I find this story deliciously ironic in light of the much-deserved international outrage that was caused by the recent ruling of the highest court in the Dominican Republic, which rendered far too many Haitian-Dominicans stateless. Well, it turns out that one of the most buzzed about songs in the Dominican Republic and beyond is by one of those very same Haitians that some people in the Dominican Republic seem to have such disdain for.
It all started when Haitian street vendor, Román Dorlean, now known as Rumai, created a catchy little ditty to help sell his palitos de coco (sweets made from coconuts). While he sang the tune he simultaneously tapped out an infectious beat. Some youngsters recorded him doing his routine and put it on YouTube and the rest is as they say, history.
According to El Listin Diario, the song has reached number one in Panama and has fans in Germany, Russia and Switzerland among many other places. There are now several versions of the song with even Merengue superstar Toño Rosario jumping on the bandwagon and belting out his own rendition. Rumai is now an overnight celebrity. You can even cop the song on iTunes. You got to love it…