Tree Angels for Haiti are committed to preserving and sharing the wonders of Haiti. This post provides a perspective of Haitian culture from one of our amazing Tree Angels, Rose Plesimond. Here are just a few reasons we love Haiti:
Haiti is the first black republic in the world, that took its independence in 1804.
The official languages of Haiti are Creole and French. Creole is generally the language of daily conversation; it is spoken by all while French is used in government offices, businesses and schools. Only educated adults or secondary school students speak French, though with varying levels of fluency and accuracy depending on where they went to school and how much they practice. Knowledge of French has become a sign of social class in Haiti; those who speak French may not talk to those who do not. Creole is a unique mixture of French, English, Spanish, and various African languages. Some family do not let their kids speak creole at home. It is similar to creole spoken on some other Caribbean islands, such as Guadeloupe and Martinique.
The majority (80 percent) of Haitians are Catholic. Protestants claim 16 percent of the population. The largest denominations are Baptist, Pentecostal, and Seventh-day Adventist. Vodou (voodoo), is practiced to some degree by a majority of Haitians. It was given legal status equal to other religions in 2003. While official Catholicism opposes its practice, Vodou includes the worship of Catholic saints and other Catholic rituals.
Haitians are warm, friendly, and generous. Their tradition of hospitality is shown in how they treat guests or go out of their way to help strangers. Everyday life is hard for most people, so parents strive to send their children to school, (though it is very expensive) trusting that an education will give the next generation a better life. No matter what society’s conditions, Haitians celebrate life with joy, laughter, and dancing. Even after the terrible Earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands, the resilient Haitian people found courage to celebrate life.
TAFH welcomes volunteers and encourages all to share in the wonders of this beautiful island nation. For more details on how you may help, please contact a TAFH member, visit our website (www.treeangelsforhaiti.org) or visit our Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/treeangelsforhaiti).