Le premier janvier 2007 ramènera encore une fois la célébration de l'Indépendance d'Haïti. Au cours de cette journée qui sera marquée par des fêtes publiques et privées, il y a un lien, un lien de sang je dirais, qui s'accrochera d'un nombril haïtien à un autre nombril haïtien : ce lien je l'appelle la Soupe au giraumont. En effet, cette soupe sera servie dans presque tous les foyers haïtiens, que ce soit en Haïti ou dans la Diaspora haïtienne, partagée d'un seuil à l'autre dans des bols qui reflètent en quelque sorte la classe sociale des familles du pays. Certains vont jusqu'à l'appeler la Soupe de l'Indépendance. D'autres essaient de comparer cette soupe nationale au repas traditionnel de dinde que les Américains consomment durant le jour de Thanksgiving
Comme tout repas de tradition, la soupe au giraumont n'a pas apparemment évolué dans sa préparation depuis ce jour où notre fondateur de la patrie, Jean-Jacques Dessalines l'incorpora dans le menu officiel de la première célébration officielle de l'Indépendance le 1er janvier 1804 dans la ville des Gonaives.. Comme tout repas traditionnel, la soupe joumou, que les français appelleraient peut-être la soupe au potiron, a aussi sa petite histoire si ce n'est sa grande.
Voici ce que j'ai pu amasser pour vous en fait de culture, d'histoire et de commentaires en rapport avec ce repas qui quand même rappelle à nous tous qu'en ce jour de l'Indépendance nos nombrils sont attachés les uns aux autres en tant que fils et filles d'Ayiti Toma.
(EN Haut: Photo du giraumont, empruntée de Lemane Vaillant, un membre de HC)
Le point de départ de toute connaissance est le questionnement, en individu ou citoyen sensé
Vous devriez questionner la dimension historique de la soupe de l'independance appellée de nos jours Soupe au Giraumont.
Ce repas a été invité par Madame Marie Claire Heureuse Félicité Bonheur, la femme de Dessalines en tant que chercheuse en nutrition elle rechercha un repas qui peut tenir les anciens esclaves pendant plusieurs jours sans avoir le besoin de manger, sa recherche était vaine pourtant elle a trouvé une recette qui ne peut pas éliminer la faim mais tenir les esclaves pendant huit jours avec tout ce qu'ils avaient besoin pour leur besoin nutritifs, C'est ainsi elle a trouvé le giraumont vivre excellent incomparable pour ses
reserves nutritifs, d'ailleurs très utile de nos jours pour le sideens, le radis, le percil, le poireau, le malanga, l'oignon etc. qui compose l'execellent plat appellé Soupe de l'Indépendance depuis ce jour consommée par les ayitiens chaque 1er Janvier.
Jean Enock Joseph
On est Ayitien la soupe de l'indépendance est pour nous ce que la dinde est pour les américains.,
Retenons notre identité sans nous connaitre on ira nul part il faut commencer à nous connaitre d;abord en tant que peuple pour pouvoir nous extirper de cette impasse.
Recherche effectuée à la fondation Marie Claire Heureuse Felicite Bonheur, dirigée par Bayinah
Il y aussi une autre "légende" à propos de l'origine du "Soup Joumou" du 1er Janvier.
C'était que les maîtres ne permettaient pas aux esclaves de consommer le joumou, durant la période de l'esclavage.
Donc au repas du 1er Janvier à la Place d'Armes des Gonaives, Dessalines avait spécifiquement demandé que le Joumou soit ajouté à la soupe donnée à ses troupes le Jour de l'Indépendance.
D'où la tradition! (auteur inconnu)
Revolution, Independence, and the New Year:
Haiti's Soup Joumou (e-SoupSong 32: December 1, 2002)
ONCE UPON A TIME, the people of Haiti had special cause to celebrate on New Year's Day. It was January 1, 1804, and after a savage 13-year struggle against their French masters, they had at last achieved independence.
What better way to celebrate than with the very soup they had been forbidden as slaves to eat? Ahhh, soup made from joumou, the delicious and aromatic pumpkin, so different from their usual daily allotment of precisely one ounce of salted meat or fish and one bottle of lemonade. During the independence celebration that happy day, so the story goes, a huge kettle of pumpkin soup was made in the city of Gonaïves, and everyone present was served a bowl. Why? A special communion to forever forge the bonds of brotherhood and commit to a bright national future.
I wish it had been that easy.
Haiti: that "pearl of the Antilles"; that "only successful slave uprising in the history of the world"; that "eldest daughter of France and Africa" that rejected its European heritage--it hasn't been an easy road. In fact, it's been said that far more blood has spilled there than sweat, and there's no counting the buckets of sweat that were shed by 700,000 slaves over 100 years on some 7,000 sugar, coffee, cocoa, cotton, and indigo plantations.
What nation today is routinely excluded from travel guides on the Caribbean? Haiti.
What nation has the lowest literacy rate in the Americas? Haiti.
What people, caught in the crosshairs of historical karma and environmental disaster, have the lowest daily calorie intake in the western hemisphere? Haitians.
From the time King Ferdinand of Spain congratulated Columbus on his Christmas day landfall near Cap Haï´©en then declared open season on West Africans for his New World sugar plantations there, Haiti has been a land of warm and gracious people racked by violence and suffering.
Here's some history behind that heavily symbolic kettle of new year's soup: After the 1492 landfall, Spain stayed long enough to kill off the native Arawaks with Old World diseases, import sugar cane cuttings from the Canary Islands, and establish plantations with African slaves...but then left Haiti to the French in 1697 (Peace of Ryswyck) when she found easier pickings elsewhere in the New World.
France wasted no time. Under Kings Louis XIV, XV, and XVI, she transformed those depopulated mountains and valleys into cash crop factories of sugar, indigo, and cotton. How? With 2,500 African slaves in 1698...that jumped to 10,000 in 3 years...and to over 500,000 by 1791--culled largely from tribes in Congo, Angola, Dahomey, Guinea, and Senegal. Their treatment was so horrific, so inhuman, that I haven't the heart to tell. They died like flies and had to be constantly replaced by new shipments from Africa.
So what happened in 1789 when the French people rose up and proclaimed Liberté! Egalité! Fraternité!? After all, the French National Assembly's Declaration of the Rights of Man clearly stated, "Men are born and remain free and equal in rights."
Oh, well. Ahem. National Assemblymen in Paris said, oh yes, we guess that means Haiti too...or at least the freed mulattoes there, those fine sons of Frenchmen and their African slaves. No way, said the racist colonialists in Haiti--and they conducted such a tough lobby that the National Assembly reversed itself in 1791.
Haiti's mulattoes could not believe their ears. It was the last straw. They immediately joined their education, knowledge, and considerable military experience to those 500,000 enslaved Africans--and Haiti exploded in revolt. In August 1791, Vodou priest Boukman Duffy convened slave rebel leaders in the forest overlooking Le Cap. Illuminated by flashes of lightening, they made incantations...they slit the throat of a pig and drank its blood...and they formally swore death to all blancs, which they carried out to the letter with pruning hooks, machetes, and fire. In November, Louis-Jacques Bauvais' mulatto troops attacked and burned Port-au-Prince, slaughtering whites wherever they found them. They sported white ears as cockades in their caps and committed atrocities against women and children I just don't have the heart to tell.
And that was just the start.
Great leaders arose to lead the revolution. Ill-fated Toussaint L'Ouverture, who died in a French prison lamented by poet Wordsworth: "Thy friends are exultations, agonies/And love, and man's unconquerable mind." Henri Christophe. Jean-Jacques Dessalines. And these former slaves led their people first against their colonial masters, in the name of the French Republic. Then against Spain and England, who pounced, chops slavering, when they saw the Pearl of the Antilles slipping from French hands. Then, finally, against France herself, when First Consul Napoleon sent brother-in-law Leclerc and 55,000 crack officers and men instructed to, as he confided to foreign minister Talleyrand, annihilate the government of blacks in Haiti and restore slavery at the first opportunity. "Rid us of these gilded Africans," Napoleon later said, "and we shall have nothing more to wish."
Thirteen long years, all told, of tit-for-tat torched cities, slit throats, scorched earth, attacks, betrayals, mass executions, sieges, torture, encirclements, and despair, not to mention 10,000 deaths from malaria and yellow fever. Dessalines' ultimate winning strategy: koupe tèt, boule kay, cut off the heads, burn down. In the end, some 300,000 Haitians died and 50,000 French--and in the end, the French were defeated. General Rochambeau was given 10 days to pack up his army and ship home.
Which brings us back, harrowed, to the dawn of 1804 and that kettle of soup joumou.
When the last French ship had cleared Le Cap, Dessalines sent word to Gérin at Les Cayes: "There is no more doubt, mon cher général, the country is ours, and the famous who-shall-have-it is settled." In Gonaïves, he divided up the war chest--8 gourdes per man; he dispersed his army to the principal towns; and he sat down with his generals "to ratify in ink what they had written in blood."
On January 1, 1804, people started gathering at dawn at Gonaï¶¥s' Place d'Armes. Dessalines mounted the Autel de la Patrie to speak. He recited the cruelties of their enslavement in Kreyol, so everyone could understand him, and he declared that Haitians would forever after live free and die free. "Long live independence!" he shouted at the end of the ceremony, having no idea what a difficult life it would be. Cannons were fired; church bells, rung; people cheered; and, they say, kettles of fragrant soup joumou perfumed the air, ready to be ladled up in a mass communion.
It's a great image. No wonder this soup has become the touchstone of Haiti's fervent wish for peace and freedom--its symbol of communion and brotherhood--a beacon that shines through today's dark days of poverty and continuing political strife. One thing is sure, on January 1, Haitians around the world make it and eat it and share it precisely to remember the past and to hope for the future.
Oh, and there are lots of other stories about soup joumou too. Some say, pure and simple, it's a good luck charm for the new year--and you better eat it cause it's bad luck if you don't. Others say, no, it's really to cleanse and purify the body for the new year...and don't eat anything else til midnight, when you can eat an orange and count your luck in the coming year by its number of seeds. Others yet say it honors the Vodou god Papa Loko, keeper of African spiritual traditions, and that it reliably "lifts up a man's soul and makes him prophesy."
There's something to that last comment. This is a fabulous stuffed soup--bright yellow-orange and sensuously African with an opulence of meat, vegetables, and the Caribbean bite of lime and chilis. In Kreyol, you'd say it was stuffed with vyann, joumou, kawot, seleri, zanyon, nave, pomdete, malanga, and shou...and spiced with piman bouk, ten, lay, and sitwon.
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