Sink Rezon pou visite Ayiti

Five Reasons to visit Haiti

1. Second Coastal line outside of Cuba. Beaches Beaches and more beaches to relax, snorkel and swim

2. Land of Mountains. Stunning view and hiking galore.

3. Land of Caves. Tons of water falls.

4. Art. Haiti’s visual arts are unmatched in the Caribbean. Every street corner is an art gallery.

5. Food/Music. Fresh sea food, Griot,Legumes, Diri Jonjon and of course Kompa

 

HISTORY

Haiti occupies the western third of Hispaniola and the island it shared with the Dominican Republic. Hispaniola is the most mountainous island in the Caribbean, and a famous Haitian proverb runs dèyè mon gen mon – beyond the mountains there are more mountains. Haiti has a tropical climate.

The earliest inhabitants of the island were the Arawak or Taino “Noble People” people lived on the island some 700 years before the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492. The Taino peole called the island Quisqueya “the cradle of life”, or Ayiti “the mountainous place” In 1697, the French took over the island from the Spaniard and renamed it Saint Domingue.In the 18th century, Haiti was the richest colony in the world It was the largest producer of sugar and coffee in the world, as well as an important exporter of cocoa, indigo and tabacco. Haiti became independent on January 1, 1804.Haiti is a constitutional democracy headed by a president and with two legislative houses. The government is headed by a prime minister chosen by the president.

 

PEOPLE

The original inhabitants of Haiti, the Taíno, didn’t last long after 1492. Today, Haiti’s population of nine million are almost entirely of African descent, having been brought to the island as slaves by the French. Most Haitians are of ethnic groups like the Fon, Yoruba, Ibo and Kongo.

ART

Haiti’s visual arts are unmatched in the Caribbean. Much of this can be put down to the influence of Vodou, with its rich visual language of vèvè symbols and painted temples. For first-time visitors to Haiti, even the drive from Port-au-Prince airport is an introduction to Haitian art, with street walls masquerading as impromptu art galleries, hung with a hundred colourful canvases to attract the buyer

 

MUSIC

The two most popular blends of Haitian music are kompa and rara.

Rara is the music of the streets whereas kompa is the music of dancing and romance – a popular description has it that you must dance so close to your partner as to polish your belt buckle. Kompa is originally derived from merengue vice versa, a slow dance music that blended traditional Haitian folk music with the newer sounds of jazz that were introduced by the Americans during their occupation.

 

LANGUAGE

Haiti has two official languages: Haitian Creole (Kreyol) and French. There is a distinct linguistic split: Creole is the language of the people, spoken by 90% of the population; French is the language of government, the law and the elite. Creole is thought to be around 300 years old as a distinct language. It evolved on the slave plantations, and is a fusion of the various tongues brought to Haiti by African captives, with a healthy dose of French vocabulary and a smattering of Spanish, English and even Taíno taken from Haiti’s original inhabitants.

ARCHITECTURE

Haiti’s most important contribution to world architecture is the gingerbread house. Gingerbreads are primarily wooden houses, with wide verandas and elegant high balconies, steeply pitched roofs and plenty of detailed latticework. The biggest concentration can be found in the downtown districts of Pacot and Bois Verna in the capital.

SPORT

Haiti is football (soccer) mad. You’ll regularly see painted Brazilian and Argentine flags painted on walls, and one gets the feeling that if the Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi were to run for Haitian president, he’d be elected with a landslide. The national hero of Haitian football is the striker Emmaneul ‘Manno’ Sanon, who led Haiti in their only World Cup appearance, at the 1974 World Cup in West Germany.

 

Cockfighting is popular as both a pastime and spectator sport, and every town has its gagè, or cockfighting ring. The birds do not fight to the death or wear spurs as in some other countries, but animal lovers may still prefer to stay away. One pastime that you’ll see a lot of is groups of men on the street playing dominoes.

HAITIAN PROVERBS

Creole is rich in proverbs, explaining subtly complex philosophies, and frequently lamenting the toughness of peasant life and the divisions between rich and poor. Here is a sample:

Anpre dans, tanbou lou                      

After the dance the drum is heavy

Bay kou bliye, pote mak sonje 

He who hits forget but the bearer of the scars remembers

Bel anteman pa di paradi    

A beautiful funeral doesn’t guarantee heaven

Kay koule tronpe solèy, men li pa tronpe lapli 

A leaky house can fool the sun, but it can’t fool the rain

Men anpil chay pa lou 

Many hands make a load lighter

Haiti Nou La

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