Several centuries have passed since the discovery of the island of Hispaniola by the expedition of Christopher Columbus, but today's Republic of Haiti is still one of the poorest and most backward countries in the world. Luxurious white beaches and squalid shacks of the local poor, the cult of voodoo and Catholic cathedrals, French as the state language and the illiteracy of a huge number of its inhabitants - Haiti is truly a country of contrasts! Its name means "mountain land" in Creole, but in addition to natural beauty, travelers are attracted here by the culture and traditions of Haiti, in which the supernatural is uniquely combined with real life..
Voodoo: cult or lifestyle?
The main tradition of Haiti, which even a person far from transatlantic flights has heard about, is the cult of voodoo. It is an African religion, brought to the island by slaves in the 18th century and merged with Catholic traditions. It got to the point that the local church does not see contradictions between its dogmas and the foundations of voodoo, and representatives of both faiths celebrate holidays together.
The main deities, according to voodoo beliefs, are possessed by ordinary people and are full participants in any events. Everything that happens in the life of every person or family is accompanied by rituals and special ceremonies, many of which have become the traditions of Haiti and part of the culture of the republic..
Doctor what's wrong with me?
Medical care in Haiti is in a very poor state and it is almost impossible for a mere mortal to get into the hospital here. Locals prefer to be treated by sorcerers who use the good old traditions of Haiti as methods of healing: rum, smoking special laughing herbs, dancing with a tambourine and, as a radical measure, sacrificing an innocent chicken. The latter works almost certainly, but the convalescent is forbidden to see anyone for some time. So the sorcerers are reinsured against the influx of visitors, because here they believe that the disease should jump into the body of the first person they meet.
Useful little things
- Once in Haiti, do not shy away from the locals, believing that they are all zombies. In fact, Haitians are quite pleasant people with interesting customs. In conversations, one should not only touch upon the topics of material prosperity, because with this they are just not all right. But football, weather or holidays are exactly what the inhabitants of the island talk about with pleasure and joy..
- Observe dress code outside the beach area. Swimwear and overly revealing clothing in residential areas is discouraged.