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7747: Re: 7718: Nekita Responding to Manners (fwd)

From: haiti@ixks.com

>From: Nlbo@aol.com
>...Haitians do not make direct eye contact. It is considered impolite and lack 
>of respect.

I have to differ on this one.  I realize customs vary but the Haitians I
know make a lot more eye contact than we north americans do. Haven't you
ever looked at a Haitian and locked eyes for a long moment then seen the
hint of a smile, tip back of the head and a kind of jutting of the lips?  An
eye to eye agreement.  Happens to me a LOT.

>When someone  knocks at the door, if you open it, invite the
person.....Offer  some coffee or something to drink. Expect "drop ins" 
>when dealing with Haitians.

And offer food.  Send someone out to buy cokes if you're not too far from
town.  Relax.  Leave your sandals on (because of the dust).  Plan on
visiting for a good long while.  Haitian hospitality is the best!

>Do not look at your watch when talking with  Haitians.

That's rude everywhere!  

>Haitians talk with close proximity. 

And they touch and compliment and encourage and laugh and smile a whole lot.
They're so animated and energetic -- some of the best story-tellers in the
world!  It only takes a day or two of being around Haitians for me to start
feeling energetic and happy to be alive again... even here in the States!  

>Do not expect a "Thank you" card or call from Haitians. Few Haitians express 
>oral or written gratitudes.

I have to disagree again.  Although it is true that Haitians don't often
send "thank you" cards, they express oral gratitude more often than any
people I've ever been around.  

I've found Haitians on the whole to be very accepting of whoever you are as
long as you are respectful and genuine.  I think they think of us as being
kind of excentric and slovenly, probably a bit spoiled and a lot wasteful,
but loveable in a crazy kind of way.  I think of them as being meticulous,
energetic, quick witted and sexy, tricky and exasperatingly impossible to
pin down, and of course the most  physically and spiritually beautiful human
beings on the planet. The most frustrating thing about my relationships with
Haitians in general is our different ideas about honesty is business and the
lack of boundaries between business and friendship.  But mainly I know that
I could never go back to living without them because my life gets too drab
when I'm away. 

C. Henrius