Once upon a time, there was a brother named Junior and a sister named Roseline. They were from Haitian heritage, but they lived in the United States.
Every New Year’s Day, since they were little, Junior and Roseline would wake up early in the morning and together with their mother, father and grandparents prepare squash soup. It was their favourite tradition, and they looked forward to it all year long. The soup was very healthy and flavourful filled with potatoes, squash, meat and other tasty ingredients. It took a long time to prepare, but this time was filled with joy and laughter as everybody hustled around the kitchen.
One year, as they sat down to eat their soup, their mother and father told them the story of the Haitian New Year’s tradition of eating soup joumou.
“Many years ago,” their mother began, “Haiti was a colony of France. The people of Haiti were not allowed to eat soup joumou, because it was considered a luxury food reserved only for the wealthy French. The wealthy French were often plantation owners and the slaves would prepare the soup for them. But on the day of Haiti’s independence in 1804, the people of Haiti celebrated by making and eating soup joumou to show that they were now free and equal to the French. And every year since then, we have continued this tradition on New Year’s Day to remember our history and our freedom.”
Junior and Roseline listened intently to their parents’ story, and they realized that the soup they loved so much was much more than just a tradition. It was a symbol of hope, resilience, and pride in their Haitian heritage.
From that day on, every time they ate soup joumou on New Year’s Day, they remembered the story of their ancestors and the importance of the tradition. And they were grateful for the freedom and equality that they enjoyed in their own lives and they felt proud of their heritage and the strong tradition. As the kids grew up and had families of their own, they still always came together on New Year’s Day to prepare the soup as a family and share stories of the past, so the new generation will remember the importance of the tradition.