A Martinique Christmas

Loulou Boislaville chante nwel
Video sent by matinikphoto
This video was posted on Daily Motion today. It is a biguine Christmas carol performed by some of Martinique's music greats including Ralph Thamar and Loulou Boislaville. The video is dated Dec. 24,2006 on Dailymotion and technically aired on Martiniquan television last night. Why does it look so vintage to me? Could it be that Ralph Thamar looks not a day older than 20 -- not a wrinkle, not a gray hair? I wonder if this was not a re-airing of a 70's recording. Maybe our Martiniquan friends can chime in...

In any event, Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it.

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Tonight: 2nd Annual Haitian Jazz Festival, NY

Last year's was at SOB's, a small-ish but determined venue in the Village, Manhattan that for at least the past 20 years has had a different flavor of "world" music every night of the week. (Haitian is Friday these days although it wasn't actually called that for a while - go figure.) I missed it because I got there too late and it'd already sold out. Apparently, it rocked.

This year's is at Irving Plaza, a real concert hall in the Village where I've seen people like the Marley family and Erika Badu perform. I am going to miss it because it's a good friend's birthday. But YOU shouldn't if there are still tickets --the poster up there is last year's. (Blame Delhi for my not posting this earlier.)
One of my favorite Haitian bands, Mozayik, will be there. I saw them this summer thank god. Lots of excerpts for you to preview here and here. This promise is getting old but I swear I'll make it next year...

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…My heart’s in Accra » The Hibiscus Project: How African and Chinese bloggers start to talk to one another
"Alice Backer argued that the issue on the table was xenophobia, not race, urging people not to automatically adopt the language and terminology we use in the US to talk about racial issues." Generally a great summary of a gvdelhi2006 discussion.
Delhi's Markets: Where Are the Women?
"C’est là le charme de Delhi. L’envoûtement. Tu t’étonnes un peu de l’absence de femmes, mais les hommes ne te laissent pas le temps de trop y penser." (Translation forthcoming on GV.)
delhi /tombs/life
"The tombs - they are bustling with life."
Global Voices on Internet Activism (podcast)
Kamla Batt interviews GV co-founder Ethan Zuckerman and co-Managing Editor Georgia Popplewell.

Haiti - Francais (Press (EN) for english translations)
Collectif-haiti-de-provence: Les syndicats d’enseignants denoncent la politique gouvernementale en matiere de securite
"Les déclarations du syndicat des enseignants tombent bien à propos mais ne suffisent pas dans la conjoncture actuelle." - (EN)
Collectif-haiti-de-provence: Haiti : L’UNICEF condamne energiquement les enlevements d’enfants et puis ..rien!
"Nous restons toujours sur notre faim quand nous observons le décalage existant entre les déclarations de principe d’un côté et l’indifférence manifeste face à l’absence de résultats."
Haitian Cane Workers in the Dominican Republic
"L'association Pour que L'Esprit Vive organise en mai 2007 à l'occasion de la journée mondiale contre l'esclavage (le 10 mai) une serie d'activités visant à dénoncer les conditions de vie dans les bateys." - (EN).
Bonus Links
Chinese South Africans Fight to Be Black
"Once reclassified as either coloured or black the Chinese will then be able to benefit from the Employment Equity Act (EEA) and the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act."
Liberal Myths Countered By African-American Men
A good example of how well-meaning liberals hurt sometimes. (Video)

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MyBlogLog: Good for Traffic

A while back, I wrote a post about becoming part of the MyBlogLog community and promising to get back to everyone about how useful it was. Not sure how helpful it is to non-bloggers or non blog fans, but one thing for sure, it's been good to me: less than 2 months after opening an account, MyBLogLog is the third source of visitors to kiskeyAcity.

Update: Coincidence or synchronicity? Blogger Cooqy who got introduced to my blog via MyBlogLog, thought to write about MyBlogLog today too: it's called "A brief analysis of MyBlogLog." It brings up some (cosmetic) minuses but overall the news is good.


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A Skypecast for Haiti: Got Aggregator?

A Skypecast for Haiti is taking place this Sat. Dec. 23, organized by the first Haitian Music Industry Blog aka Karlito's blog and two other haitian blogs. Should be interesting, although as I already told Karlito, I think the topic is way too broad... I'll try to join in this time but I hope something more narrow can be done in the future.

The budding Haitian blogosphere could use an aggregator for example and that might be a great future topic. (See, for example, La Reunion's aggregator, Reunion Permanente. La Reunion is a french-speaking country and overseas French department in the Indian Ocean.) Aggregators are a great way to grow a local blogosphere, apparently.

Photo by inju.

There are many different types of aggregators:
  • One is to become your own regional blogger.com, as in Afrikblog.com which hosts a number of francophone african blogs such as Le Blog du Congolais and UDPS Liege. Afrikblog offers a way to create a blog but also a blog directory. I think it's a great model but the directory only includes blogs created in Afrikblog. That is a big minus and would not serve the purposes of growing a blogosphere per se. Also, this model is costly and ambitious and would only be worthwhile if the quality offered was up to par with a blogger or wordpress blog.
  • Another, my favorite for now, is the Reunion Permanente model. In terms of blogosphere expansion, this is the best model. It features blogs from any blog services so long as the blog deals with La Reunion (it also transcribes local newspaper columns that it thinks should be on the internet.) It comprises blogs written in La Reunion but also blogs by the La Reunion diaspora, whatever language they use. It subscribes to RSS feeds from these blogs and offers reverse chronological updates. So it is a blog itself. Anyone who goes to the aggregator can see what the latest updates are in the blogs of La Reunion. For a blogosphere to grow, bloggers have to come together and this would be a great first step.
(The same would be a good idea for the Caribbean as a whole too or for individual caribbean countries other than Haiti.)

Update: 12/29/06
Skype was down on the day of the Skypecast so it didn't really happen. But I got to chat with Marvin Chery of Reveiled Networks extensively and he promised we'd get to talk about Haitian blogs and internet in a future one. Here are Marvin's live updates that he posted on his blog while attempting to patch the call together. Judging on the number of people who attempted to make the call, it would have been quite well attended.

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From Delhi Dweller to Brooklyn Baller

Old Delhi

After visiting the city of a dozen tombs, I am headed back to the city of the lone fort, Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Some friends (okay, Georgia and Nicholas, that is) think I've become a Delhi "walla" (sp?) aka a Delhi dweller. That is because during the last 12 or so days here I have not left India's capital city though I had every intention to all along. Yep, I passed on the Taj Mahal (just 5 hours away), and Rajasthan's jewel cities of Jaipur and Udaipur.

Now it's time to go. (My flight is in just a couple of hours.) My non-platonic oh-so-tactile exploration of the Delhi markets has come and gone. The Global Voices summit has come and gone. (Check out the Global Voices 2006 Summit Live Blog for all your questions about what happened.) And obviously Delhi and fellow Delhi dwellers (native or not), have rubbed me the right way. I had dinner on the brilliant National Highway, and was graciously and elegantly hosted by the three members of Delhi's Haitian community: the D. family. I'd like to think my presence helped launch a great new blog: Pascale D.'s Natif Natal: L'inde Vue par une Haitienne which I've added to my blogroll under Haitian diaspora. I have tons of pictures. I have even more unformulated thoughts.
Most shall be revealed to you soon.

I am not just bringing home the satisfaction of now owning beautiful, authentic Indian Kashmiri shawls purchased in dusty authentic Indian markets. Out of the conference came the idea of www.francais/globalvoicesonline.org, a French-language page for GV that is in embryonic/experimental stages. Ideally, selected GV posts will one day be featured in French on it, with the help of volunteer translators. (Raise your hands, my bilingual blogging friends.)

Delhi did right by me, and hopefully also by the Francophone online community.

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Join Us/Rejoignez-Nous @ GVDelhi2006 (En) (Fr)


About the Global Voices Summit, here in Delhi:
A Propos du Sommet de Global Voices, ici a Delhi:

  • It's Saturday Dec. 16th, Delhi time.
  • Ce Sera le Samedi 16 Decembre, heure de Delhi.
  • It's a big meeting of bloggers from around the world.
  • C'est une grande reunion de bloggers du monde entier.
  • Badge for your blog:
  • Badge pour votre blog:
    Global Voices Summit in Delhi '06
Update 1:
Update 2:

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Red Fort @ Old Delhi

Red Fort, Delhi
Here are some pictures of my visit last sunday to Old Delhi and its Red Fort. Old Delhi is quite reminiscent of downtown Port-au-Prince except that the vendors are all men. The Red Fort was built several hundred years ago and was at one time the residence of a mughal ruler of Delhi. Notice the thick fog characteristic of Delhi weather at this time of year. The yellow and green cars are rickshaws, one of the forms of public transport in the city. (The others are bicycle rickshaws and auto taxis. There is a subway but its use seems limited.)

Old Delhi

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"Very Sexy Women's Wear" @ GK1 M Market

GK1 M Market

During my first two days in Delhi, I spent a lot of time at M Market in Greater Kailash 1. Markets here are really gated bazaars made of a central square surrounded by shops. Both N and M markets in GK1 are designed that way as are the residential enclaves.

GK1 M Market

GK1 M Market

What I love about the markets I've seen here so far is the juxtaposition of Esprit and United Colors of Benetton with downtrodden junk shops. M Market has a basement bookstore, standalone vendors with piles of gorgeous $5-10 shawls and scarves, designer jeans stores, spice shops, cafes, restaurants, local shoe stores like Bata of either cheap practical looking shoes or more upscale local designs, fabric and sari shops, the tiny dusty and hot as hell basement cybercafe from where I checked email while in GK and took the passport picture that stood between me and a sim card. Then there's the take out shop that sells chinese dumplings and nan-wrapped indian faves of mine: chicken masala and saag paneer.

I was always entertained during the hours I spent here. Shopping although exciting usually stresses me out in the States but this was a different experience. The markets here really are places where the city comes alive. While the shops themselves are quite clean, the sidewalk, alleyways and building facades blacken anything that touches them. The whole thing comes together well though and, along with the contradictions and hustle and bustle, makes the place lively.

I guess you could say that just as India itself is a contrast between wealth of some and poverty of many, technology on the one hand and illiteracy on the other, these markets have elements of both western shopping malls and dusty Haitian and African street markets. High end items such as United Colors of Benetton pairs of $200 jeans and banal everyday necessities such as the used eletronics junk shop where I purchased my $2 indian ac adapter mix and mingle. Now I see why Deeya's eyes lit up as she recommended the Delhi markets and thrift shops. (She was the Indian twenty-something returning home on break from her London arts program who sat next to me on the plane.)

GK1 M Market

I became intrigued with these "very sexy women's wear" signs that were all over the market after reading Lonely Planet's recommendation that foreign women not wear overly revealing clothes. Precisely the opposite of "sexy", let alone "very sexy". As I bought shawls to wear when walking in the street on my own, I wondered long and hard about that contradiction. But my decision was only partly influenced by the LP tip; I wanted some of that elegance of the draped silhouettes of Delhi.

More M-Market Photos.

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Sak Pase From Delhi, India

Global Voices Summit in Delhi '06

Sorry I've been quiet for a week. I was preparing for the journey that brought me here to Delhi, India. I arrived yesterday and am still settling in.

This morning I sent relatives an email reflecting on the ways in which Delhi ressembles Port-au-Prince and the ways in which it is different. Like Port-au-Prince, Delhi is still the capital to a mostly rural country. That is I think what makes parts of Delhi so reminiscent of parts of Port-au-Prince. The posh parts especially are remarkably similar: huge houses, tree-lined streets and gardens, often interspersed with much more modest residences. At least that is what I am seeing in GK, South Delhi. I will be doing my best to update you on my thoughts while here.

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