Treasures Haitian

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Travelers-Guide

Getting Around In Haiti: Experience Our Culture

CULTURE

 

Of the many adjectives you'll summon up to describe Haiti, colorful is sure to be one of them. Painting in Haiti is a way of life. It is the mirror of the country and can be seen everywhere.

Haiti's Hidden Treasures

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Explosive colors of all kinds have drawn people from around the world to Haiti’s respected galleries.

From surrealism, self-taught, impressionism, modern to abstraction the various paintings offer an exuberant fusion of great subjects with Haiti’s own ambience. These paintings are available at reasonable prices in Port-au-Prince, Pétion-Ville and the countrysides.

 

Many Haitian artists have become widely known abroad as a result of a renaissance in painting during the past decades. The Museum of Haitian Art in Port-au-Prince and many respected galleries hold a wide collection of original Haitian works.

MUSIC AND DANCES:

Music and dances are to be found everywhere in Haiti: in religious dances, in annual festivals, in carnival, in performance of daily work. Meringue is the national music of Haiti that was created by the slaves who called it chica. It is a voluptuous dance very close to the Samba from Brazil. Based upon the Meringue rhythm (Merry-ring, meaning joyous dance), some popular musicians invented numerous variations like the Rampa of Webert Sicot and the Compas Direct of Nemours Jean-Baptiste, the latter generating the Haitian Compas. Other types of beats include Rasin music that originated from Africa, thus bringing a new musical style in the international market. Some fascinating dances like baton-nise' dance and the "tressé rubans" (braiding of ribbons) seen in rara dance's performance (before easter) are still played by folkloric dance troupes, which turn any given stage into a whirling spectacle.

 

As dancing is a passion for Haitians, musics have become their very soul. At the beat of the drum, they get carried away, especially during Carnival time, which is celebrated between February - March. The 3-days ambiance feature lots of music and dance in Port-au-Prince, and the previous week in Jacmel. Many people fill the streets to enjoy this yearly spectacular event.

 

SOME USEFUL HAITIAN PROVERBS!

 

Fanm gaspiyè toujou dwe: women spendthrift always owe (money). The spending oriented woman is always in debt. Gen moun ki toujou nan dèt.

 

Gwo chen tonbe, ti chen tonbe, chak rivyè vini ak gravwa li: (The) big dog falls, (the) small dog falls (as well). Patwon an pèdi dyob li, ou pa nan dyob.

 

Byen san sue pa pwofite: Goods / belongings (you have) without sweating won't profit (anything). Lajan ke ou genyen san ke ou pa travay pou li, wap gaspiye-l anvan lontan.

 

Sa malere di pa janm gen valè; betiz grannèg se bon pawol: What (the) poor (man) says (does)n't ever have value; (the) nonsense (of the) big guy is good word or wisdom. Pawol gen pwa, sa depann ki moun ki di-l la.

CURRENCY

 

The unit of the Haitian currency is the Gourde. Its value to the US dollar, Euro, and Canadian dollar fluctuates on a daily basis at an exchange rate of 35 - 45 Gourdes. All foreign currencies must be exchanged at the banks, well known exchange offices, travel agencies.

A bill of 10 gourdes

There is also the black market on the streets which is not fully recommended for safety reasons and counterfeit Haitian money; unless you know what you are doing.

 

BANKS AND BANKING HOURS

 

Numerous banks presently operate in Haiti. Among them are: National Bank of Credit (BNC), Bank of the Republic of Haiti, Unibank, Sogebank, Scotiabank, Citibank, Haitian Popular Bank. Banking hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. and on Saturday from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Some banks such as BNC are open on Sunday. Airport banking facilities are open on business days to meet travelers demand.

 

TRAVELERS CHECKS AND CREDIT CARDS

 

Travelers Checks are accepted at some hotels, well known restaurants and shops. Major credit cards are widely accepted at major hotels, rental cars, and larger shops.

 

TELEPHONE SERVICES

 

Major cell phone companies now operate in Haiti, thus providing services all over the country. Some companies have also boots at the airport offering prepaid cell phones at low rates.

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Haiti Calling Code from USA/CAN is:

011 + 509 + 8-digit telephone number.

Since March 1, 2008, Haiti's phone numbers switched to 8-digit.

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