Haiti: Occasional Musings – 4

We started the English classes on Tuesday.  Altogether there are 14 in the class with varying English levels.  The first day was taken up with introductions and everyone was a little nervous but yesterday was brilliant.  Today we have a huge brown board so things should be even better. The class is relaxed with a focus on conversation so it doesn’t interfere with the school curriculum.  More on the school curriculum another day particularly when it comes to Haitian history as taught in the schools.  There’s still the whole French hegemony which prevents access to information and stigmatizes huge sections of the population who speak Kreyol.   Kreyol is a language created out of a revolution.  Sometimes we forget that the majority of slaves who fought in the Haitian revolution were born in Africa and it’s through them that Kreyol and Voudou were created from their own languages and religious traditions mixed with French and Spanish.    In the process of decolonization surely language and religion [where it is Libratory]  must revive and reasert themselves?  French stifles the majority of the population who speak Kreyol.  Children are forced to learn maths in French making the subject doubly difficult.   During the 12th January rememberance in 2012, white evangelicals attempted to break up a Voudou rememberance ceremony by drowning out the ceremony with their music.  Eventually the police had to be called to drag the evangelicals away before someone got killed – shameful!

In Haiti-Haitii? Jean-Bertrand Aristide writes of religion first in general terms but then he goes on to state “there is religion and there is religion” in which he criticizes the Catholic church – an important weapon in colonization.

In the eyes of those who do not see well, religion looks like gold. Thankfully those with sound and analytical minds know that “Not everything that sparkles is gold”

Since time immemorial, many of the powerful elites have used religion as a potent weapon: a weapon to deconstruct , destroy, dismember the ideas of others while forcing their own ideas onto those with stunted brains to subjugate and break those persons, and utilize them for their own purposes”

When this mighty power [Catholicism] roared, it was like a wild beast, devouring any and all foreign religions in its path…. The interests of the colonialists and the interests of Jesus are two mountains that will never meet.  Slavery and liberty are exactly like hell and paradise.  Because illiterate does not mean stupid, the slaves did not have to pore over the words of a Catechism tailored to serve one set of interest , in order to understand the religion of the colonialists.

The stench of rot cannot be camouflaged by incense.’

The new religious colonialists come dressed in a different set of clothing with a new language…..black people are following meanwhile the climate is changing.  The earthquake – a story for another day!