Arcade Fire: Haiti

An empty sack cannot stand up. – Haïtian proverb

Haïti was the first independent nation in Latin America, the first post-colonial independent black-led nation in the world, the only nation whose independence was gained as part of a successful slave rebellion (22 August 1791). Today it’s the only predominantly Francophone independent nation in the Americas. One of the least developed countries on Earth. Almost totally deforested and heavily eroded, so it doesn’t provide enough food to its population. 55% percent of the population cannot read. 80% live in poverty. An average life-expectancy of 50 years of age. Politically corrupt. In the past decade more than three million Haïtians have left the country. And now, the earthquake that hit Haïti last Tuesday (January 12, 2010) has killed some 40,000 or 50,000 people. Total chaos in the streets, bodies everywhere. In accordance with Voodoo beliefs, the dead must not be buried before mourning ceremonies are completed.  Doctors Without Borders say three of their aid centers are inoperable. Aid from around the world has begun to arrive, but the seaport is badly damaged, the airport has only one runway, the communications system is down, and so food, medicine, and relief workers are delayed. The population is getting very angry. Aid is now a military-style operation. Will Haiti survive as a state?

Arcade Fire: Haïti

Haïti, mon pays,
wounded mother I’ll never see.
Ma famille set me free.
Throw my ashes into the sea.

Mes cousins jamais nés
hantent les nuits de Duvalier.
Rien n’arrete nos esprits.
Guns can’t kill what soldiers can’t see.

In the forest we lie hiding,
unmarked graves where flowers grow.
Hear the soldiers angry yelling,
in the river we will go.

Tous les morts-nés forment une armée,
soon we will reclaim the earth.
All the tears and all the bodies
bring about our second birth.

Haïti, never free,
n’aie pas peur de sonner l’alarme.
Tes enfants sont partis,
In those days their blood was still warm

Thank you to Anna Pires, who posted this video on FB

song of the week :( englisch lernen mit liedern

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Anne

Teaching English for business communication skills, writing online for learners, translating, sailing whenever I can, from Washington, D.C.

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