Haitian First Lady, Martine Moise, is in New Orleans, to celebrate the city's Tricentennial anniversary

Posted by hougansydney.com on Sunday, April 22, 2018 Under: Diplomacy

The First Lady of Haiti, Martine Moise, was among the dozens of dignitaries invited to New Orleans, to celebrate this Saturday, April 21, the City’s Tricentennial anniversary.

"Your countries did more than just influence the history of New Orleans. The traditions your ancestors brought with them remain ingrained in the fabric of this city today," said New Orleans Governor John Bel Edwards, at the opening ceremony.

New Orleans’ Architecture, culture, religion, language, cuisine and even music were all directly influenced by Haitian migration, when the city and Saint Domingue (today Haiti) were possessions of the French Empire until the early 19th century. Tens of thousands of people fled Saint Domingue to New Orleans when the Haitian Revolution broke out in 1791. In fact, the majority of the inhabitants of New Orleans can trace their ancestries back to Haiti. 

And it wasn’t just white people who fled — a lot of enslaved and free people of color went with white Haitians to New Orleans, either with their master, or to escape the violence and turmoil that was happening on the island. When the revolution finally ends, Napoleon realizes he’s spread too thin. He decides to forget about Haiti, and double down on Europe. This led to the Louisiana Purchase.  

When you walk in the streets of New Orleans, you can still see Haitian influence everywhere, even though the city does not boast a large number of Haitian migrants. Creole and French are still spoken there and Vodou remains one of the most popular religion in the city.

The First Lady of Haiti spoke of the cultural and historic bond between her country and the city.

"Bonds formed of shared blood and experiences. Some experiences very painful, and others full of hope," First Lady Martine Moise said.

In : Diplomacy