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  Fasia-nènènnNaturally implied in this frame of mind is the belief that all "Pitit Ginen" (meaning "children of those who came from the Garden of Ancestors"), are children of God. Guinea, Ginen, or Garden of Ancestors are the literal translations for the word AFRICA. "L Afrik-Ginen" is often mentioned in Haiti in reference to that part of the old continent located below the Sahara. "Pitit" means "child of" or "children of", which makes all men and women of African origin "Brothers" and "Sisters", and so, by extrapolation, all the people of the world.

The words "brothers" and "sisters", as they are routinely utilized inLafanmi Haiti, in the United States and among the other Black people of the World, then, are yet other elements of the African cultural characteristics mentioned above. Extending beyond one’s parents’ simple male and female children, they automatically include cousins, other relatives, all those linked by blood ties as well as those who do not share any blood ties at all. What really matters is that they are all children of God, Pitit Ginen, human beings.

 

An outstanding feature in this form of thought is tmvc-020f.jpg (60752 octets)he ubiquitous sense of family, "pitit vant", which translates literally as "those who came from the same belly" in case they have the same mother, or "san mwen" meaning "those (who shares) my blood", in case they have the same father. It is a matter of common knowledge that when Africans speak of their families as "pitit vant" or "san mwen", they are not, once again, necessarily referring to their nuclear families, i.e. spouses and children, but rather to the extended immediate families which comprise a large number of blood relatives able to trace their origins to a common ancestor.

 

Toward those special members, generally regrouped in a specific geographical location called "Lakou" in Haiti and "Bayou" in New Orleans - Bayou meaning (our home in the) swamp area -, one feels linked by a sense of interdependence, moral obligation, mutual helpfulness and concern for the well-being of each and every member of that society, regardless of age, sex or even religion. All the members of a Lakou or Bayou are brought up to think of themselves, always and primarily, in relation to the group, to seek to bring honor and respect upon it, and to work towards maintaining the place’s members’ cohesion. This of course defines a certain sense of Ethics which may be called, by lack of a better term, Ethics of Responsibility.

 

Nan Lakou-a"Vwazinaj se fanmi", is a common saying in the Creole language of Haiti, reminding everyone imperatively that neighbors are (also) members of the family and "manje kwit pa gen mèt", meaning that once cooked, all food should be shared amongst all those present. "T.M.F.P.V or Tout Moun Fèt Pou Viv": such is simply stated Haitian people’s philosophy of life. By this is meant that Life (a gift of God) is a gift made by God to all human beings. Everyone has the innate right to existence and no one, under any pretext, has the right to remove it from him or from her. Thus, the sanctity of the human life is consecrated.

 

For, after all, human beings must have their Lives before any other rights become meaningful. One may speak about the right to nourishment, to free speech, to one’s opinion, to practice the religion of one’s choice, to political participation, and so on. But, all these rights are pure demagogy when the right to exist doesn’t precede. Wherever and however it occurs, the destruction of human life is totally unacceptable and morally reprehensible

se mwen.gif (94277 octets)


 

 

© Max G. Beauvoir - 1998 - 2006

all  reproduction is strictly forbidden without express authorization

Author : Max-G Beauvoir
THETEMPLEY@aol.com
Tel :  (509) 458 1500
Le Péristyle de Mariani, Mariani, Haiti

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