Families in Haiti


You can simply get confused in the differences in the traditions and cultures of Haiti, because the customs of almost all countries of the world are collected here. However, the most pronounced combination of African and French cultures, or Creole culture.

The population of Haiti was originally formed from slaves who were brought from different countries who had only one religion - belief in higher powers, voodoo, witchcraft.

Over time, more civilized countries made their contribution to the social structure of Haiti, but voodoo remained practically the only religion for the inhabitants. Despite these cultural characteristics, Haitians are distinguished by their benevolence and hospitality.

They treat foreigners very well and are always ready to help or answer questions. They are very sociable, but it is advisable not to touch upon the topic of family wealth during the conversation, because for Haitians this is the most painful question, especially if it comes from a stranger or a foreigner.

Typically, Haitian families are clans or large families called "laku". True, recently the number of members in the family has become less and less, and the family mainly consists of parents and their children.

Almost all families in Haiti live in very small houses, which consist of one or two rooms. There are no special amenities in these houses: there is no electricity and running water, mainly stoves are used that run on a natural material - charcoal. However, even such harsh conditions will not leave Haitians discouraged; they will still hope that they will still have good times.

Agriculture is the backbone of Haiti's economy, and in rural areas men always do the hardest jobs. Women stay at home and look after the household, and can also collect fruits to sell them in local markets.

In poor families, of which there are quite a few in Haiti, children are also recruited to work on farms, or sent as servants to wealthier homes. In general, any form of income is used in any family, each member of the family tries to contribute to improve the financial situation. Usually all financial issues are resolved jointly between the spouses.

In poor families in Haiti, there is a form of relationship between men and women where they simply live together. They agree among themselves on the conduct of common financial affairs, share household chores and other work. Such relations are called "plaza".

However, this relationship is not recognized by either the church or the state and is not considered a form of marriage, but is widespread throughout the country. This is due to the fact that it is necessary to spend significant funds on the wedding, and since the unemployment rate in the country is very high, poor families are not able to carry out a normal marriage. As a result, it is necessary to create such "family" relationships in order to somehow solve financial difficulties.

Many young people in Haiti are leaving the rural areas and trying to build their lives in the big cities. True, this is not always the best option, because there are quite a few jobs in cities and there is a large competitive selection process for them.

In most cases, these young people settle in poor areas and are already looking for any job in order to feed themselves. A significant part of them return to their families, because in agriculture there are still more opportunities to be always in business.

Any events in the family and in society are always accompanied by various rituals that are arranged in honor of the "spirit". In general, all life in Haiti is held under the cult of voodoo, that is, the worship of witchcraft. Birthdays, deaths, other calendar events, as well as weddings, harvests and many others are accompanied by rituals.

Some of these rituals are designed to distract trouble and troubles from the family, attract patrons, and cure various diseases. All rituals are accompanied by dances and songs using drums and even animal sacrifices.

Another form of addressing the gods is the drawing of panels or flags, which depict the requests and wishes of a person. These flags take a long time to draw, and they are signed with great care. Moreover, today they are even a collectible.

Many Haitian holidays, especially major ceremonies, coincide with Catholic holidays, and many Catholic churches have already incorporated some folk rituals, traditional music and dance into their ceremonies. However, Protestant churches do not agree with this behavior of Catholics and are categorically opposed to recognizing such traditions.

Voodoo rites and culture have firmly entered the social life of Haitians. Sometimes even some kind of work of the whole family is accompanied by music, singing, and some of the family members can use tom-toms to make the work go faster and more fun.

As far as education is concerned, it is natural that rural families have a narrow level of development, because they do not have the opportunity to send their children to study, for the reason that there is not enough financial resources.

Only children from wealthy families can receive a normal education. If you meet a Haitian who speaks fluent French, then this indicates that the person has received a higher education. The main language of Haiti is Creole.

Having got to any celebration of Haitians, where everyone is dancing merrily to the beat of drums and singing cheerful energetic songs, it is impossible to think that their life is not the easiest one.

However, Haitians do not make a cult out of their poverty and do not pay attention to it. They believe that the higher forces, the spirits they worship, will sooner or later make their life better, seeing what forces are being applied to convey their requests.


Watch the video: Haitis separate worlds for rich and poor - 19 Oct 08


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