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25209: Black (comment) smiling children (fwd)
From: john black <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I have to echo Kathleen's comment.
I can't recall ever encountering a Haitian child with
downcast eyes. Perhaps at home they are trained to
show respect to their parents in this manner. To a
blan (this one anyway) they show respect by making eye
contact and volunteering a courteous greeting - and
then win me over by projecting the most welcoming of
How odd it felt, that first time, strolling up the
road past Kenscoff to Furcy in early morning as
everyone else was coming down - each and every one
with a lilting Bonjou. How much more odd it felt being
home again where strangers pass in the street, each
looking past or down-and-away.
I mentioned this to a Haitian friend here. He told me
Haitian children are taught this way - to greet every
one they pass in the street. It's not that doing so is
considered polite - failure to do so is considered
rude. "Word got back to my Mother that I'd not said
hello to my cousin that day," he said, "and she made
me walk right over to his house to apologize."
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