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Haitian group hosts cultural show Thursday

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Published on February 22, 2009 in The Huntington News

Three tables adorned with traditional Haitian food ranging from fried plantains to rum cake gathered much of the attention Thursday night at Curry Student Center Ballroom for The Awakening, a cultural show celebrating the 205th anniversary of Haiti’s independence presented by the Haitian Student Unity (HSU) group and Illuminous Event Solutions (IES).

The show was opened by host Chris Worrell yelling ‘Where my Haitians at?’ to the audience, and then led into the Haitian National Anthem sung in Creole.

A documentary presentation followed, with a slideshow depicting Haiti through the past and present, contrasting images of the pristine beaches against images of children of extreme poverty, which are commonplace in Haiti, Peter Faiteau, president of HSU said.

‘What the media says about Haiti, that it’s one of the poorest countries in the Caribbean … but at the same time the country itself is so enriched with culture,’ he said. ‘I went there when I was young. I remember chasing chickens, going to the beach. The scenery was beautiful.’

Next was a dance performance, one of five throughout the show, which Faiteau said was popular with the crowd.
‘They loved the dance performances, and people were contacting me for more of their information so they could use the dancers for other events,’ he said.

There were also three mini fashion shows, the first showcasing Haitian designer Nyndia Diligent’s clothing. All of the designers were from Haiti or incorporated Haitian culture into their designs, from the style to the strong colors.
A spoken word segment was next, where Jeffery performed a politically fueled rap in front of a dropdown slideshow displaying images from Haiti.

‘Do you see what I see?’ he asked. ‘Survival of the fittest, survival of the richest.’

Another fashion show followed, showcasing company H-Republik T-shirts in bright colors screened with images and symbols of Haitian culture, which senior finance major Parnel Jospitre enjoyed, and said he would even buy some of the shirts.

‘The fashions were the best part besides the food,’ he said.

The second half followed the same form as the first half, featuring one of the most popular performances, comedian Haitian V, a virtual YouTube star who in his videos sits in front of the Haitian flag discussing everything from Britney Spears to how he doesn’t like that young adults wear sneakers rather than shoes.

‘A lot of people came to just see Haitian V,’ Faiteau said. ‘People really know him especially through YouTube, and people loved him.’

The night was concluded with a spread of three tables covered in traditional Haitian food, which Faiteau said he considered the highlight of the night.

There was a table of main courses, like fried pork, fried beef and fried plantains. Each was on display with the name in Creole, English and a description of the food. Another table was full of desserts, while another had a bunch of different rice dishes and soups. One of the many historic foods was squash soup, which is a symbol of independence and is consumed on the first day of January.

Overall, Faiteau said the show went well, and helped to celebrate Haiti’s independence.

‘We wanted to let everyone know this is Haiti and although it has had its down times, it has so many positive parts,’ he said. ‘A lot of people wanted to learn about the past, of [how Haiti] came to be, and a lot of people left with an education.’

Written by jdunccc

February 22, 2009 at 12:00 am

Posted in The Huntington News

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