“I am from Haiti“.
People always seem surprised when I’m saying that sentence, and I’m still wondering why they are reacting like that. Yes, it is pretty obvious that I’m not from the US; I have an accent. However, people cannot imagine that I’m from Haiti? Do Haitians have a face ? Do Haitians look different ? Do Haitians act differently?
People in the United states especially, have such a bad opinions about Haitians. I feel that for them we are the synonyms of badness, or primitive. I still cannot believe that there are people who think that Haitians don’t know about social media such as Facebook, Instagram , snapchat and more. Or someone who thinks that all Haitians have the same complexion. “Haitians cannot be light-skinned” they say. Or even more, someone who thinks that we eat trees when we are starving or literally cast spells on people.
I still cannot believe that here, in the United States, some people are talking to us as if we are retarded. Yes, we might have some difficulties in English, but don’t forget that we speak two more languages : French and KREYÒL. And Yes our KREYÒL is a language. It is neither a patois nor a dialect. And no, I don’t speak “broken French”. I speak FRENCH.
And Yes, we are more open to the world then most of you, people overseas. Don’t worry, I’m going to explain myself.
Because I’m Haitian, I learned to be Resilient: I am an earthquake survivor, several hurricanes survivor. I know what it is to be stuck in traffic for more than an hour and a half. I know what it is to wake up very early so I won’t be late for school. I know what it is to live in a politically unstable country where leaders are thinking for themselves.
Maybe, a lot of you are thinking that these are not things to brag about. In fact, I’m not bragging. Those events give me strength to be one of the best Haitian my country could have. They make me think about what I could do to change the conditions my people are living in. Thanks to those things, I know that life is not always about fancy things, so I have to fight for my beliefs; I have to fight for what I love, and I have to fight to get my spot.
Because I’m Haitian, I know that a country have different faces. I don’t label people. I accept them for who they are. I try to appreciate what the country has to offer and try to get the best out of it. I try to appreciate its people. I don’t judge them based on the color of their skin, their hair texture, their financial status. Because I’m Haitian, I accept PEOPLE. I don’t categorize.
Because I’m Haitian, I am proud to say that I have a lot of knowledge. “How come?” some people would say.” Poor countries have a low education rate”. But yes, I will say that again. Because I’m Haitian, I have a lot of knowledge. I almost know a little bit of something about every country in the world. I listen to every kind of music. I speak at least two languages.
Because I’m Haitian, I have opportunities. Opportunity to know what is happening around me and go beyond that. I’m not limiting myself. I have opportunity to know that my little island is not the world and, that I need to know more about the world I’m living in. I have the opportunity to appreciate every culture. I have the opportunity to show to the world what Haiti is about.
Because I’m Haitian, I’m smart, strong, and relentless.