Is there such a thing as a real Haitian? Is it an ethnic confluence? A little Spanish blood here, a little French blood there? Is the real Haitian an émigré from the Congo? What about the lightness or darkness of skin tone? Is darker more Haitian than light? Or vice versa?
Does a real Haitian speak Créole or French? Are they Catholic, Protestant, or Voodoo believers? What kind of music do they listen to? To the big band sound of the 40s and 50s? Compás, Zouk, Racine? Or music that can only be described as country or folk? Is Manno Emmanuel Charlemagne or Emeline Michel the real Haitians, rather than T-Vice or Shleu-Shleu?
Every year, an international day of Creole language and culture is held in Haiti. Different activities are conducted for such an event. In the past celebrations, storytelling and film screenings were held, while literary exhibitions and workshops were launched. The international day celebration aims to highlight and further promote Creole as the official language in the Caribbean nation.
The history of Creole Language goes a long way back in 1961, when it was recognized as the official language with the help of Felix Morisseau-Leroy. About 12 million people, including Haitians and immigrants, speak Creole. Some three million people living in other countries such as Cuba, Canada, the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, and Puerto Rico also speak Creole.
Creole is a blend of parent languages, in which its vocabulary was created, and as it developed into an off-shoot of its origins, its grammar came into play. English Creole descends from the French Creole language. Originally, Creole derived from the Latin creare, meaning to create. In time, the word Creole lost its original meaning and developed into the proper noun Creole and the Creole language. Creole is spoken today in the Caribbean, South America, Africa, and Australia.
European colonists looked at Creole languages as inferior. But due to major cultural shifts from the end of colonial rule, the last 50 years of the 20th century have certified Creole as an authentic language. Creole is thought to possess an uncomplicated grammar, but this is a criticism of Creole by linguists, who consider it an inferior language.
This music video "Rel Nou Ap Toujou Fe Eko" is a homage for the three leaders in the Haitian women's movement who were victims of the Haiti earthquake.
Interpreted by Jan Jan Roosevelt, featuring Netty Dugravil, Renette Desir and Robinson Auguste, "Rel Nou Ap Toujou Fe Eko" was written by Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue, and produced and directed by Regi Chevalier.
Myriam Merlet, Magalie Marcelin and Anne Marie Coriolan, founders of three of Haiti's most important advocacy organizations working on behalf of women and girls, were confirmed dead, following the devastating earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010.
One place that has been trying to keep the spirit of a Jewish community in Haiti was Gilbert Bigio's mansion. This Jewish community center is located in Port-au-Prince and it was where Haiti's only Torah scroll was kept, an Israeli flag fluttered from the rooftop and each Passover the country's 50 or so Jews would gather for a Seder, singing or practice their Jewish religion in Haiti.
Like many buildings around port au Prince, the center was destroyed in the Jan. 12 earthquake that leveled much of this city. There are no evidence that any of the members of the Jewish community living in Haiti were known to have been killed in the Haiti earthquake. According to report, since Haiti earthquake, there are only about 15 or so Jews left in Haiti, out of a total population of 9 million. And they spend most of their time in Miami or the neighboring Dominican Republic because conditions at home are so difficult.
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