The Culture of Haiti
Carrie St. Jean
Axia College of University of Phoenix
What does the average American really know about the country, Haiti? Is the lifestyle all black magic, spells, and séances? Is this media portrayal of Voodoo the only way of life and what is Voodoo, any way? These questions come to mind when someone wants to know the truth about Haitian culture and life in Haiti. Haitian culture consists of deep rooted religious beliefs, music, and Haitian cuisine.
First and foremost, voodoo is not just black magic, spells, and voodoo dolls that everyone associates with what has been portrayed in the movies and television shows. For example, the movie Serpent and the Rainbow, directed by Wes Craven (1988), is a horror movie that depicts voodoo as an evil practice that turned people into zombies. The premise of this movie was a doctor who goes to Haiti to investigate the rumors of a drug used with black magic that left people in total paralysis, yet conscious. Most Americans in fact believe that all Haitians are part of this media portrayed version of this Haitian religion. The media has glorified and exaggerated this minor part of the Voodoo religion. Yes, those Haitian individuals who actively believe in the Voodoo religion do believe in some types of black magic and unfortunately the spells and voodoo dolls, but not all Haitians practice religion this way.
In actuality, voodoo means spirit in African tradition. Haitians believe in only one God and other categories of spiritual beings. Haiti is also primarily a Catholic religion but the natives’ daily life still revolves around spirit religion. Many Haitians believe in spirits and other beings but his does not always mean ouija boards, séances, or ceremonies of raising the dead. This is the way Haitians live their lives and value the word of God.
Other aspects to Haiti that most people do not realize about Haitian life are the music and cuisine. As for music, Haiti’s...
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