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5929: Names given to foreigners by Bb Pierre Louis (fwd)




From: Moibibi@aol.com

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 Mysionè, Mandam Mysionè, pitit Mysionè… 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 
known examples.

"Blan", foreigners of the white race or other can also be called "Gwo Nèg", 
"Gwan Nèg". 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 
aren't accepted.

"Blan" is in no way injurious. A white foreigner called "po lanvè" has 
probably offended his interlocutor and should think about it. That's 
different.

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 
predators?

P.S.: Where is our respected creole professor, Michel DeGraff?

Bébé Pierre Louis