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Thread: Haiti Proverbs/Stories

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Default Haiti Proverbs/Stories

    Bondye Bon
    God is good.

    (This is a proverb of optimism and fatalism. Whatever happens is what God does, and what God does is for the best. There is another similar proverb that translates as: The pencil of God has no eraser).

    Dye mon, gen mon
    Beyond the mountain is another mountain (A proverb of both patience and the recognition of how difficult life in Haiti is.)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Default Re: Haiti Proverbs/Stories

    A young couple treated themselves to a meal in an expensive restaurant in Petionville. After eating a huge meal they had settled back in their chairs to relax and chat. The waiter came along and asked: Will you have American coffee or Haitian coffee?

    The woman replied that she'd have American coffee, while the man chose Haitian coffee. The waiter said, coming right up, and rushed off.

    Ah, said the woman, this is a fantastic restaurant. The service is so solicitous and they have just everything. Her date agreed.

    After a few minutes the waiter returned with two cups, one small demitasse cup and one large coffee cup. He placed the large cup in front of the woman and the small cup in front of the man. Then, with great ceremony, he filled both cups from the same coffee pot!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Default Re: Haiti Proverbs/Stories

    Perhaps the most popular form of humor and amusement are riddles. There is a definite form of the riddles:

    The person throwing the riddle says: TIM TIM
    Those who want to hear it reply: BWA SECHE
    Then the riddle is given. If they get it they announce it. If they give up they say >BWA SECHE which means they eat dry wood (the penalty for not getting the riddle.)

    The riddles themselves are very difficult. They require a transition from the literal problem to quite fanciful and figurative answers.

    They serve it food, it stands on four feet, but it can't eat.
    I enter white, I come out mulatto.
    Three very large men are standing under a single little umbrella. But, not one of them gets wet. Why?
    When I sit, I am taller than when I stand.
    How many coconuts can you put into an empty sack?
    Ou bwa seche? (You give up?) The answers are:

    A table.
    It's not raining.
    A dog.
    Only one. After that the sack's not empty.
    More Riddles:
    Tim Tim (a challenge)
    Bwa seche (bring it on)

    What has four legs, eats straw, has a single heart and can see just as well in the dark as it does in the day?
    Why is it that when you lose something it's always found in the very last place you look?
    Ou bwa seche? (You give up?)


    A blind donkey.
    Because after you find it you quit looking.

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