Do you know that they used to punish my aunt and mom in school for speaking their native cajun french. Now everyone wants to be a Cajun and we are gracious enough to share our culture with the world. Nothing like live Cajun music and a cold beer( or sody pop ) with some good seafood. Don't forget to check out Mcgee's Landing in Henderson, Louisiana when in town. www.mcgeeslanding.com
Yes, I understand the Cajuns were terribly persecuted by those bloody British, like a great many people. As an entranced musician, I am grateful for your willingness to share your culture. But please do not forget that people wanting to share in your wonderful culture, will help your wonderful culture to survive.
gracious? how about "lucky" that people outside of La. care or like the cajun culture enough to come down and spend thier hard earned money to experience our culture, or spend thousands of $$ buying accordions from our cajun artisians.
everyone wants to be cajun now....except the cajuns...try telling that to most of the cajun youth who speak ebonics and listen to rap instead of the own language and music.....
There are campgrounds in the park very close to the location of Balfa camp.
The drive from NOLA can be long if in a hurry. Leave plenty of time and it will be a joy seeing the countryside and visiting places along the way.
If you look at a map you will see that there are two basic routes you can take. I took one there and the other back and saw more great stuff!
P.S. Remember to leave time to stay for the festival right after camp!
why is it not "lucky" that others wish to share your wonderful culture with you?
bon 'tit Cajun toujours !
I too am having to cope with what's Cajun and who can rightfully appropriate the term... (I'm thinking it's less to do with "Lucky" or "Gracious" , than, how you define a community, a culture, tradition, shared values.. etc. ).
I've "experienced" Cajun "culture" whatever, on my stereo, radio, on my plate, on visits to Louisiana, in cyberspace ( like here ) , on Italian trains with my iPod, at home with my Cajun accordions, in France at Festivals where local musical talent rivals the imported "reel laff Keijuns ". It was all called Cajun.
I suspect few, if any of us, on this forum are native Louisianans of Cajun stock, Acadians.. fewer can lasso a definition of Cajun that can stick... but many will admit that the word is now a label: appropriated by many people for very different reasons ( festivals,attitude, lifestyle, hot sauce, whatever ... ).
Personally, I would reserve true Cajun identity to those who can fluently understand AND SPEAK Cajun French, and who use it daily at work and home..with other Cajuns. IMHO, DNA doesn't make one Cajun, ( unless its considered a "race" ).
The creation of meaning through conditions of interdependency : language, music, food, religion, commerce is what defines and furthers any culture.. not merely labelling, or putting up artificial barriers of what does and doesn't belong . I do thinkg that When there is no more Cajun French..we will be living in a Cajun Lite world ! Cajuns can trace their roots historically , like any other ethnic-American group ( who can't? ) .. but without the command of the language we are all Wonder Bread.
Like most of us, I think "Cajun" can be an overused and abused adjective appropriated by marketeers.
Cajun culture has been represented to world via Arhoolie Records, Les Blank Videos documented a bygone Cajun era.. KBON broadcasts worldwide a Louisiana "audio" cultural mix of oldies and classics ... these have been very generous intermediaries.. bringing us the best of a unique American phenomena.. which is everyone's now.. and will, like other American music, become diluted, morphed and will take on multiple identities ( i.e. Soul AND Motown / Bakersfield Sound AND Countrypolitan/ Cajun AND Zydecajun / Norteno Y Conjunto Y Tejano ).
We have "bought into " what we have seen , heard and tasted.. we are all Cajun wannabe's.. clueless "converts" ? dunno. Just think it silly for anyone to have to feel gracious or protective.
roll with the flow, this land is our land .. Glenn
I agree with your thoughts on language.
My home is about an hour and a half from Montreal, 50 minutes to the border. Thank goodness the French speakers in Quebec also realize this and attempt through law to stop the "englishing of quebec." American music and culture is pervasive." Language preserves culture.
Many many cultures have been opressed and it often seems that opression brings about great musical traditions
"for they that carried us away captive required of us a song, saying sing us one of the songs of Zion..."
I have often thought I wanted to be part of another culture
however, if I really think about it, it is not that I want to be part of that culture, I just want to be able to play the music..
When I hear someone wailing tarentellas on the diatonic I want to play that, when I hear great conjunto/tejano I want to play that.
Music can either be racist, as it was in the US for much of our history, or it can break down racial/cultural barriers
Anyway do I want to be a cajun, no thanks then I cound not be black, or mexican, or Italian, or Irish. I just want to be the best musician I can.
As a cajun from Ville Platte responding to the guy who want to find a place to stay for the camp, email me and I can help you with this. There are a couple of little places to stay in nearby Bunkie, which is about 20 miles from "the park" as us locals call it. I can try to get you the number if you need them. I don't know how many "Cajuns" are on this forum, but I want to say that I do enjoy reading this and want you to know that you guys are all honorary cajuns in my book. Look forward to seeing and meeting some of you guys at the camp. Just look for the big guy with the Swallow accordion. Laissez les bon temps rouler!!