Impressions of Haiti

  Recently, a country called Haiti on Earth has attracted worldwide attention and concern because a magnitude 7.3 earthquake occurred in her capital, Port-au-Prince, causing serious casualties and property damage.
  
  On the afternoon of January 12, 2010 local time, a 73-magnitude earthquake broke out in Haiti. It was the most powerful earthquake in Haiti in 200 years. The capital Port-au-Prince was almost in ruins, and there were cries everywhere. The Haitian Prime Minister said on January 13 that the death toll from the strong earthquake may be as high as more than 100,000. In fact, the latest news is that the death toll has reached more than 270,000.
  Haiti is located in the northern part of the Caribbean Sea, the full name of the Republic of Haiti. It means “mountainous place” in Indian. The area is 27,800 square kilometers. The population is 8.92 million, with blacks accounting for 95%. 5% were mulatto and white. Hence the name “Black Republic”. The capital Port-au-Prince. Haiti is an old republic. It has been 206 years since its independence in 1804. It is one of the 51 founding member states of the United Nations and the first independent black country in the world. Haiti is one of the least developed countries in the world. Tourism income is its main source of foreign exchange. Most of the tourists come from the United States and Canada. The main seaports are Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haïtien. Why do so many people flock to Haiti? There is only one reason, because its scenery is really beautiful! The reason
  I went to Haiti was because of a business trip to Dominica. I visited this neighboring country on the same island and experienced it. Black culture in the Caribbean. My first impression of Haiti was “the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere”, and it’s still fresh in my memory. Poverty is my first impression of it.
  So what did Port-au-Prince look like before the earthquake? Let me briefly describe it here: blue sea and blue sky, green mountains and green water, plus white clouds and black people… Port-au-Prince has always been peaceful and quiet, an atmosphere of indifference to the world , the air exudes a leisurely charm, and there is a relaxed atmosphere everywhere. Mountain and sea views are the main sights here, and there are few high-rise buildings. The wealthy areas are built on the hillside, with many garden buildings and villas. There is the “Independence Heroes Square” in the urban area, which commemorates the martyrs who died in the Haitian people’s armed uprising in the early 19th century. There is a monument to the heroes of the War of Independence in the center, and the surrounding flower beds are full of flowers and green spaces. The main buildings and monuments in the city are: the National Palace, the New Cathedral, the Government Building, the Supreme Court, the Church of Santa Ana, the Church of San Jose, the Church of San Francisco, and the Church of San Antonio.
  Port-au-Prince is the cultural center of the country, with cultural facilities such as the National Library, National Museum, and National Information Center. There is also an archaeological museum, a modern art museum and an art center, all of which were built in the 1930s and 1940s and have historical value.
  In Haiti, what I like most is the honest and warm people and their simple folk customs. If you have the opportunity to come to the Caribbean, especially to Haiti, it will definitely change your outlook on life! Warm and down-to-earth people, cheerful and talkative people, men are strong and primitive, women are plump and open. During this period, I also brought back woodcarvings that are only found in Haiti. The woodcarvings in Haiti are woodcarvings with similar shapes to those in Africa. The difference is that the woodcarvings themselves have more colors, unlike the African ones which are all black; The wood carvings in Haiti are more detailed and not as rough as those in Africa.
  Although they are black, they are still somewhat different from black Africans. Culturally, the “French style” here penetrates deeper: Haitians are more civilized than Africans, which means more shrewd and realistic. But the social order is more chaotic. Compared to Africa other than South Africa, Haiti is less safe. But Haitians are generally much more honest than Jamaicans.
  The most unique thing in Haiti is voodoo, which originated in West Africa and is a primitive religion that combines ancestor worship, animism, spiritualism, etc. It is somewhat like shamanism in Northeast Asia. “Vodoo” means soul in the language of Benin, West Africa. Voodoo’s most famous and terrifying feature is the “living dead,” or zombies. If someone offends others, that person will find a wizard, and the wizard will let him eat tetrodotoxin, and he will enter a strange state of suspended animation, become a slave, and work hard in the manor. Voodoo believes in spirits and also has seances. Voodoo is influenced by Catholicism, and there is only one main god, but more influenced by the cultural elements of West Africa, there are gods, and the gods are the incarnation of the main god.
  Due to the political strife, economic collapse and storms in Haiti over the past few years, the historical monuments left behind in Haiti inevitably face the fate of demise. For Haiti, this is a very big problem. Conservation workers still hope to save the “Gingerbread House” in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince. The small buildings, constructed of bricks and stakes of different colours, feature double doors, balconies, sloping roofs and intricately carved finishes. These historic buildings attract travel enthusiasts who venture to this chaotic country. When I was in Haiti, I happened to come across Haiti’s annual Carnival parade, where the residents of Port-au-Prince like to wear fancy clothes for the carnival parade. The performers and children were covered in brightly colored paint. Carnivals are one of the most interesting cultural expressions in Haiti and Hispaniola. Some of them wore costumes with characters depicting African animals, such as lions and mysterious beasts. In addition, the symbolic slaves paint their bodies with varnishes, bright paints, and drag chains. Members of the local mine band also wore black paint on their bodies to take part in a carnival parade in the streets. A member of the mines band approached the carnival crowd and tried to apply his own paint to the visitors. The laughter seems to be still echoing, and there is no doubt that the carnival in Haiti is one of the most distinctive cultural phenomena in the Caribbean.
  During my time in Haiti, I saw European-style buildings, Islamic-style buildings and local stilt houses, and I felt exotic everywhere. Of course, the camera in my hand is also busy, people, buildings, and even flowers and plants have become my prey, everything is the scenery in our eyes. Although I came out to relax, I did not forget my own line of business. I saw the unique landscape, the refreshing water scene, and the delicate flower pond, which inevitably captured my camera. The scenery hurriedly passed by, what slipped away was time, but what remained was the picture. A beautiful moment is frozen in the eternal picture. I sincerely hope that the future of Haiti will be brighter, just like that beautiful picture!
  The earthquake has dealt a heavy blow to the Haitian national culture, and I am most concerned about it. You must know that many ancient civilizations on the earth were destroyed by the earthquake. and natural disasters, natural disasters can drastically reduce the population, especially if skilled craftsmen and skilled masters, as well as teachers with rich knowledge and elders who master medical skills all die in large numbers, it will be a fatal blow to a nation. They are worried that Haiti will cause a decline in the inheritance of national cultural heritage.