QUICK FACTS ABOUT HAITI
Current President: Michel Joseph Martelly
Prime Minister: Laurent Salvador Lamothe
Independence: January 1st, 1804 (from France)
National Anthem: La Dessalinienne
Religions: Roman Catholic (80%), Protestant (15%), other (2%),Voodoo as sole religion (3%) Voodo as a secondary religion (98%).
Area Code: 509
Official Name: Republic of Haïti
Motto: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
Area: 27.750 Km2
Capital: Port-au-Prince (Largest city)
Official Languages: French, Haitian Creole
Population: 9 801 764
Ethnicity: Black (95%) Mulatto and White(5%) notes: Haitian constitution specifies:
( All Citizens must be known as “Black” regardless of skin color)
National Bird: Hispaniolan Trogon
National Flower: Hibiscus
Adopted on February 26, 1986, the national flag of Haiti is divided in half horizontally, with the top half in blue and the bottom half in red. In the center of the flag is the Haitian coat of arms. The flag of Haiti is a bicolor flag, divided horizontally with blue on the upper half and red on the lower half.In the center, the coat of arms of Haiti is positioned in a white rectangle.
The coat of arms features a palm tree, topped with the Phyrgian cap, a symbol of liberty, and surrounded by six Haitian flags. The tree is flanked by cannons, and between them are several objects, including a drum and bugles, and a broken chain. Across the bottom of the coat of arms is a banner that reads “L’Union Fait La Force,” which means “Unity is Strength.”
The colors of the Haitian flag reflect Haiti’s status as a former French colony, using the red and blue from the French flag. The story behind this resemblance is that the revolutionary Jean-Jacques Dessalines created the flag from the French flag, removing the white center and rotating the stripes, the blue and red left to represent Haitians, symbolically removing any remnants of white influence. The blue represented the former slaves and the red represented the mulatto population, who are people of mixed black and white ancestry. The flag first came into use in 1806, and was made official by the national constitution on February 25, 2012.
Haiti National Anthem:
La Dessalinienne is the national anthem of Haiti, honoring Jean-Jacques Dessalines. It was written by Justin Lhérisson and composed by Nicolas Geffrard in French and adopted in 1904. Haitians who have been to school are more likely to know the first and last stanzas. The others (especially the fourth one) are rarely sung.
A Haitian, or Haitian people (Kreyòl: Ayisyen) are the inhabitants or citizens of Haiti. Haiti is a multi-ethnic nation, home to people of different ethnic and national backgrounds from West Central region of Africa, Polish, Jews (during the Holocaust), French and Taino Indian influences who are native to the country of Haiti, in the west of the island of Hispaniola. Their official language is French and Haitian Creole (Kreyòl Ayisyen) is another language that is spoken there which is a dialect of the French Language. 60% Percent of Haitians are of African descent. Sacatras, also known in Creole as ‘’brin’’, are heavily of African descent.
The official language of Haiti is French but they also speak Haitian Creole. All Haitians speak Haitian Creole, while only about 30% of the population can be considered bilingual in French and Haitian Creole. About 70% of the population speaks Haitian Creole only. Traditionally, the two languages served different functions, with Haitian Creole the informal everyday language of all the people, regardless of social class, and French the language of formal situations: schools, newspapers, the law and the courts, and official documents and decrees. However, because the vast majority of Haitians speak only Creole, there have been efforts in recent years to expand its uses. In 1979, a law was passed that permitted Creole to be the language of instruction, and the Constitution of 1983 gave Creole the status of a national language. However, it was only in 1987 that the Constitution granted official status to Creole. – Wikipedia
Republic of Haiti: National Holidays
January 1: Independence Day
January 2: Ancestors’ Day
May 1: Agriculture and Labor Day
May 18: Flag and University Day
October 17: Anniversary of the Death of Jean-Jacques Dessalines
October 24: United Nations Day
November 1: All Saints Day
November 2: All Souls Day
November 18: Battle of Vertières’ Day
December 25: Christmas Day
Legal / Religious / Traditional Holidays
(some dates vary according to the liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church)
Carnival (Monday through Ash Wednesday)
Pan-American Day: April 14
Feast of the Assumption