Haiti: In Gonaïves, soup joumou only remnant of squashed independence festivities

Beken Petit-Homme, a cultural promoter based in Gonaïves, can’t help but raise his voice in excitement as he discussed ideas for celebrating Haiti’s Independence Day. Most are experiences he enjoyed as a child growing up in the Cradle of Independence — including skits replicating Haitian independence the public can take part in, dancing performances, numerous parades, an Independence Day ball… and so on.

This year, such thoughts of festive performers in folkloric clothes will only remain just that. Ideas locked in Petit-Homme’s mind as, yet again, Gonaïves’s streets will not see the fanfare of yore. Between rising insecurity, political controversies and government officials’ lack of interest, Petit Homme said, nothing major is planned.


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