2/20/07

A Fat Tuesday For Haitian Tourism?


Two yeas ago at the Caribbean Studies Association conference held in Santo-Domingo, I found out that more is being done by the Haitian diaspora in Cuba and the United States to preserve certain Haitian cultural forms than is being done in Haiti.

This year's carnival, the last day of which --Mardi Gras [Fat Tuesday]-- is today, may be a long awaited departure from that trend. According to the Miami Herald, this year the Haitian government went all out and invested $2 million in the Carnival in order to encourage Haitian diaspora tourism in Haiti. Judging from the exponential growth in hits to this blog since I started blogging about Carnival three days ago, I guess the government is right that Haitians abroad are starved for any and all Haitian culture they can find. It seems that in the case of Haiti, the web is providing diasporans a way to stay in touch with their country. Hopefully, all the live online carnival (I know of at least 4 websites which were broadcasting), regained security, colorful costumes and the official website will indeed help bring more "dyaspora" home next year.

The Miami Herald quotes the tourism Minister as saying:
''We are making the statement that there is not a problem of insecurity in Haiti. Yes, there is insecurity in certain areas, but not in the entire country,'' said Tourism Minister Patrick Delatour. ``This is not a country either at war or one coming out of civil war.''

That's all good and this statement was long overdue. Here's my question to the Haitian government though, why can't it secure the country the same way it did during the 3 "fat"days of carnival all year long?

Photo: Haiti Carnival Official Website.

Technorati:
carnaval - mardi gras

2 comments:

Marie-Christine said...

Always a pleasure to stop by your place. ;-)
why can't it secure the country the same way it did during the 3 "fat"days of carnival all year long?
Oh my! And while we're at it we could ask why can't the government provide electricity to (at the very least) the capital as it does during those 3 days. Though I am being presumptious. I don't know what percentage of the capital had power during the "fat" events and for how long. But I think there was a bit more than usual. And many would be happy with that bit more on a regular basis.

Alice B. said...

Hi M-C,

Very good to see you here. You make all good points. :-)