Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Rigolo Thérapie

This evening, I was doing the supper dishes with another sister as usual and listening to the radio.  And, also as usual, she was listening to a comedy hour and laughing in such a way that my spirits were lifted just listening. It was contagious.  I rarely understand a word of the program, as the Creole is much too fast for me, but the funny voices they use cross the language barrier and make me laugh anyway.  Tonight she explained to me that the radio show is called Rigolo Thérapie - along the lines of laughter being the best medicine - and that it's one of the most popular programs in Haiti. 

I looked it up just now and found an article on it.  Here is a blurb from it for those of you who read French:

Rigolo Thérapie, plus populaire que jamais
26 août 2010

Avant tout de chose, rappelons qu’en Haïti la radio est le média le plus suivi, loin devant la presse écrite et plus encore, de la télévision. A Port-au-Prince, il y a une émission de radio que tout le monde connait. Sa particularité : elle fait rire, beaucoup rire! Et elle permet ainsi d’oublier les difficultés quotidiennes et les catastrophes qui se succèdent dans le pays. Et c’est un grand succès!

Rigolo Thérapie” est une émission quotidienne diffusée en direct, entre 18h et 19h, sur Caraïbes FM. Très populaire avant le tremblement de terre, elle est devenue l’émission incontournable après. Pourquoi ? Parce que les gens avaient besoin d’oublier, de penser à autre chose et surtout, de rire!

...L’émission est née en 2004 en réponse au climat qui régnait alors. Ce fut au moment où Aristide et son gouvernement furent renversés. Le pays vivait une période insurrectionnelle où la population, par peur, restait calfeutrée à la maison. C’est dans ce contexte que Marc Anderson Brégard et Peterson François Junior ont eu l’idée de créer une émission qui avait comme seul objectif de détendre les auditeurs enfermés chez eux.

It says, among other things, that radio is the media most used in Haiti, and that such a comedy program helps in forgetting the daily difficulties and the catastrophes that keep happening again and again.  The article goes on to explain that the comedy program mentioned began during the difficult time in 2004 when people were afraid to go out due to the violence surrounding the political insurrection. There was a clear need to give people something to relax while stuck at home, and so Rigolo Thérapie was born.  Following the earthquake, its popularity skyrocketed.  If ever there were a need...

Rigolo Thérapie comedians
It makes sense to me.  In fact, I wonder if perhaps that is why we laugh so much here.  I noted not long after my arrival that I had laughed more in a week than I had in quite some time at home.  It helps to live with a sister who laughs a lot, of course, but I notice more laughter here in general.  Given the disasters that have happened in the past few years and the ongoing misery, one might expect things here to be done with a heavy heart - and of course they often are.  However, sometimes you either have to laugh or cry, and the choice is to laugh.  It seems to me one more sign of Haitians' resilience that laughter is so often the choice. 

I believe, too, that laughter is a gift of God to us, one more sign of God's love and grace. 

I'm looking forward to laughing even more as my Creole improves. 
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The radio station website, for those of you interested, is

1 comment:

  1. The article is much easier to read than your old finals. I'm glad you are laughing. (and made me laugh today too -- your package and letter came)