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Did you know that today’s Haitian culture is a mix of beliefs and customs of many different ones - the African slaves that worked there for the French colony, the colonialists themselves, native local people and also… Polish solders!
Till today, missionares coming to Haiti say that the local community there has a tendency of combining together christian saints and biblical characters with their own non christian ones. Such a combination happened even to Saint Mary, whose paining was brought to Haiti by the Polish solders at the beginning of the XIXth century. The image of the holy Jasna Góra’s Mary was associated with Erzulie Dantor, one of the most important voodoo cult goddess – the goddess of fertility and love, but also jealousy and revenge. What brought those two together? The scar on her face, tragically lost child that she’s holding and most of all… her black skin colour.
Most of the tangible cultural heritage of the descendants of those Polish solders has been distroyed in 1969, during the slaughter that the terrible Haitian dictator, François Duvalier, organised in Cazale. And when 14 years later, this troubled country visited Polish Pope – John Paul II, on the Port-a-Prince Airport he was greeted by the group of black Poles waving white and red flags to him, saying “we are all Polish and we need to help each other!”. And in the north-western parts of Haiti you can still hear the saying „M-ap Fe Krakow” - “I do like in Krakow” - which means you’re doing something very well!