Customs and traditions
A common handshake is normal when Haitians
greet each other. A slight cheek kiss also occurs
between people who know each other well, but not often
men in between.
Conversations are often multifaceted and lively,
perhaps with jokes and anecdotes intertwined before
arriving at what you really want to say. Often,
especially in rural areas, the greeting phrases can be
drawn several times before the actual conversation
begins or one proceeds. A constant eye contact with the
person you are talking to is normal, although a
foreigner in this context may feel cheated. Even on the
street, people often look intensely at those who may
stand out from the crowd, as a foreigner, or whom they
do not recognize. It is not considered rude to strain
the eyes of anyone.
Overview of the capital city of Haiti, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
On the other hand, it is considered directly
uneducated if you whistle at someone to call attention,
or point to a person.
Haitians like to touch each other during
conversations, a light touch of the other's arms, hands
or shoulders. That close friends or love couples go hand
in hand is also common, however, it is not considered
appropriate to kiss or hug in public.
The dress codes are not very strict. Most Haitians
can't afford to stick with nice clothes. However,
everyone tries to stay as clean and tidy as conditions
allow. In a modern office, proper upholstery applies.
There it is not acceptable for a man to wear shorts.
Punctuality, on the other hand, is not so important
anywhere. Scheduled times are rarely followed, and no
one expects it either.
A guest coming into someone's yard tilled shout
ONE (young. "Honorary"), then the homeowner is
responsible respe ("respect"). A guest, even a
casual visitor, is not happy to leave without receiving
anything, if only a cup of coffee.
What you eat
If you are invited to a meal, the probability is that
the base consists of diri kole ak pwo, rice and
beans, which is the most common staple food. To this may
be fried chicken marinated in a lemon, pepper and garlic
sauce, or fried goat meat. Legim is a thick
vegetable stew consisting of a mashed mixture of eg
eggplant, cabbage, spinach and the cucumber-like
vegetable chayote. It can be accompanied by a
piece of meat or crab.
In addition to rice, Haitian meals are also based on
potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, corn porridge or
breadfruit, preferably seasoned with thin sauces on
tomato puree, onions, spices and dried fish. In the
north, around the city of Cap-Haïtien, pul ak nwa,
chicken with cashews, is often served . A standard sauce
that often appears as an accessory to other dishes is
epis, made with paprika, garlic, onion, thyme
and parsley - or whatever happens to be on hand.
Overall, Haitian food is based largely on vegetables
and legumes and is usually quite spicy, though not
Desserts are often made from cane sugar. A popular
dessert is also group patat, a bread made of
sweet potatoes with condensed milk and cinnamon.
Akasan is a thick milkshake on corn.
Women and men
In the Haitian home, women are responsible for
cooking, cleaning and laundry; in the countryside, women
and children also fetch water and firewood. They also
help with sowing and harvesting. Despite their seemingly
inferior position, women have a significant
responsibility for the household's economy by being the
ones sitting in the square and selling the surplus from
the harvest, one of the few outward jobs women in the
country have. In the market, it also belongs to the
unwritten laws that every purchase must be surrounded by
lively bargaining and discussion of prices, which gives
the squares women a toughness that they use for their
Otherwise, the labor market is very man-oriented.
However, there are some female teachers, and the nurses
are almost exclusively women.
In the upper and middle classes one is supposed to
live in a traditional marriage, but even among the broad
masses, not even 40 percent are formally married. When a
man has built a house for his wife and they have had
their first child, their connection in the public eye is
fully legal. Often they settle in close to the man's
parents' home. In areas where men traditionally migrate
seasonally, it is more common for the family to live
near the woman's parents.
Polygamy is not allowed by law, but about one in ten
Haitian people are estimated to have two families in
different houses. It is considered perfectly acceptable
by the surroundings, as long as both families are well
taken care of.
A normal household often consists of not only the
nuclear family but also a single grandmother or
grandfather, not infrequently adopted children (AIDS has
progressed hard in Haiti) and young relatives.
Women and men have equal inheritance rights from both
parents and when a landowner dies, the land is shared
equally between all children.
Godparents have a central position in the concept of
family. Almost all children have relatives or family
acquaintances as godparents and usually establish
lifelong relationships with them.
Holidays and symbols
Haiti celebrates all Christian holidays and the one
that most people appreciate most is the carnival, which
precedes fasting before Easter. The carnival is
characterized, as elsewhere, by parades and street
dances to music by traditional orchestras. Substantial
amounts of rum, beer and other alcohol are also
Secular weekends include Independence Day, which
happens to coincide with New Year's Day, commemorating
the proclamation of Independent Haiti on January 1,
1804. The day after that honors one's ancestors and
other dead relatives. April 14 is Pan-American Day and
May 1 is not only the workers 'day but also the farmers'
On May 18, 1803, the Haitian flag was designed and it
is still celebrated today, as it honors the country's
first leader Jean-Jacques Dessalines on October 17, the
day he was assassinated in 1806. On November 18, the
country's armed forces are dedicated to commemorating
the victory of the French in battle. at Vertières in
1803, when the Haitians broke the colonial empire and
secured their independence.
A day that is not a holiday in the real sense but
which is still noteworthy is the day of the Caïman
forest on August 14. Then the secret voodoo ceremony is
celebrated in 1791 during which Haitian slaves drew up
plans for their revolt against the French.