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Commentary: The women from Jacmel and the men from the north of Haiti
Published on February 15, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Jean H Charles

On this day of February 14, dedicated to lovers, or the day when boys meet girls, I am taking delight in presenting my empirical observation on the men and the women of Haiti, in particular those men from the North and the women from Jacmel who make the cut in being the best that you may find in the country.

Jean H Charles LLB, MSW, JD is a syndicated columnist with Caribbean News Now. He can be reached at: and followed for past essays at Caribbeannewsnow/Haiti
By being so presumptuous in preempting the women from Jacmel and the men from the North, I am taking the risk of getting thunder from the women and the men from other parts of Haiti, but may the best lead the pack so we may have a propensity of good men and good women from all over Haiti!

The men from the north of Haiti have a reputation of being attentive, good lovers, generous and excellent mates, albeit prone to scenes of jealousy, in particular those who are uneducated. Whether this is true or not, it is a myth that goes well beyond the borders of Haiti to cover the entire Diaspora in the United States, Canada, France and the Caribbean islands.

The men from Haiti, in general, might be considered some of the best in the Caribbean. I rate them directly behind the men of Trinidad and Tobago that I found the best that a woman anywhere can get their hands on: gregarious, generous, they are good companions for either men or women. I can recall with good feelings my own companion Eddy Harper from Trinidad and Tobago with whom I have travelled all over the world, staying in all the Club Meds from Morocco to Brazil, discovering the mores and the people in excellent companionship, laughing and learning all the way through.

Haiti, in spite of the primacy of men in politics and in business, is a matriarchal society, where the women have the upper hand in educating the children. As in the Chinese tradition or the Italian one, the Haitian mothers tend to favor the boys over the girls, as such spoiled boys become nice gentlemen when becoming adults.

And why the men from the North might lead the pack? It may have some resonance in history. The optimum birthing of Haiti was interrupted by the early assassination of its founder father Jean Jacques Dessalines and, as a precocious child deprived of the tender upbringing of his parents, Haiti’s early years were tumultuous, and its citizens grew up without the proper sense of citizenship.

Those from the North were luckier. They received the rudiments of apprenticeship to nation building through Uncle King Henry Christophe, who led that part of the island with an iron hand, but also with the affection of a father, for almost fifteen years. As such the traditions of gentlemen and aristocratic manners lingered around for generations.

Is it true today? The jury is still open. The last quarter of century in Haiti liberalization from dictatorship since 1986 brought with it (using the political term) the lavalas of taste or the mass of those who prefer the lowest standard of behavior as the yardstick for themselves and for their dealings with others.

So while the good repute of the men from the North is still a good passport to get girls, meeting the high standard of what it takes to be a gentleman from a man of the North, one might have to look into a haystack to find such a man.

If there are questions marks about the men from the North, the girls from Jacmel maintain their good repute as extraordinary beautiful, excellent mate, and strong women. Why it is as such?

Their beauty derives from the corridor of the southeast of Haiti going from Jacmel all the way towards Leogane, where there was a reservoir of Indian descent. Proud daughters of the queen Anacaona who defied the Spanish conquistadors, the women from the Jacmel corridor exhibit the regal look of the woman from Trinidad, the courteous manner and the supportive hand of a mate from Jamaica that makes men go places and experience ecstasy.

Do not take me at my word; visit Jacmel for the Pre-Carnival celebration which hopefully will become an international event on the Sunday before the three days of Carnival debauchee. It will happen on Sunday, February 23, 2014. The theme this year is: “Tet Kole pou yon ayiti pi jam” or “Head together for a stronger Haiti”.

I will be there, see you then! Maybe we might both come back with a lady from Jacmel! And stay in Haiti, away from the frigid cold weather of the northeast of the United States, because in the following week, in the north of Haiti the city of Gonaives is hosting the Haiti National Carnival on Sunday, Monday and Fat Tuesday that fall on 2nd, 3rd and 4th of March 2014. Band together, single ladies of the world, the men of the North of Haiti promise you a carnival filled with chivalry, with a life pregnant with good living on the horizon!
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