Four years ago, the SLS South Beach Hotel in Miami was hit with a lawsuit by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for alleged discrimination against their Haitian workers. Seventeen Haitian dishwashers employed there were forbidden from speaking Haitian Creole. The Haitian workers were also asked to drag heavy items up the the 13th floor of the hotel by stairs. For the Hispanic workers, not only they were free to chat Spanish, they also did not have to carry any heavy items anywhere.
One time, a Haitian worker asked his manager to fix the broken service elevator in the hotel, the boss stated:
New York City to release Haitian Creole Immigrant Rights and Services manual
In acknowledgement of the Haitian immigrant community and their contributions to the building of New York City (NYC), Controller Scott Stringer has issued a Haitian Créole version of the Immigration Rights and Services (IRS) manual.
At a media event held at Flatbush Caton Market, Stringer announced the news in the presence of Haitian Council Member, Mathieu Eugene, and Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte. Other Haitian and Caribbean civic and government representatives were also there.
The IRS manual is 70 pages of resources in areas of health, legal, social, and education. It also includes information on public benefits, voting, and civic participation. IRS is an important tool for Haitian immigrants newly arrived to the metropolis, and will be distributed to immigrant communities in five NYC boroughs.
The term "Creole" comes from a Portugese word meaning "raised in the home". The language resulted and developed probably after 1680 and before 1730 from the efforts of African slaves who wanted to speak the French they heard when they arrived in the European plantations in the colony of Saint-Domingue (now Haiti). African slaves came from many different parts of West Africa and they used to speak many different languages. On any one plantation, several African languages were spoken. They were seldom able to communicate among themselves in a common African tongue. The slaves, on their arrivals in Haiti, first came into the contacts with the French settlers, speaking several dialectal forms of French as they also came from different parts of France. Thus, as a common mean to communicate, the slaves tried to learn Popular French .
Creole Gaining Acceptance in Classrooms
While French may be the official language of Haiti, Creole is what is spoken by over 90% of its citizens. However French is the language used to teach in nearly every Haitian classroom, yet instructors don't speak or write it fluently. Creole and French vocabularies and syntaxes differ to the point they are almost unrecognizable. People ask why continue an education system using a language uncomfortable to teach and learn in?
Haitian Creole is perceived as an inferior offshoot of French and its speakers as having no fluency in French, when in fact they are speaking Creole. For students, not being able to master French means not being able to do well in their studies.
The presence of the Haitian community in the United States is undeniable. Whether in politic, school or at the work place, it is hard to avoid our influence. A recent report just released has discovered that the Haitian presence and influence in the U.S. has in fact increased during the past 14 years in America.
According to the survey, the number of Creole speakers in United States has increased by 73 percent from 2000 to 2014. In 2000, Creole was the 14th most common language spoken at home. In 2014, it is ranks 10th.
Creole speakers are found mainly in South Florida, Massachusetts, and in New York City.
How many people , after being admitted to such a prestigious place as the Académie française would want the world to know of his humble upbringing? Someone like Dany Laferrière would and that is what made him so special. Last Saturday, Dany Laferrière who was just elected to the French Academy arrived in Petit-Goâve to share some of that success and his new fame.
While in Petit-Goâve where he grew up, Dany Laferrière met several people who came to greet and congratulate him. He is now considered to be the pride of Haiti and especially the town of Petit-Goâve. He said that the city of Petit-Goâve had been his inspiration and actually played a key role in his writings.
This is a video of Senator Moise Jean-Charles in a televised discussion that was held in French. The Senator of North was obligated to express himself in the French language.
Senator Moise Jean-Charles received lots of critics for his ability to express himself in French.
Senator Moise Jean-Charles is definitely a controversial figure in Haitian politic. He has been defending the mass and is in total opposition to the government of Michel Martelly whom he accused for corruption and drug dealing.
When it comes to Moise Jean-Charles, you are either for or against him. If you are for him you likely love his message. On the other hand, if you don't agree with him, you likely have very strong feeling against his person.
Why do Haitians have to speak French when they are cornered or caught lying? You probably think I am once again making this up; however if you haven't notice that, I am asking that you pay close attention to our leaders during their conversation.
As a Haitian observer, I have been observing this for a while and I think it is about time that we talk about it.
Don't you realize that by now that many of our leaders will change a nice Creole conversation into French? I suspects that their French comes up usually whenever they are caught lying or want to bluff us. At that point most become very philosophical. You start hearing:
As the Haitian Government still runs with the goal of making Haiti a bigger, better tourist country, they've embraced marketing strategies and hosted events aimed at luring people from America, Europe and other far away countries. Also, they have thought up a way to garner interest in Haiti from those a bit closer to home.
The Festival Creole, held in the Seychelles for the past 28 years, is by far, the most patronized event in the Creole-speaking world. It is, in fact, the only one of its kind within the Creole Community of Nations. Showing the best in Creole talent offered in the various countries home to people of that characteristic, the festival highlights the best on offer from the more well-known as Creole countries such as: Mauritius, the Seychelles--a group of islands in the Indian Ocean, and La Reunion, as well as those in the Caribbean and North America including the Creole found in Louisiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyana and Haiti.
How many of you believe that our education system has a lot to do with our inability to change Haiti? Making us into: "Aristrokrat Dyol Printi"; "Ti France", "Mwe Pa Min Moun Avek-ou". To tell you the truth, these are what I see our education system is good for.
We are proud of speaking French than the French born citizen. Our love to use French words in our sentences so complicated and so rare in usage that the a typical French citizen would probably ask you to provide some translation for then
Unfortunately, this is the most important thing I have learned from my education in Haiti.
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