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5929: Names given to foreigners by Bébé Pierre Louis (fwd)
An "Ameriken nwa" in Haiti is a "Blan" which means a foreigner..
A Chinese (Chinwa) for a longtime was considered as a person to whom one
could bring his laundry and have it cleaned. The other Asiatic people who
weren't doing laundry were "Blan je chire", then, came the Chinese planting
rice in the Artibonite and the appellation did change somewhat.
Lebanese, Jordanians, Syrians, etc. and most people dealing with commerce are
all known under the name of " jwif-arabs " without any racist undertone to
the best of my knowledge
To illustrate the point that a "Blan" is a foreigner, the white skinned
"Blan" are not "Blan", they are Blan-Franse, Blan-Aleman, Blan-meriken, etc.
However a Dominican, a Brazilian, a Mexican, a Venezuelian, etc. no matter
how white the color of his skin is Wouj, often Ti-Rouj when well accepted!
People coming from Africa, until recognized as such, are "Blan" too!
Any Haitian who has been leaving abroad for a long time and doesn't seem to
reintegrate easily in his original culture is also called "Blan"!
Missionaries are called MysionÃ¨, Mandam MysionÃ¨, pitit MysionÃ¨â€¦ A class in
itself, no matter the color of their skin.
Often foreigners that are accepted are no longer called "Blan", they become
Madan Pierre, if married to a Haitian called Pierre Jo or Msye Claudette if
married to a Haitian called Claudette Jo. Madan Gano, Madan Kolo are well
"Blan", foreigners of the white race or other can also be called "Gwo NÃ¨g",
"Gwan NÃ¨g". This to further illustrate the fact that the color word has
nothing to do with the person.
Parsimonious "Blan" can be called "Blan Kokoye"! which doesn't mean they
"Blan" is in no way injurious. A white foreigner called "po lanvÃ¨" has
probably offended his interlocutor and should think about it. That's
There are some "finesse" and subtleties of language that require long
apprenticeship ( I never mastered the English language). I hope this can be
helpful. Let me add that none of those names have any malicious meanings. The
Haitian society is an open society which has accepted and still accepts with
good grace foreigners never in an insulting manner. Furthermore, it is hard
to understand the view of anyone who thinks that extremely exploited people
suddenly could become exploiters? And how eternal victims can be seen as
P.S.: Where is our respected creole professor, Michel DeGraff?
BÃ©bÃ© Pierre Louis