I am a proud Haitian.
Being Haitian is so much more than being born in Haiti or having the blood line. Being Haitian is a way of life infused with the spirit of Toussaint L’Ouverture. It is taking on any challenge and not seeing it as impossible but as a task that you will happily accomplish! Because of my intense love for my country, I really wanted to showcase a traditional Haitian dress for Haitian Flag Day (today!!!). To learn more on Haitian Flag Day, please check out these posts- 1 and 2.
Although it happens alot, I have never been one to denounce my heritage or just say that I am from the islands. I am extremely proud to be Haitian even if we are the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. All that means to me is that politicians and other countries have taken advantage of the inhabitants and have destroyed the economy. Being the poorest in the WH means that we in the diaspora have to actively offer support and not just financially. There is alot of work to be done but I truly believe that Haiti can and WILL be rebuilt. We, Haitians are the strongest of all the blacks. I know that is a pretty intense statement but that is truly how I feel. We were the first independent black nation in the world and Haitians are truly the most resilient! We fought for our independence and won! I believe that the most beautiful thing about us is the fact that everything could be going wrong and we will still find a way to smile and persevere! That is one of the main reasons I love being Haitian oh so much! Even after the devastating Hurricane that ravaged by homeland, there were so many images of Haitians smiling, cooking and being together in the tent cities. There is something to say about the inhabitants of this country and clearly it is APPRECIATIVE!
I want to speak briefly on the traditional Haitian dress or quadrille or karabela dress. There are many variations of it but we almost always have an off the shoulder top and a very full circle skirt. Our colors of blue and red are almost always involved and the material is always a heavier one even given the very warm temperatures of my beloved island.
I almost always acknowledge my culture on the blog. Being Haitian is a huge part of me and who I am. I truly believe that it is why I am able to stand tall even when others want to tear me down. Heck even when I want to tear my own self down! Although I am a US Citizen, I do not truly identify with being an American. I love being in America and have absolutely no negative things to say on the United States but I am Haitian in almost every sense of the word.
I truly want to wish all of my Haitian brothers and sisters a very Happy Flag Day and to continue shine bright!
Many thanks to my photographer J of the Maull Method for all his help capturing these images. Although we only had an hour, I think we created beautiful artistry that captured the radiant essence of this dress perfectly! Also a milles merci for the Embassy of Haiti for allowing me to borrow this beautiful dress, I hope to have someone sew me one soon. And finally, thank you to reader and friend Brandine for all of your help in securing this!