By Rachele Viard

Last month, Haiti’s participation in Carifesta XIV left an indelible impression in Trinidad and Tobago, the host country of the largest biannual cultural rendezvous of the region.  From the opening parade which took place from Aug. 16 to Aug. 22. Haiti’s diverse culture, artistry and creativity came to life and fascinated audiences.  

Under the theme The Spirit of Wild Oceans, a beautiful multifaceted production deeply rooted in history and symbolism unfolded, showcasing the many cultural similarities that unite the Caribbean through dance, poetry, and color.  

It was the perfect segue for the Parade of Nations, Haiti’s delegation comprised of dancers from the country’s premier dance troupes were dressed in traditional “affranchi” dress designed by Reedtz Rosembert made their way across the stage to Haitian superstar J. Perry’s Dekole. The evening set the tone for what turned out to be an exciting experience at Carifesta XIV.

For the first time, the spectacular opening ceremony and several other events were seen live in Haiti.  Jean Michel Lapin, Minister of Culture and Communication, deemed that it was important that Haiti not only participate in this cultural event, but felt it necessary for the nation to live the experience as well.  Haitian pride resonated not only in Trinidad, but also in Haiti and in the diaspora.

Born into a Haitian family in Stone Mountain GA. , Rachele visited Haiti several times in her youth and connected to the country and the culture. She moved to Haiti in 2009, where she put her English degree to use as a writer, using her voice and pen to promote tourism in the country and highlight the richness of the Haitian culture and people.

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