Independence day in Haiti is an important holiday. We celebrate it on January 1, the same day as New Year's Day.
On January 1, 1804, Haiti, located in the West Indies, made history by being the first Black Country to gain its independence. Haiti's original name was "Ayiti, Quisqueya, Bohio." It was a name given by the original inhabitants who lived there. After Christopher Columbus discovered the Island in 1492, he named it "Hispaniola," meaning "Little Spain," in honor of the Spanish crown. The name changed to "Haiti" meaning mountainous land. It was a name given by the French settlers in the western area.
Toussaint L'Ouverture who is one of the greatest heroes, led his country to victory over French general Le Clerc in a revolution of the slaves. It wasn't only Toussaint L'Ouverture that helped with the victory. There were many other generals, too.
Francois Capois was the leader of the "Bataille de vertiere." Even though they shot his hat off his head, he said, "En avant , En avant."
Many of the generals died by fighting for the independence, Most of them didn't see the first independance day.They were brave and zealous to serve their country and they hoped that one day they would be free.
When the French were in control, they had a law said that they were the only ones who could eat soup because they were in the upper class. The French used to have a custom that only they could eat soup on New Year's Day. Blacks weren't allowed.
Eventually when Haiti proclamed its independence, all Haitians started to eat soup.It was a way to demonstrate that everyone was equal. Since then we keep this custom of eating soup on Independence Day. The soup was a symbol that the French were no longer in control. People didn't like to be treated like slaves and to be told what they could and couldn't do. Cooking and eating the soup on New Year's Day is a way to celebrate freedom.
Copyright Silver International Newspaper 2002 (This page was created by Fortune DJenonyombaye.)