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Monday, November 12, 2012

mandaly le mwen nan ayiti mwen eseye pou paret kom yon moun natif natal. me moun toujou ap gade mwen. ki sa mwen ka fe pou paret kom yon moun ki te fet nan peyi a?

If you are caucasian, this may be hard, but not impossible :)
And if you are not caucasian, you might as well be.  Haitians can spot a foreigner very easily.  You walk different, talk different, ... you have a different stance.  Some Haitians have even joked that even if you were as black as them, they could tell you're not Haitians by looking at you.  Sometimes your skin, black or white, reveals that you're not drinking the same water as they are.

I used to go to a Christian church in Haiti.  There were some  missionaries there.  One caucasian young woman especially was very shy (I supposed).  She sat in the remotest area of the church.  She never spoke to us (uschurch members and youth). When church services end, she walks straight to her little house on the church yard.  Sometimes she'll shake hands with a few church members.  But that's all.
As opposed to this other missionary, a middle-aged caucasian man.  He was always out on foot in the neighborhoods near the church, bartering at the markets, playing soccer on the dusty, rocky, non grassy terrain of the church with us, sweating under the same sun as us, and drinking the same water we drink from a water well.  He spoke a broken Creole (We, Haitians, find that endearing.  Whether your Creole is good or not, it's important to show us that you're trying).  We use to laugh and say lan li lou his tongue is heavy (that's what we say of people that have a heavy Creole accent).  Someone even told me that they saw him carrying a jar of water on his head (Typical Haitian thing to do, but I'm not sure he could have pulled that off :).  The point is he didn't shy away from the natives. He engaged with us.  Once he drank the same parasite-infested water that we drank, we figured, "hey he's natifnatal because he's being eaten away by the same parasites that are consuming us."

If there's one thing that Haitians can do very well, it's to stare at you.  They might even gather up into a small crowd to just look at you.  They do it to diasporas and to foreigners.  My take is they're just trying to figure you out.  so, once you engage with them the novelty will wear off and they'll see you as one of them: a total kapital natifnatal.
Haitian Creole ↔ English Reference, Look up Haitian Creole and English Words

2 comments:

  1. Yes Haitians can easily tell if you are a foreigner.You might don't even have to speak to them to see the accent; but by looking at you if you're from a country where the temperature is different; your face will look different. Kind of " fresh" not to disrespect my fellow Haitians; but I usually got the same vibe just because I don't live in Haiti anymore so when I come they can tell I'm not from here no more. The best thing ti help you ; its to try to dress like them. Not to classy; just simple ; casual

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    1. ☺ Dakò.
      E mwen trouve tou, lè w'ap viv nan peyi etranje, pafwa li fasil pou rekonèt yon Ayisyen. Ayisyen gen lè moun dosil.

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