Local traditions and culture in Haiti

  • Local Customs
    by lisa42088
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    Place St. Pierre
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Most Viewed Local Customs in Haiti

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    Lose all sense of time

    by lisa42088 Written May 2, 2008

    Basically when you step into Haiti you need to lose the watch because nothing happens when it is suppossed to. If your guide says he will meet you at 10:00am, it will most likely be 2-3 hours later. If they tell you to hurry up and get ready, you will hurry up, then wait an hour. This is really frusterating if you are not prepared for it. So just sit back, relax, and enjoy the sunshine or you will end up with high blood pressure!

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    Holy Trinity, the Episcopal Cathedral

    by globetrott Updated Aug 24, 2005

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    This lovely church in Port of Prince/Haiti is one of the most interesting churches I saw in the Caribean - with plenty of great paintings - but unfortunately rather too dark inside, so my picture is not really great.Thanks to VT-member Beausoleil I learned that this is Holy Trinity, the Episcopal Cathedral in Port of Prince/Haiti. Take your time to explore all of the great works of art inside that church !
    Churches in general are also great places to relax a bit from the heat and humid weather of a sunny day in the carribean.

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    • Architecture

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    Greet people

    by haitiangirl Updated Apr 28, 2005

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    It's a good thing to greet people especially in rural areas. Haitian people can be really sensitive when it comes to greetings.
    I guess it's just plain politeness to greet back when someone greets you, it will be even more appreciated if you are the one who greets first.
    Now as for how to greet, you can say "bonjour" in French or "bonjou" in Creole it doesn't really matter that's for day time greeting and if it's nightime or evening yo can say "bonsoir" in French or "bonswa" in Creole.

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    Sunday

    by dunearn20 Written Nov 23, 2004

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    Haitians are practisig christians. Sundays people dress up in their best clothes and go to church, very nice to see the effort they make. I wonder how the clothes can be so clean and white when you see how people actually live. It is very peaceful and sunday really is a special day, not as in other countries where people are more casual than usual to go shopping or work in the garden.

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    Haiti is a place, really worth a visit

    by globetrott Updated Oct 16, 2003

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    Haiti is a place, really worth a visit !

    One day I would like to have my own sailing-boat and explore all the wonderful small bays around Haiti.
    I really hope, the political circumstances will be better and safer for the population and the tourists then.

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    • Eco-Tourism
    • Family Travel
    • Cruise

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  • In the palatial little Hotel...

    by Aang Written Sep 8, 2002

    In the palatial little Hotel Prince I sat beside the swimming pool and talked to John, a UN nutritionist, from West End Lane in London's West Hampstead.

    'Haiti is some sort of paradise,' said John. 'But there is hunger and malnutrition. There's not enough water. Some people have to walk many miles to get water.'

    'Corruption?'

    'It's no worse than in Europe,' said John.

    'Law and order?'

    'London is rougher than Port au Prince.'

    'Unemployment?'

    '80% of the population are unemployed.'

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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  • The Haitian language is pretty...

    by Ramblin_Dan Written Aug 26, 2002

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    The Haitian language is pretty easy; I had basic stuff down in a week. It's a simple french creole - not too complex. Bonjou (Bon zhoo) is hello. M'ap vini (mop veenee) is good-bye or see you later (it means 'I'm coming').
    When you get to Haiti, be prepared to see some very poor people. There will be beggars at the airports. They'll ask for your money, your clothes, your food - anything they see, really.
    Try some goat with pickles (pee klase) on it. Pickles is a spicy sauce that they put on meat. It's fantastic.

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    The Haitians are very friendly...

    by hajin Written Aug 24, 2002

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    The Haitians are very friendly and happy to see tourists. Admittedly, there were very few tourists there when I was visiting, but everyone seemed curious in a good way. Even very rudimentary French (which is the only French I can speak) is appreciated as English is not all that widespread. The Creole spoken by most Haitians--particularly the poor--is not very similar to French so be prepared to use some hand gestures. Poverty is rampant and you will, most likely, have quite a few experiences where children run up to you and ask for money. Take care--when you give one child money, many more will appear. I generally kept some coins handy for lone children--what amounted to a few dollars or cents for me meant quite a bit to them.

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    Voodoo is a prevalent...

    by hajin Written Aug 24, 2002

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    Voodoo is a prevalent influence in Haiti, but is not widely practiced any more. I was told that, outside of Port-au-Prince, voodoo is still fairly common. At night, you can still hear the drums (from voodoo rituals), but many Haitians in the capital are Christian these days. And, among educated Haitians, voodoo is taboo. When visiting, take care when asking about it. Many Haitians take offense when people ask about voodoo. It seems that they don't want people to assume that all Haitians practice voodoo.
    BUT, at the same time, voodoo is still around--particularly in the art and dance. Voodoo flags and bottles are very popular--each representing an Oretia (sp?) or deity. In their traditional dances, there are often depictions of certain deities. Dances are stories--very much like traditional African dance.

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Haiti Local Customs

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