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Fault LinesViews across Haiti's Divide$
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Beverly Bell

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452123

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452123.001.0001

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Hold Strong

Hold Strong

The Pros and Pitfalls of Resilience

(p.168) 21 Hold Strong
Fault Lines

Beverly Bell

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the pros and pitfalls of resilience shown by Haitians in the post-earthquake period. Haiti serves as a reminder of the remarkable capacity of humanity to survive, create positive change, sustain culture, and hold joy. Courage, resistance, and survivability are among the most valued traits of the people of Haiti, both in the personal and the political. The highest compliment you can give a woman in the movement is to call her a fanm vanyan, a strong woman. An expression used often and with great pride is Nou se wozo, nou pliye nou pa kase (We are bamboo, we bend but we don't break). Haitians are extremely proud of turning something meager into a great resource. Degaje is a verb that roughly translates as deploying ingenuity and creativity. This chapter considers how resilience can be a double-edged sword: while foreigners often praise Haitians for being resilient, everyone seems to be taking advantage of that resilience.

Keywords:   resilience, Haiti, earthquake, courage, survivability, degaje, ingenuity, creativity

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