Why Soup?

  • Posted on: 1 January 2009
  • By: Bryan Schaaf
Blog Tags 2 Terms: 

January 1st in Haiti is Independence Day and everywhere in the country Haitians drink pumpkin soup. Bourik (BOS) asks a few Haitian's about pumpkin soup's significance on this day.



BOS: What is the history of having pumpkin soup every January 1st in Haiti?
ML: I don’t know.
BOS: But you do have soup every New Year, yes?
ML: Yes. I only know that since I was born every New Year my mother would make soup on New Year’s Day and we’d drink it.
BOS: But why?
ML: I don’t know but as my mother made it I continue to make it for my house.

BOS: So I thought Haitians eat soup each January 1st for good luck.
G: No. If we did we’d have a lot of luck. Because I drink it very early. This morning I drank soup  at 4:30 am and later when I go home I’ll drink soup again. But I don’t have any luck. And look at Haiti. We all drink soup but Haiti has no luck.
BOS: Then why do you drink it?
G: Because since I was born my family out in Jeremie made it every New Year’s Day for us and we’d drink it. So I guess because its tradition.

BOS: Where did you grow up?
B: Jacmel.
BOS: In Jacmel?
B: No, in LaValle.
BOS: In LaValle?
B: No, in Griden
BOS: Did you start drinking soup there?
B: Yes, every January 1st.
BOS: Is it something religious? Does it bring good luck?
B: No, luck comes with St. Jean Baptiste. His festival is June 24th.
BOS: Is St. Jean Baptiste in the soup perhaps because I always thought Haitian’s drank soup for good luck?
B: No, St. Jean Baptiste isn’t in the soup.

BOS: Happy New Year. Did you drink your soup today?
Z: Happy New Year, prosperity, longevity! Yes, I drank twice today. And when I go home later I’ll drink soup again.
BOS: Why do Haitians drink soup? Is it for good luck to start the new year?
Z: No, it isn’t for good luck. Generations past have always drunk soup on New Year’s Day. It’s a tradition?
BOS: Since the days of slavery. We celebrate liberty on Januray 1st and we do that with soup to eat. We make lots of soup and we give it to our neighbors and they give it to us. We eat soup all day long.

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