I can’t imagine living anywhere but South Louisiana. A few of the more extraordinary things of the area are the FOOD, the music and the people. We have a very unique ‘gumbo’ of traditions from numerous influences.
The original people of this land were the Houmas tribe. Native Americans, they were themselves many different tribes that lived together as one. Then, there was an influx of Spanish, German, and French Canadian people. Their arrival also made a mark on many aspects of our culture and society. The slaves that came to the area with these peoples were of major significance in the creation of our cuisine and music. Of course, with the Port of New Orleans approximately 45 miles from here, there have been many other nationalities that settled in the area.
My heritage on my mother’s side is Cajun French and Native American. Cajun refers to the people of the southern bayou communities of Louisiana, where descendants of French Canadians settled. My father’s family were French, from New Orleans, and German, from Iberville Parish. That gives you an idea of how all of these cultures mesh together.
The dialect here can be somewhat confusing to the ‘outsider’. We may say things like “I got an envie for some crawfish” (hunger), “What’s the bahbin for?” (pouting face), “Stop being a coo-yon” (foolish, stupid) or “mais” (well).
Then there are certain words and phrases you probably won’t recognize… boudin (kind of sausage), boude’ (pout), file’ (dried, powdered, sassafras leaves usually sprinkled on gumbo), hosepipe (water hose), make groceries (buy groceries), tete dure (hard head) and touloulou (fiddler crab).
If you are interested, you can learn more by going to http://www.houmatravel.com.