My Global Food Challenge

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Zip Facts about Haiti:

  • Haiti, from the Taino Indian word Ayiti meaning “mountainous country,” is the second largest island in the Caribbean, with calcareous (lime) instead of volcanic mountains, a tectonic fault line running through the country, and within the Caribbean hurricane belt
  • In 1804, Haiti became the first independently black-ruled nation in the world with the expulsion of the French. In 1987, a new constitution was adopted and Kreyol replaced French as the primary official language.  Kreyol has the pronunciation and vocabulary of French but the syntax of other creole languages
  • Rural gender roles may not be what they appear to outsiders, men plant the gardens, but women own and market the harvest, thereby controlling the husband’s earnings
  • Who needs a gold standard when you can have a gourd standard. In 1807, President Christophe declared all gourds state property and made them the base of national currency
  • It is believed that Haitians love to gamble, luck depends on the fancy of the gods, who may be encouraged to reveal winning lottery numbers

Haiti Women Moon art3Jean-René Jérôme, “Woman Moon” (1984)

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Zip Facts about Liberia:

  • Despite the majority population from the original sixteen groups of the Niger-Congo family that constitute Liberia’s oldest inhabitants, the name (from the English “liberty”), the official language, the economy, the government and its borders, originated with a colony of repatriated free black Americans in the early nineteenth century
  • The pygmy hippopotamus makes its home in Liberia’s Sapo National Park
  • Rice is the main staple in the entrée dish, meat or fish is considered an ingredient or garnish in the rice bowl in everyday meals
  • The Melegueta Coast of Liberia is named for its melegueta pepper (substitutes for black pepper but comes from the ginger family), not to be confused for the malagueta pepper, a chili pepper in South and Central American cuisine
  • Marriage in Liberia is usually through the process of bridewealth, with payments made over years and solidified through the birth of children. Marriage can be polygynous and patrilocal, men could have more than one “country wife” through bridewealth and a “ring wife” who lives with him in their residence. Women could opt out of unwanted marriages by paying back the bridewealth

Liberia lumeh liberia 2

Leslie Lumeh

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