[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

8076: Re: 8070: re: 8067 reply from Darian Arky (fwd)

From: "Benjamin J. Hebblethwaite" <bhebblet@indiana.edu>

Dear Darian and Veronika,

An indispensable tool or arm of assertion and defense in Haiti is study of the
Haitian Creole language and Haitian culture.  No other measure will work
as well to defray your tension and allow you grow and mature in Haiti.
You are fearful, and I too have been so in Haiti, but strengthening your
language skills and cultural knowledge will raise you to a plateau where
you are able to experience Haiti and Haitians on their own ground and in
their own amazing ways.  The strength of my own Creole has always been my
greatest asset in Haiti, otherwise the visitor is as if mute in the most
communicative nation on earth!  So don't forget, as the moto of Bon Nouvèl
goes: "Baton ki nan men ou, se ak li ou pare kou" - "You ready yourself
for the attack with the stick that's in your hand."

Benjamin Hebblethwaite
Research Assistant
Creole Institute
Indiana University

On Sun, 27 May 2001, Bob Corbett wrote:

> From: Darian and Veronika <bezdomovci@earthlink.net>
> Senou wrote: "Hey Bro, you don't have to live in the Capital."
> Ah, my friend, therein lies the rub; for I most certainly do have to live in
> the capital -- that's where they always put embassies.  However, your advice
> is well taken.  I also realize that someone from another country being
> posted to the U.N. mission in New York might just as easily pose a question
> similar to mine.  Please understand that my concern stems from a foreigner's
> ignorance.  I admit this shortcoming because I know that I would not be
> asking the question if I were being sent to Germany or England.  This will
> be the first time in my life that I have lived somewhere where the color of
> my skin will mark me as an outsider.  I suppose I might have done myself
> more credit had I been honest enough to acknowledge that my insecurity stems
> as much from that realization as from any musings about criminal psychology.
> Though I've spent 15 years away from the United States, I suddenly feel that
> the skills and experiences that have enabled me to be less of a stranger in
> a strange lands will not do much to compensate for my fundamental
> foreignness in Haiti.  Returning to the context of crime, it is often said
> that the best way to avoid becoming a victim in a life-threatening situation
> is to "humanize" yourself in the mind of your would-be assailant.  How could
> I possibly hope to do that in a country where everything that I am
> represents the very essence of what many Haitians might very well consider
> to be primarily responsible for their own dehumanization?  I don't plan to
> become preoccupied by these concerns, but I feel it's healthy to examine
> them.