Most people would say that it simply means to be born of haitian parents or just to be born in Haiti. For some, it means to display haitian flags in front of their house, on their car, or to speak Haitian Creole (i.e show their pride) everywhere they go. For others, it means to go to Haitians parties, where Haitian bands like T-Vice, Djakout, Carimi, Sweet Mickey are playing all the time (y'ale nan bal tout tan!). Having said that, we would like to pose the following question to all Haitians: Do these actions make you a true Haitian?
To answer this question, we found it wise to look to our founding fathers (Jean Jacques Dessalines, Toussaint Louverture, Capois La Mort, etc.) for a pattern of behavior that constitutes the essence of Haitian citizenship. After all, they founded the state of Haiti and it is through their virtues and character that they managed to acccomplish this historical feat.
Based on a close observation of the character of our forefathers, we have formed a list of criteria that define a true Haitian.
From: Civic Et Morales*
Question: What constitutes the homeland?
Answer: The homeland is the land that my ancestors have left me as heritage. It is my duty to love it and work to its grandeur, and to its prosperity, and, if necessary, I must be ready to die for it.
Civic Et Morales (Civic and Morals) is a textbook used by most elementary schools in Haiti that teaches altruism, patriotism, self-pride, ethics, etc. Hence, most Haitians educated in Haiti are familiar with this particular lesson in the book.