Haitian Proverbs

Sayings of Haitian origin

  • You don’t know a man before he takes a woman.
  • When the character of a man is not clear to you, look at his friends.
  • When the cat’s stomach is full, the rat’s back is bitter.
  • To stumble is not to fall.
  • To speak French doesn’t mean you are smart.
  • The pencil of God has no eraser.
  • The good white man dies, the bad one remains.
  • The goat that has many owners will be left to die in the sun.
  • The donkey sweats so the horse can be decorated with lace.
  • The dog has four feet, but he does not walk in four roads at the same time.
  • The crab that walks miles too far will fall into the pot.
  • The constitution is paper, bayonets are steel.
  • The child says nothing, but what it heard by the fire.
  • The child of a tiger is a tiger.
  • Salt does not brag that it is salted.
  • Poor people entertain with the heart.
  • Only the knife knows the heart of a pineapple.
  • Little by little, the bird builds its nest.
  • Ignorance doesn’t kill you, but it does make you sweat a lot.
  • If you want your eggs hatched, sit on them yourself.
  • If work were good for you, the rich would leave none for the poor.
  • If they had cereal, they’d want gumbo.
  • If someone sweats for you, you change his shirt.
  • If someone sweats for you, you change his shirt.
  • Eggs have no business dancing with stones.
  • Don’t insult the alligator until you’ve crossed the river.
  • Children learn to creep before they can learn to go.
  • Children have wide ears and long tongues.
  • Children aren’t dogs; adults aren’t gods.
  • Beyond the mountain is another mountain.
  • Better rags than nakedness.
  • Being careful is not being a coward.
  • Beat the dog; wait for its master.
  • An empty sack cannot stand up.
  • All food is fit to eat, but not all words are fit to speak.
  • Age and marriage tame the beast.
  • A stumble is not a fall.
  • A single finger cannot catch fleas.
  • A monkey never thinks her baby’s ugly.

The Republic of Haiti

Political map of Haiti with Haitian flag

Haiti is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti (“land of high mountains”) was the indigenous Taíno name for the island. The country’s highest point is Pic la Selle, at 2,680 metres (8,793 ft). The total area of Haiti is 27,750 square kilometres (10,714 sq mi) and its capital is Port-au-Prince. (Source)

Haitian Creole is a language spoken by about twelve million people,. Haitian Creole is one of Haiti’s two official languages, along with French. Haitian Creole is the language of 90-95% of the country, while the remaining percent is bilingual in both Creole and French. It is a creole based largely on 18th-century French and some West African languages, and has secondary influence from other languages. Haitian Creole emerged from contact between French settlers and African slaves during the Atlantic Slave Trade in the French colony of Saint-Domingue. Haitians are the largest speaking Creole community. Unlike its European ancestors, Haitian creole developed as an oral civilization rather than a written one.

“La Dessalinienne” is the title of the national anthem of Haiti.


For Haiti, the Ancestors’ Country
We must walk hand in hand
There must not be traitors among us
We must be ourselves’s unique master
Let’s walk hand in hand
For Haiti can be more beautiful.
Let us, Let us put our heads together
For Haiti in the name of all the Ancestors.

For Haiti and for the Ancestors
We must be able, valiant men
Men are not born to serve other men
That is why all mothers and all fathers
Must send their child to school
Must they learn, must they know
What Toussaint, Dessalines, Christophe, Petion
Did to take Haitians under white people’s boots.

For Haiti in the name of the Ancestors
We must toil, we must sow
It is in the soil, that all our strength seats
It is it that feeds us
Let us toil the soil, let us toil the soil
Joyfully, may the land be fertile
Mow, water, men like women
Must we come to live only by our arms’ strength.

For Haiti in the name of the Ancestors
Let’s us raise our head and look above
Must everyone ask the Grandmaster
To grant us protection
For evils may not turns us back
For we will march in the good path
For liberty be liberty
May justice cover the Nation.

We have a flag like all people
We must love it, die for it
It was not a gift from the whites
It was our Ancestors blood that flooded
Must we keep our flag high
We must work, we must be together
For other countries to respect Us
This flag is the soul of the Haitian People.

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