The Republic of Haiti is one of the names the country was given throughout its history full of events that contributed to its growth and development and enriched its culture. Upon discovering the island in the 15th century, Christopher Columbus decided to name it “La Isla Española”, thus “turning” it in the property of Spain. Columbus, who was buried in one of Haiti’s cathedral, preferred to simply ignore the fact that the island had already been explored and inhabited by the people of Taino tribe.
While being under the rule of France, Haiti served as home to thousands of slaves who were brought from Africa. In fact, the population of slaves who were the major force behind the development of coffee, sugar cane and cotton industries, was higher than the French population. Constant labor exploitation for the sake of wealthy families thriving led to numerous conflicts that resulted in a successful slave revolution and slavery abolishment on Haiti.
Natural disasters and economic instability associated with the past of the country made many people believe that it was a poor and dangerous place. Fortunately, time and adequate efforts have turned it into one of the most popular places in the world. Today, we want to share with our readers a set of interesting facts about this country. Let’s see what these facts are…
Haiti: 8 interesting facts about the tropical country between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean
1. Haiti residents adhere to Voodoo
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “Voodoo”? Most often, the images of magic dolls and animal sacrifices are the associations we have with this system of beliefs. Voodoo is believed to be a kind of a secret practice based on magic and spells. This assumption is wrong.
In reality, Voodoo that has the status of the official religion in Haiti plays one of the crucial roles in its culture and life. Born out of the mixture of several religions and practiced as a method of resistance in the past, the core notions of this religion are ancestral spirits and patron saints.
At present, Voodoo is recognized as an unconventional healing method that ensures a positive effect on a human’s health. Haiti is the only country where Voodoo is practiced as an official religion, with many famous, affluent persons adhering to it, an interesting fact about Haiti.
2. The Republic of Haiti suffered from a disastrous earthquake
One of the strongest earthquakes in the history of Haiti resulted in truly terrible consequence. The unpredictable nature disaster struck suddenly and was ruthless to everyone who happened to appear on her way. Apart from destroying half of the buildings in the country’s capital, the earthquake of January 2010 killed more than 250,000 people and left more than 1 million Haiti residents on the streets.
While rebuilding half of the capital city from scratch and helping locals to reconstruct their houses, the government established the Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais, the largest hospital in the world that works on solar power.
3. The country’s residents can easily divorce
Local authorities believed that by making marriage and divorce procedures as uncomplicated and quick as possible, they would attract new tourists to the country. Believe it or not, but their predictions turned out to be not as foolish as they seemed to be.
After the law of the 1970s came into force, any marriage could be dissolved with only one of the partners in a couple being present in court. Quick and easy divorces are an appealing option for people all over the world because the system ensures no time is wasted in vain and allows both ex-partners to faster move on with their lives.
4. Haiti is one of the brightest countries in the world
Many tourists coming to Haiti are surprised by a wide variety of bright colors the country has to offer. Almost anywhere one can see bright symbols and colorful paintings, a fun fact about Haiti. Even local buses represent unique masterpieces, the creation of which allowed to use imagination.
5. The residents of the country love football
Football is the most popular sports game in the country, followed by basketball which is gaining popularity rapidly. Haitian people establish football clubs where young talents can develop and hone the skills necessary to become professional football players.
6. Haitian culture places a very big importance on the notion of family
Family is the core of Haitian society, with every family member ready to sacrifice her/his life for the sake of children. By the way, children who are believed to be gifts from God himself often are raised in big families. It’s better and more convenient for relatives to live under one roof as an extended family because together they can do more for the wellbeing of the family.
7. One of the country’s peculiar features is its folklore
One of the most common features of the country’s native population is a strong desire to keep the unique Haitian culture away from the outside influence and preserve it in its original state.
Local folklore is one of the best information sources providing a good insight into the culture and traditions of the country. However, it’s very important to assess the information critically because not all the phenomena pointed out happen in real life.
As surprising as it is, but the folklore tales involving evil characters were used by the infamous Papa Doc in order to scare the people living on the island and maintain control, an interesting fact about Haiti.
8. Haiti’s artists paint unusual pictures
Mysterious symbols hiding a deeper meaning are part of every masterpiece painted by a Haitian artist. Art in Haiti is often used as a method of expressing deep thoughts and helping people learn valuable lessons.
Haiti is the country where one can have an unforgettable vacation and time of his/her life. If you still haven’t visited the island, make sure to include it in the list of your travel destinations. Haiti is a whole new world waiting to be discovered.
I hope that this article on Haiti facts was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Country Facts Page!