped undestand more about the haitian culture.
Even tho i was just looking for info on the medical practices and beliefs i'm glad i found this because it help me understand more about this culture. I'm From the D. R and i remember having a haitian guy worked at my gandmother house when i was a little girl, he was the nicest man ever. And after many years we're still in touch with him. Shedeline Box and Tayler Mack.
Me and my friend both agree that this is helpful we are in the 6th grade and doing a culture project and it is helping us find the information we need for this project. This is very helpful!!!!! Amanda Nakashian. I am going on a mission trip to Haiti, and this article has been very helpful in understanding the culture better!
I am Haitian but i have been living in the United States my whole life. This article was very interesting and gave me a better understanding of my culture.
QUira Wilkins. I've been living in the US for the past 23 years, I learned more about my culture today then I've ever been told Thank you for this lovely article I am very proud to be Haitian American My only regret is the the lack of understanding of Haiti's culture This is a well written article and helped me to see my childhood years better in the context of my culture. Much of what is stated is true specifically the importance and value of education in our culture.
Thanks to all who attributed to this article. I sponsor a child in Haiti and wanted to learn about his culture. Your site is broken down to where one can understand and gain much knowledge compared to other articles I have read. Thanks again. What a great resource! Thank you!!! I will definitely use this website as a resource in the future. Thanks so much i hjad no information for my project until i found this website! Jason R. Sthelie Jean.
Haiti is where I came from. I was born and raised there. Even though I spent 12 years in Haiti, I did not know all of this information about it.
So thank you for this article. It is really helpful. I hope you continue with the good work. I love my country no matter what!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My daughter is marrying a wonderful man, whose parents are from Haiti. This helps me a great deal understand them and the culture they grew up in. They both came here to the US, went to school and are both RNs.
Very impressive article. We are Jewish, and I hope they take the time to learn about us as well! We are all G-d's children. I like to reference this article however, there is no reference to the date this was written. It has great info that you don't find on the web regarding Haiti and gives you a much better understanding of the country. Thank you. I am very happy to see this well written aritcle about my culture and my home.
I am very much of Haitian discent and I am pleased to see interest in our practices and culture. Thank you very much.
Oh dear, it was all going so well until the religious nutcases jumped on the bandwaggon. Anyway, an interesting article, which I only discovered when trying to find out more about the country after the earthquake. Things you do when bored early morning in snow swept England! Being a American-Haitian mixed, I appreciated the consolation and the ability to become at ease and one with an identity I had not known much about. Great article, many valuable info for me, i am looking for info about all rules of World.
I am very impressed with this site!
Haitian Dating Culture. Everyone has a rough idea of how it goes down in the Caribbean; Haiti will live up to your expectations and more. Whether you are a single Caribbean woman/man or a foreigner who wants to switch it up a little, you are in for a treat. Most Haitians are of African descent since the country was initially used as a port for. Truth About Haitian Men and Relationships I'm not here to bash anyone or put my culture down as I am Haitian American born here in the United States. Hi i havw been dating a Haitian man for two months now he is a very nice guy he loves my kids but i found out that he likes to talks to women from the site we meet on i dont mind but he. National Identity. During the century of relative isolation that followed independence, the peasantry developed distinct traditions in cuisine, music, dance, dress, ritual, and religion. Some elements of African cultures survive, such as specific prayers, a few words, and dozens of spirit entities, but Haitian culture is distinct from.
William Shaw. I first checked wikipedia who had 2 or 3 paragraphs on Haiti and it's customs and peoples. This site was most informative in every respect. Watching the pictures of the earthquake, brought on many conversations about Haiti, which no one had the answers. Thanks to your website we now all know much more about Haiti.
Our sympathy is with the people. Thank You. I read this artical due to earthquack in haiti. Thanks for such a informatic,orgonized and very helpfull articall being a pastor. It is to good and easy for me to share and explain the culture,religion and history of haiti to the pakistani peoples. May God blesyou a lot. I really never bothered to learn about Haiti until the recent earthquake. I wanted to know how the mass burials deviated from the normal burial traditions.
My sister father and brother went to Haiti for a mission trip and arrived home safe only 3 days before the earthquake. Since they have been home I've been really interested in Haiti and this site has a lot of good information.
I just wish I could've gone with to help and I want to go now and get hands on help, instead of just sitting and watching the destruction in my safe and fortunate home. I want to know more about the clothing they wear. I hope that soon we will be able to send clothing and bedding directly, and it appears to me that women and girls wear dresses and skirts, not jeans and shorts. I want to start collecting things to send, and I want to send the correct items for the Haitian Culture and climate.
Please contact me if you can advise, or post this info here. I would like to "adopt" a family or two or three if it is possible. This was very interesting thank you. I was doing a project on haiti and this had all the infrmation i needed. Those informations are really good to know because most people don't know the haitian culture that well, I think that its a good way to inform people so they can have better view of the culture.
This is a very good website with many accurate information. This have helped me a lot and thank you very much. Although there are many modern cultures being informed to us, researchers, but not much on traditional, such as the culture of the Arawak Indians taino.
This was extereamly helpful for my Haiti report. This article was very helpful. I got a good grade on my report about Haiti for school. Thanks for the information! I really appreciate this article. I am in the seventh grade, and we were required to write something about our culture. This really helped a lot. I am in Girl Scouts and we had to pick a country for our thinking day.
We picked Haiti.
Culture of Haiti
This is great information about the country and it's people. I enjoyed reading the info and found the pictures an added bonus. This article will help us to give our presintation to fello girl scouts.
Very informative and though i am of haitian decent i was enlightened to read of somethings i haven't seen written but have seen certain behaviours i could not explain. Thank you for this enlightment I love Haiti it is the best place in the world this article was very interesting and educational.
This article is well written and very educational to people like me who left Haiti at a very young age. I just learn alot about my culture from this article. Great job and i'm haitian but born in fl so its great learning atleast a little bit of my background plus i'm only 13 years old so it's good to Know.
Just wanted to say thanku. Thanku so much. This helped a lot on my project. A lot of websites didn't give any information. I am from Haiti and this article not only is well written but very central, accurate, and impartial in contrast to the majority written about the country. Indeed, good job. I am an eigth grader, and at my school, eigth graders are required to do final independant projects.
I am doing a mural of a section of post earthquake port-au-prince. And while the information in articles like these is not necessary for my project, I have to say that this is a brilliant article.
It covers every ct of Haiti, and while it gives you a lot of information, it doesn't bombard you with it. Each section is to the point, short, but gives you all the information you need to know. This was a very helpful, educational, and interesting article. The best to you, Michael. Bishop Walter Dixon.
This information is very helpful and I'm proud of the Haiti and its citizen. I look forward to returning to Haiti to help from a spiritual and political means upon going to Washington, DC as a congressman or senator of the United States.
The recent earthquake Haiti encountered truly was a setback to this country. I pray that God continue to bless this country and one day Haiti will become a country of main stream within the United Nation.
Box Atlanta, GA This is the best information that I have seen so far on Haiti. Thank you and keep up the good work. My daughter is currently in Haiti on a mission trip. I just got on this website to find out about culture of Haitians. This was very interesting and informative. I am a Haitian-American and growing up I feel like I had to deal with being outcasted by my non-haitian peers because from what this say I didnt look or sound Haitian.
For many years I had to Present myself as just Haitian rather than Haitian-American always feeling like I had something to prove or defend. This article truely captures the true Haiti. Nothing extra and nothing less than the true Haiti. More people should read this article and educated themselves before stero-typing people. I love the fact in this article. Because of the verbal abuse one goes through whether in school or work many haitian-Americans try to deny who they are.
Many goes as far as saying they are Dominican or something else to avoid the harsh verbal attacks on Haitians. Once you understand the history of Haitian you will see it is not that different from other conturies.
Before the earthquake Haiti was a beauty country with great people. I beleive one day it will be great again. Its funny how only Haiti's bad side catches manny eyes than the good one. Pumpkin Soup is not Bouyon It is Soup Giromou Bouyon is made with Malanga. I hope I spelled everything right. I was born in the US but come form Haitian parents. This is a very good site i can use this for my united nation project people saying haiti is the poorest country what about africa,india and other country's all the haitians stay strong.
Thanks so much for this wonderful essay, I am Haitian American and I've been to and from Haiti, although I was born here in America, I must say I read through this and i thought I knew a lot of my history already, but I was glad that I learned even more.
I even smiled at some of the things that I've already known like the hand holding thing, because when I went to Haiti I did mistake it for homosexuality and it was just cool to see that mostly everything was covered, I hope others will read this and get to understand and better know their neighbors on the other side of the ocean as well!
You should write more on other countries too I bet they'd be as well written, put together and clear as this one :.
If you could get in touch with me my e-mail address is vdkaine yahoo. Esther K. Thia is different and conforting from the heart wrencfhing information that the world has been receiving about Haiti in the past ten months or several decades. I don't believe that a lot of people think of that country as the home of a lot of Haitian immigrants in the U. Haiti is usually associate with the worse things ever. Some Haitian Americans children are almost ashame to admit that they are of Haitian decents due to the unpleasant publicity it has been received.
I am in the process of pubishing a book tittles" Children with special needs and the Haitian families. Merci et bonne nuit. This website helped me write an entire 2 page paper. The credentials and facts are exquisite!! I definitely wish other websites were more thorough like this one! Thanks to Everyculture. I am really thankful that I found this article, because I'm doing a big project and need soo much information on this Country!
Thank you. This article is worth pts! Thanks so much! Really helpful and I wish that I do good on this project :. This was very good. I am doing a school project on Haiti and this helped me with it very much.
This information helped me a lot on my Geograghphy essay. Everything i needed to know all on one page. Alice Smith. Thank you so much for the informal information about the culture of Haiti. It important to understand the culture of a country in order to understand its people.
I pray that one day my company will be able to be an assist to those in need. Thank you for such a wonderful description of Haiti. Very valuable information.
The less unbiased article, so far, that I ever read about Haiti. I only need to find a little bit about haitian culture and i dont get it. I'm in the 9th grade doing a project on my country Haiti and i love this article it is very helpful. This is so amazing. On this one little website I found everything I need. YAY ME!!! This was somewhat helpful but wished the information was ated;it didn't say anything about the earthquake but still very helpful!
Marvin L. Fist of all, I would like to thank you for such great informative material. I am haitian born: I was born in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, but grew up in the great states, and this article could not have been written any better with such "Actual Factuals" Before migrating to the US with my family as a young child, I can recall vividly much of almost everything listed in this wonderful reading! Thanks so much!!! Hello, I would like to thank you for your description of the haitian culture.
Being haitian myself, this is the first time i have ever encountered a detailed and accurate portrait of haitian culture such as yours. I simply wanted to demonstrate my appreciation and i will continue to visit your website. Thank you and God bless! This was the first time I got to learn about some part of the culture I was born in, but I never got the chance to learn about. I cannot wait to go and visit!!
This article gave me a crediable information because i want to do a visiaul documentary about Haiti, the documentary is based on life after the earthquake. I extracted couple of informations here and wish to ask for your permission to use them in my documentary. This is so helpful. This is much needed information for my upcoming marriage to a wonderful Haitian man.
Thank you so very much at making me informed and somewhat prepared for my new life and culture. I have a project for my school so I found this website very useful!! I think it is sad that haiti is very poor I am trying to ask my teacher for him to give the money i earn for the project to haiti.
Haitian love has now extended to online dating. Many singles worldwide are finding online love, but few apps cater to the Haitian community. Many popular dating apps have paved the way for the masses, but it is time for exclusivity. And now there is an app designed specifically for Haitian singles looking for love. The chance to meet Haitian singles in a big city is high. But if you really want to date native girls, but can't get to this country - use Haitian dating sites. You'll see hundreds of beautiful Haitian singles and choose one that appeals to you most. The Internet rules the world. Having a wife now doesn't require men to travel abroad. Given the respect for ancestors in Haitian culture, even poor families make an effort to have a proper funeral. A viewing of the body is followed by a religious ceremony. Funeral processions in rural areas include a single car and mourners dressed in black led by a marching band.
What does it mean when a potato sprouting is left at mail box side walk of my home if neighbor is practicing vodoo? Is this good and welcoming and should I pick it up, or is it bad and should I not touch it?
Maggie Jacobson. This was a good site to look and research about Haiti!!! It helped me complete a project that i had to do. Wow, that artical really truly made me think! I never realized that people still lived like that in the world. Makes me feel so very fortunate to be a woman in the United States. The Culture however is quite interesting, and makes me want to go there and see it myself.
This article was truly helpful in terms of understanding the backgrounds of Haiti's culture and history as a whole. Haiti is truly a beautiful country and the people are amazing. I spend most of my vacation in my family's town of Paillant, which is quiet and very calming, compared to the capital. I'm foing a project on Haitian cluture and some info was helpfu I still having trouble locating information on Taboos and Rituals of Hatian Culture and the Elimination rules as well.
Rule for culture on these items would be greatful. Can any one help me on this? I really enjoyed reading this article, very helpful and I hope people could have access to this type of information and maybe atleast they would understand where haitians comefrom and we are not all "voodoo practitioners nor all boat people".
Frantz Dupiton. As a born haitian, surely your article lifted up my soul about the historical narration. I am an artist and poet. I have always been fascinated by Haiti's rich history unknown or ignored from educational institutions and the rest of the world. Thank's a million for your publication. Denise Mitchell. That would really help. I am doing my Senior Project on making a brocure to get people to go to an individual country.
I got Haiti and this Website was extremly useful and i learned alot from this site. Whoever made this you did an incredible job. Nice job! I really liked this information. It was really helpful for my geography projet.
I had an assignment to do. A paper on a culture other than my culture which is African American, and I've decided to choose the Haitian Culture. I'm so happy that I choose this culture because I have a lot of haitian friends at my job and I love everyone of them has my own brothers and sisters.
I would really like to visit Haiti one day to experience the beautiful land myself. I believe some haitians are some very loving human being. I'm also trying to speak the creole language. Great Article. I love Haitian Culture and i proud to Haitian. I don't care what other people said about Haitian. Very good document to know about Haiti's culture and economy. Still wondering as how would they break free as a nation from the economy pitfalls People in the United States should be glad for their education and stuff because Haiti's doesnt have the education they need and everything so when you get something from your mom and dad and you didnt want it act like you want it because kids in haiti needs it.
I did a repart on haiti and this website was very very very helpful Thank youuu. This is an excellent article. I spent a year as a missionary in Haiti but it not learn as much as I did reading this.
I hope one day the Haitian government will get its act together and do what they were voted in to do-improve the lives of its citizens and close the economic divide that has dragged that country down to its poorest limit. This Article is very helpful as I am doing my work for Social Studies. Patricia Mellin. This article is very valuable. It revealed important facts and gave helpful information about Haiti. This article has been helpful to me.
I'm a marriage and family therapist in training and one of my clients is from Haiti. This has given me a lot of valuable information about cts of the culture the client may decide to keep covert. Reco Robinson. I am a Haitian-American and I really enjoyed this article. I was born in the U. When I was young in America we were told not to let people know that we were Haitian because of the way that they may begin to look down on us, but I am trying to inform her to be proud of her culture and to be a positive representative of a Haitian-American and this article was very helpful in her understanding our culture better.
Thank you so much. We are proud to be of Haitian descent. Merise Salem. I am Haitian and,I'm so amazing to read history of my country. So I wish to say thank you all who're sharing what the know about Haiti,like that they help people who did not know anything about it,and some people who did know a few will know more and everything.
Once again Great thank. Thanks for a very well written article with some very useful information. However, the information on infants being given purgatories at birth, breastmilk being withheld, and introducing liquid and food supplements so early just broke my heart! What can we do?! I just looked over at my two babies and felt so sad for the little ones over in Haiti. With all the families in poverty there it would so help if the so called 'educators' gave correct and friendly, respectful and loving!
Dear person who made this website I think you did an amazing job because your were able to give alot of information and it actually made sense. There are those types of websites that don't make sense you would think they pulled their information out of anywhere they saw, but not you you stayed on topic and made sense to the readers. This is an amazing piece of work on Haiti. Keep up the good work! I am not Haitian or anything, but I still think that this is a great webpage. I am Haitian, residing in the U.
S over 26 years. During the earthquakes ofover a million Haitians lost their homes and were forced to relocate as a result. Most of these were cinderblock structures with insufficient flexibility and internal support.
Hundreds of thousands of people still lack permanent housing. However, many old buildings in the so-called gingerbread style of housing Victorian-era architecture with high ceilings, porches, narrow windows, and triangular roofs suffered almost no damage, given the flexibility of wooden structures. Dating and Marriage:. Although young Haitians socialize in groups, they do not usually begin dating until their late teens.
Teenagers of the new generation are increasingly entering into sexual relationships. Others form such relationships with classmates or acquaintances.
Group activities usually include participating in study groups, watching soccer games, celebrating birthdays, and attending school fairs and church activities. It is our tradition that men usually initiate the dating process. Even if the woman loves the man she refrains from declaring him in order not to be seen as a bad woman, Haitian women are very conservative and resilient. When dating, the man will visit the woman at her home to become familiar with her parents and family members.
Couples also go out to dance clubs, to movies, or to other social events. Once a couple has been dating for a few years, a proposal is expected.
Today, asking permission is less common, especially in urban areas. Most parents do not greatly influence dating or marriage anymore, but they expect their children to choose spouses from respectable families with a social status similar to their own. The minimum legal age for marriage is 15 for women and 18 for men. Early marriage is more common in rural areas than in urban areas. In rural areas, a couple will not officially marry until they can afford a big wedding.
Couples often live together and have children as if married until they save enough money for the wedding and wedding reception.
Typically, urban couples have a church wedding followed by an evening reception where rice, beans, meat, salads, cake, champagne, and soft drinks are served. Receptions are usually held in private homes, where guests eat, dance, and socialize until late in the evening. Formal polygamy does not exist, but married men usually have many girlfriends and children out of wedlock.
This is often attributed to the desire for a son to continue the family line. Women are expected to remain faithful to their husbands and are chastised if they are not. In rural areas, a man's partners acknowledge each other and may even cohabitate. Divorce is very rare but separation is common, especially after a couple's children are raised and have families of their own.
Usually, children live with their mother after separation, but they may also move in with grandparents or other relatives. Celebrations of births are joyful, but Haitians are careful not to be seen as boastful in a country where so many children die before the age of five. Motherhood is extremely valued. Women do not usually announce pregnancies until they begin to look pregnant out of a belief that doing so could bring bad luck to the baby.
The gender of the child is not commonly announced before birth. Due to a preference for traditional practices, most births take place without formal medical assistance. Once the baby is born, the maternal grandmother traditionally comes to care for the baby and mother.
Names are given just after the baby is born, though consideration may be given to a name prior to birth. Deciding on a name is an important event, and it is usually done by the husband.
It is common for children to be named after respected family elders or ancestors. Firstborn sons are usually named after their fathers.
Children carry their father's surname unless the father is unknown or denies paternity. In rural areas, a child's name reflects the circumstances of his or her birth.
For example, a couple who has had difficulty becoming pregnant may name the child Jesula Jesus is hereDieula God is hereDieufel God created himor Elifet Elie is bornetc. Children who survive their first years are given a nickname that everyone outside of official institutions will call them by.
Baptism and First Communion are significant rituals. Children dress in nice clothes, and family, friends, and neighbors gather to celebrate with a large meal, including some meat and music if the family can afford it.
Because people often live with their parents into their adult years, young people are not seen as adults until they have children of their own. When a person dies, family and friends gather to reminisce and provide emotional support to the deceased's immediate family members. Given the respect for ancestors in Haitian culture, even poor families make an effort to have a proper funeral.
A viewing of the body is followed by a religious ceremony. Funeral processions in rural areas include a single car and mourners dressed in black led by a marching band. Urban funeral processions consist of cars and fewer pedestrians. Traditional cemeteries contain brightly colored aboveground tombs. Food and other offerings-such as kleren an alcoholic drink made from cane juice -are often placed on the tombs.
People sometimes pour kleren and rum onto the ground as offerings to ancestors and to pay tribute. Families of the deceased have masses in their honor on the anniversary of their passing. Haitian Dishes:. Most Haitians eat rice and beans every day, although the main meal, when affordable, usually also includes meat, salad, and a vegetable, but the most common food is rice and beans.
Rice and corn are staple grains. Spicy foods are the most popular.
Dec 26, In writing about Haiti, anthropologists often avoid the word "family"; instead they use "household," which embraces the wide range of relatives-direct and collateral, on the sides of both parents-that the Haitian "family" typically includes. Inheritance.
Piman zwazo small, hot pimentos and garlic are often added to dishes. Meat is marinated in sauces with ingredients such as sour orange juice, lemon juice, and hot peppers. Eggplant, yams, sweet potatoes, plantains; and a variety of fruits round out the diet. For breakfast, one might eat the traditional urban fare of coffee, herring with plantains and avocados, corn with codfish, or liver with plantains. A lighter breakfast consists of jam on buttered bread and coffee.
A favorite daytime snack might be bread and butter or pastries. Meat-filled pastries are also popular snacks. Most Haitians have access to radios, and people generally listen to music and news throughout the day. A growing number of middle-class families are able to afford televisions in their homes. Few people own DVD players because it is seen as very expensive, but they can watch videos at television stores or rent videotapes.
Haitian music videos are favored such as Kompa and Troubadour, and zouk. They also listen to foreign music as well. The most popular sport is soccer. Streets are empty if an important regional or world match is being televised.
The most popular soccer teams in Haiti are Brazil and Argentina. Children-both boys and girls-begin to play soccer at an early age. Leagues are organized throughout the country. Adult soccer stars are extremely popular among people of all ages. Children like to play games like patty-cake, marbles, oscelet jacks generally made of cow or goat bonesjump rope, and various versions of lago tag. Children often invent their own games as well.
In rural areas, the tradition of tirer conte storytelling continues. Children gather around an adult who begins the storytelling with the greeting Krik, to which the audience responds Krak.
Popular stories include tales of Booki and Timalice famous Haitian fable charactersstories of old times, and lougawou ghost stories. Young adults in urban areas spend their time with friends at fairs, bals concertsparties, or nightclubs. Important events such as baptism, communion, graduation, and weddings provide families and friends the opportunity to get together and enjoy each other's company.
These events include much Bambach partying and having a good timecatching up with old friends, joke-telling, drinking, eating, political discussion, and dancing.
Haitians enjoy dancing and will often dance whenever they hear a catchy tune. Men enjoy cockfights, usually held on Sunday afternoons. Recreation for lower-class women often occurs in the form of jokes and storytelling while washing clothes, gathering water, or selling at the market. Vacations are a luxury enjoyed by wealthy families. Though vacationers usually visit foreign countries, there is a growing interest in visiting other areas of Haiti also. The Arts:.
Music and dancing are integral to everyday life. For over one hundred years, Haitians have composed and performed classical music.
Older still is the traditional music of the Haitian peasantry and lower classes. These include music performed in Vodou ceremonies, music played before Lent called raraand other music associated with a particular rhythm merengue, etc.
Urban residents enjoy a variety of North American music. Haitian artists and sculptors are known for their unique images and striking colors, in fact, it is one of the most popular arts in the region.
One popular art form is a sculpture made from cut, pounded and painted scrap metal. Tap-taps, brightly painted pickup trucks fitted with benches and covered tops, is both a means of transportation and traveling art. Many artists choose Haitian history or daily life for their subjects.
Nature is also an important theme. Oral literature is abundant and includes songs, proverbs, and riddles.
Storytellers carefully craft their performance, acting out the story with their voices. Freedom from the Duvalier dictatorship is celebrated on 7 February.
On January 1st, Haitian people traditionally visit their parents and friends to wish them well in the New Year. Almost every household eats 'Soup Joumou', a soup made from a squash broth with carrots, potatoes, cabbage, pasta, and meat, which is traditionally understood to be the food of the French colonists who were driven out of Haiti.
Haitians celebrate several patriotic holidays. Jour du Drapeau Flag Day on May 18 is commemorated with a parade held in front of the palace; students from various schools participate. Dessalines Day 17 Oct. Kanaval the Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday is a festive time of dancing and parades.
People prepare for the holiday for weeks in advance, beginning just after New Year's. On the holiday itself, people awaiting the main parade dance to music they play on their own portable stereos. The parade includes dancers dressed in traditional clothing, 'raras' musical bands on footchaloska people dressed as monstersand chars floats from which popular music groups entertain the crowd.
The partying continues all night and into the early-morning hours for two or three days. Stores are open only in the morning these days. Rara, another holiday closely linked to Lent, contains a mixture of African and Haitian voodoo traditions.
It is usually celebrated in rural areas but occurs also in Port-au-Prince. Every Sunday during Lent, and occasionally on weeknights, a number of 'rara' bands take to the streets, playing music on Haitian-made instruments and collecting people into a crowd, who follows them as they go. The instruments include the bamboo a bamboo pipetambou a hand drum with a wooden base, topped with leatherlanbi a conch shell hornand graj a grater that is rubbed with a metal stick.
On this day, offerings such as coffee and 'kleren' an alcoholic beverage made from sugarcane may be brought to the 'Bawon' Samdi the first man buried in a cemetery or Gran Brijit the first woman buried in a cemetery. Each village or town has a holiday for the local patron saint, celebrated with a morning mass, daytime festival, and evening ball. Government and its Structure:. The president currently Joseph Michel Martelly is head of state and is elected by popular vote for a five-year term.
The president cannot serve consecutive terms. The Prime Minister currently Laurent Lamothe is head of government and is appointed by the president and confirmed by the bicameral National Assembly. The National Assembly's upper house is the seat Senate and the lower house is the seat Chamber of Deputies.
Members of both houses are elected through a majoritarian system. Senators serve six-year terms and deputies serve four-year terms. There have been efforts toward constitutional reform to ensure that more women are represented in politics on the national level, but these reforms have not yet resulted in concrete changes. However, there are still women who serve as senators and deputies. Political Landscape:.
Several parties field candidates in national elections and gain representation in the National Assembly. Perhaps the biggest challenge facing Haiti's government is rebuilding the country in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and reconciliation.
Lack of transparency in using foreign aid is also an important related issue and the prime cause of poverty and inequality. Despite chronic political instability and weak institutions on a national level, Haitians enjoy a relatively strong democratic tradition on the local level.
The Government and the People:. Citizens of Haiti do not generally enjoy free speech, press, or assembly despite many efforts made. Corruption is a major problem in Haiti. Haiti's political instability has made it difficult for the government to provide basic services to citizens, including repairing damaged infrastructure and addressing public health concerns.
Many have protested against the government for failing to control the high cost of living, injustice, and insecurity that is skyrocketing. Haiti's economy is based on agriculture, which employs about two-thirds of the workforce. Large farms are rare, so production quantities are small. However, little is actually exported, and international aid is necessary to develop future agricultural potential.
Around 80 percent of all Haitians live in severe poverty. Real wages have not risen in a generation. Industrial activity is minimal, geared mostly for domestic needs cement, sugar refining, kleren, etc. A few industries make toys and clothing for export. The economy experienced a severe setback when the earthquake struck Port-au-Prince.
Corruption, high unemployment, political instability, and inefficient state enterprises are additional barriers to Haiti's development. The government is pressured to privatize some state companies, but the process is slow and unpopular.
Haiti's currency is the gourde HTGbut the U. Transportation and Communications For short distances, most Haitians travel on foot. In cities, they may also ride bicycles, buses, taxis, or colorful tap-taps, which travel fixed routes but not on a fixed schedule. Intercity transportation is made by bus, boat, or plane.
Few people own private cars because Haiti does not have a credit system yet; in order words, you pay cash for everything you buy. Most people use cell phones; landlines are increasingly hard to find. The postal system is generally reliable but not protected against theft. In the past, people often posted messages on certain radio stations or sent a written message via truck drivers, who would drop the messages at a store on their way where recipients could retrieve them.
Haiti's school system is patterned after the French model, with kindergarten, six years of primary school, and seven years of secondary school. It is common for students from poorer families to end their education after primary school and begin working.
Children usually enter primary school at age six, and at the completion of their last year, they take a national exam called Examen de Certificat. Passing the exam allows students to move on to secondary school while failing means they must repeat the last year of primary school until they pass the exam.
Students also must pass exams at the end of the third, sixth, and seventh years of secondary school in order to succeed. However, the education system often does not adequately prepare students to pass these difficult exams. In general, schools lack qualified teachers because teaching is not a well-paid profession in Haiti, and sometimes they pass months and months without getting pay. Another issue with the Haitian education system is that the necessary materials are very rare, and the school year is often interrupted by political unrest.