students in Haiti, traffic in Haiti,
High schoolers share the road with vehicles in a street in Cap-Haitien. Photo by Onz Chery for The Haitian Times

CAP-HAITIEN — First Black Republic, griyo, soup joumou on January First, even political instability are among the first thoughts that come to mind when Haitians abroad think of the homeland. But as ongoing crises have led to a decline in travel to Haiti in recent years, certain social mores common in Haiti might cause some Haitians living abroad to do a double-take. 

As part of The Haitian Times’ special coverage of 2022 Haitian Heritage Month, here’s a list of such notable sights seen in day-to-day life from an observer, yours truly, on a walk in Cap-Haitien. Some are quirky, others ingenious. All are sure to surprise, if not shock, some compatriots outside of Haiti. 

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Onz Chery is a Haiti correspondent for The Haitian Times. Chery started his journalism career as a City College of New York student with The Campus. He later wrote for First Touch, local soccer leagues in New York and Elite Sports New York before joining The Haitian Times in 2019.