I don’t often write an entire post around a video, but I found this video to be interesting. If you are interested in learning about the Dominican Culture and people this video does a great job of describing the views of Dominican toward their culture and heritage.

It is interesting to note that the Dominicans are not the indigenous people of this island; this goes the same for the Haitians. Both are actually a mix of Africans that were brought in as slaves and French for Haiti and Spain for the Dominican Republic.

Even with this heritage in mind, Dominicans do not count themselves as black. This is a description that they use to describe Haitians. The term Dominicans usually use to describe themselves is mulatto.

This video starts off illustrating the current relationship between the Dominican Republic and Haiti with the daily exodus from Haiti over to the Dominican Republic to sell items in the Markets and Flea Markets. The Majority of the items brought over are items donated to Haiti (especially clothing and shoes from the US), which are sold to the more affluent (in comparison) Dominicans.

This video also alludes to the tensions between Dominicans and Haitians. Even the Haitians that were born here and have lived here all their lives are looked down on and considered illegal. There are often protests and other actions against the Haitians living here. Most of the Haitians living in my area will not even look you in the eye when you pass and are kind of shocked when you say hi in passing, which is the custom here when passing any Dominican.

There is also an interesting explanation of how Merengue came into existence. This is about an hour long video but I found it to be interesting and well worth the time.