What Is The Most Popular Baby Name
200 years away from home
Polish descendants in Haiti.
Still, after 200 years of independence, in Haitian society, despite what is declared in constitution, race and skin colour still matters, a lot of power lies in the hands of mulattoes, lighter skin almost always means better social status.
Almost, as this is not the case with Polish descendants living in villages such as Cazales. They are often very poor, and this creates opportunity for parents from lighter skinned families in Port Au Prince or even abroad who look for children for adoption. In the mountain dwelling poor families, especially when mother dies at birth, fathers are sometimes willing to give away their children. American charity running this shelter in Cazales persuades them not do it and runs creche where toddlers are taken care of in the first, most difficult period of their life, when fathers would be unable to provide them with proper nutrition and treatment. When they are ready to go back, they usually end up in their own family, and not adopted, which in country of widespread children slavery would sometimes mean very sad childhood.
When after French Revolution changes started to appear in St Domingue, ( former name of Haiti, at that time French colony ) , in 1792, Leger-Felicite Sonthonax was sent to the colony by the French Legislative Assembly as part of the Revolutionary Commission. His main goal was to maintain French control of Saint-Domingue, stabilize the colony, and enforce the social equality recently granted to free people of color by the National Convention of France.
On August 29, 1793, Sonthonax took the radical step of proclaiming the freedom of the slaves in the north province (with severe limits on their freedom). In September and October, emancipation was extended throughout the colony. On February 4, 1794 the French National Convention ratified this act, applying it to all French colonies.
However, not only white plantators but also mixed mulattoes and free men of colour, that were to build future elites of independent state, were opposed to abolition of slavery and fought the French force. Finally, slaves under Toussaint Ouvertoure managed to take control of the whole Hispaniola island and slavery was abolished in 1801.
In the meantime continental France was already ruled by Napoleon, and in 1802 he sent a massive invasion force under his brother-in-law Charles Leclerc in order to take over the island and restore slavery when possible.
The contingent was around 40000 strong and included Polish Legion, army created according to the wishful thinking of Polish soldiers that by helping Napoleon in his wars, freedom will be won for Poland. The slogan of the time was "For yours and our freedom". However, when the Legionnaires realized that the campaign has very little to do with liberating and is actually about enslaving people fighting for their rights, they refused, deserted and in many cases joined the slave army.
The invading army perished anyway due to yellow fever and malaria, and at the same time war resumed between France and Britain, so Napoleon was forced to sell his overseas possessions to USA in Louisiana Purchase.
On January 1, 1804 independent Haiti was declared, remaining colonizers who didnt manage to flee were slaughtered and white people prohibited from possesing property in Haitian soil.
One exception were Polish soldiers, in gratitude for their actions during the war of independence they were allowed to stay and were spared the fate of other whites, which some of them choose , settling in places like Fond des Blanc or Cazales. In isolation for a long time, memory of old traditions and language started to die out, but there is still awareness of their heritage, of being different. This is portrait of Cazales, biggest of those villages, name , as locals believe , originating from popular Polish name Zalewski and creole word Kay. The home of Zalewski, the home of the Polish descendants.
MELBOURNE Zoo's famous baby elephant ONGARD
MELBOURNE Zoo's famous baby elephant will be called Ongard.
Herald Sun readers chose the name - meaning bold and audacious - from five Thai suggestions put up by the zoo.
Zoo curator Jan Steele said it was a fitting name for the four-week-old calf.
She said Ongard had won the hearts of everyone at the zoo and loved to toddle around with his half-sister, Mali.
"He is definitely very bold and audacious. He keeps up with his big sister and he's not quite up to giving back what she gives to him but he stands up to her," she said.
"His mum will intervene periodically and keep things calm between them."
Ongard received 300 more votes than the second-most popular name, Charong (victorious).
The other choices were Kla Han (brave), Han (audacious) and Erawan (a mythical elephant).
Almost 8000 readers voted in the naming competition.
The winner of a trip for two to the Lampang Elephant Conservation Centre in Thailand will be announced at a naming ceremony at the zoo today.
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