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6140: Re: 6029: Re: 6008: RE: 5978: Teaching a lesson: "blan" or Madanm" (fwd)

From: Sabine Albert <sabinea@yahoo.com>

A.E. Zennie said:

> If I travelled to Iran, I would cover my hair and
> wear conservative clothes, 
> I woudln't talk to men I didn't know and would not
> go to places that do not 
> admit women. I would do this because I am a
> tourist/foreigner and even 
> though this would probably insult me as a modern
> woman. I would do the same 
> if I married an Irani man and chose to live there. I
> would have to adapt to 
> the local customs.
> Though in haiti certain things may insult non
> haitians, they are still part 
> of the haitian culture. Even though you may not
> embrace or understand it, if 
> you choose to live in or travel to haiti (nobody
> forced you to go) then you 
> will have to accept it along with all the other
> social tabous and customs.

We are more tolerant of foreigners.

In Haiti, we open our arms to all, we have always been
ripe for cultural imperialism and have never taken
preservative measurements to religion, language or any
of the accoutrements that define a people.

What I find interesting is that I know Haitians who
are called blan because they are "grimo" and people
who are called grimo and grimel and any other
descriptive words that describe color.  I have
recently heard the word blan being used to refer to
children of Haitian parents born in the US.

Any comparison of the word blan being used as the N..
word is ludicrous.  Neg. was never an affectionate
word when uttered by one person to another whether,
white or black.  

I ask myself the following:  In the future how will
the definition of Blan take shape in Haiti?  Is it
important to understand the word in the Haitian
context within the framework of the Haitian reality? 
Will the reaction of those who are called Blan be more
influential in curbing the usage of the word thus,
giving it a negative connotation?

What I find most interesting in all this debate on the
use of the word Blan is that once more,  we are being
forced to swallow one more false interpretation of
something Haitian.

Sabine Albert

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