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What's in a Cajun? Culture - Mind Set - Heart and CHICKEN

There are many new people on this Brave Net discussion board (some interesting re-visits I can assure you). Many that use to post have yielded to newer entrants and so the evolution of changing thoughts and growing ideas continue to pop.

While it is true that most live outside of the confines of Louisiana, there are continued folks that are within (make sense?)and some I read about can appear grumpy and perhaps invaded or guarded in some goofy way (rare but it happens).
Then there are others that are fostering a good will and represent their culture (perhaps French heritage)in the likeness of an ambassidor of sorts on this musical forum, Kodos to them that do, I admire that human trait.

Glen brings up some very interesting and vital points re: what constitutes a Cajun.

Ironically, in my particular instance.... I recieve far more phone calls and continued good corrispondence from French speaking cultural Cajuns and Creoles, than I do from those termed "Le American." Why is that? Beats me all to pieces, but then I never really attempted to analize it, till this particular "Lucky" thing popped up. Perhaps in some odd ball courious way, Cajuns and Creoles I have known (and still know) are just as courious about me as I may be about them (perhaps), as we all have a story to tell and life experiences to share in a positive way or another... Let's call it human awareness and growth; Sound Ok?

So here less than a week ago:
Got a phone call from Goldman Thibodeaux checking up on Linda and I (that's what humans do for no particular reason or motive). We got off on matters of talking about grand kids (and other things) not eating the dang chicken that Ms. T. would go out, ring their necks, scald em, pluck em, skin em , cook em and eat them, sorta thing (you get the picture a PETA nightmare). Why the heck would they? Too gross? We laughed a dandy belly laugh over that one, perhaps because it shows how matters do change, even in Louisiana and other places as well. Kids are same everywhere for what they are (kids), programmed to acciept or not acciept, chicken or anything else.

So what's it all about?

Well, I once thought (long ago) that if there was one particular culture that I would love to be adopted into it would be "Cajun." This was long before there was any notion or influence of music for what it was or is. The more I wanted, the less I understood it seemed,and, the further I seemed to be from what it was I thought I wanted.

While in Louisiana, I have encountered some of the hard core Creeps (both Cajun and Creole) that had the potential of totally re-arranging my feelings of people of this specific culture. I fully understood then (as I do now) that there are jerks everywhere I have traveled (I have been around horn and down the pike so to speak). Shucks take it further; If I (or anyone else)studied or examined the media history of the alledged great state of La, you or I would mostly conclude that it is a sad state of affairs, oozing with corruption, crime and poverty and gob of things that bite sting annoy and otherwise bug the snot out of a normal person.
What I do know, is that these less than adaquate attributes seem to exist across the nation and within every culture or race of being... and it may not be a fair assessment on matters dealing with all the good aspects or good folks near and far housing common sense from every economic and social walk.

Now it was mentioned that there was down trodden, punished French speaking persons of an old age generation that suffered. That may be a very well a true thing... but if you dwell on these negative things of old , then you may wind up being one of the creeps that keeps knocking off the scab on that wounded hand long ago... get over it and live (I mean really live), no time like the presant to build bridges and get past it (while it is ok to remember so as not to repeat it). Suffering is not limited to a specific people or culture, it does not always represent the good of a particular culture that has the ability to rise above it all and gain new found freedoms even in a simple life style, and not necessarily cramming something down your throat.

Be who you are and find the good with people (all people). Acciept the fact that if you are just a mere Le American interested and sincere with Cajun or Creole people, and, one that can simply be human and laugh at the insane world of Creeps and Kooks and indifferance, the cultural door tends to open much easier for you to live, learn and understand this very differant segment of cultural variation. Some call it heart. Some call it the Cajun way. No matter what ya call or how ya cut up that dang ole chicken, it all comes down to being simply who you are as a human being. Just save me the feet and I'll flip ya for that gizzard, oh and pass the potatoes please... afterwards it will be musical pudding for desert...cest bon!

Nonc D

Re: What's in a Cajun? Culture - Mind Set - Heart and CHICKEN

Right on target Nonc ! .. thanks for insights.

The only bone to pick is Chicken..heheh.. !


Re: Re: What's in a Cajun? Culture - Mind Set - Heart and CHICKEN

Thanks for the right term Nonc! Cajun that is.

Re: Re: Re: What's in a Cajun? Culture - Mind Set - Heart and CHICKEN

mon oncle Dave;

Thanks for taking the time to jot down your thoughts. I always appreciate your calm,steady thinking.


Re: What's in a Cajun? Culture - Mind Set - Heart and CHICKEN

Fantastic read! Well put, Uncle D!


Re: What's in a Cajun? Culture - Mind Set - Heart and CHICKEN

Enjoyed your post Nonc...

To go along with some of your observations, here are some words of wisdom from "hot pepper" the Les Blank film on Clifton Chenier:

"Be what you is...if you old and ugly, BE old and ugly...be what you is..."

No reflection on you Nonc...or me (ha!)...the words always come back to me and make me smile because they are very simple, but there is something very true and very deep about them. Humans get into all kinds of trouble trying to be things that they are not...botox, debt from trying to keep up with the Joneses, jealousies of things other people have that you think you more rightly deserve...that simple advice goes a long way..."be what you is..." Simple advice, but honestly, it is hard to live!

Old and Ugly... hey Chris Miller

Ya brought back a dandy memory there Chris.

As a teenager in high school, I got up one morning and found Pop Mason in the bathroom shaving.
I was sorta smart-eleky in a non-threatening way, back then (perhaps still).

"Dang Pop, You sure are UGLY"

I caught him off guard and thought he would nick himself and start bleeding, but he was cool as cucumber.

'Son, you're right... I am ugly. But lemme tell the advantages of being ugly you don't quite understand. I don't have to waste time and energy trying to look like a pretty boy, like you!'
He grinned at me with that dang shaving cream on his face, and it was kinda spooky for some strange reason.

It did not take but a split second to register what message he was sending to my smart-eleky mind. He took his time shaving, while I was laughing my fool head off.. and he would not let me in that gad dang bathroom, knowing I had to Pee! So here I am doing the wee wee dance in the hallway thinking I am going to explode, and that old boy nudged up to that mirror, took his sweet time and continued doing his shaving thing, while having the last laugh!

It's good to be Ugly, and, old is not so bad where there are a gob lessons obtained in life.

Nonc D

Re: Old and Ugly... hey Chris Miller


You really ought to save a lot of these stories that you have taken the time to write down on this board. Collect them together and call them "what life taught Nonc D" or something like that and it least publish it on your on website...if not in a newspaper column, or book. It's good stuff!!

Re: What's in a Cajun? Culture - Mind Set - Heart and CHICKEN

Well, I started to stay out of this one, but couldnt resist.

Let me preface by saying that I am both intrigued and delighted that "outsiders" take an interest in our music, to the point of wanting to play the music and come visit. This site has pointed that out and I wouldnt have otherwise believed it.

I read and reread the post I believe in question. My personal interpretation of it was apparently a little different from some. I saw Mr. Greeneyes as pointing out an irony that has been pointed out before, not as a put down, or to whine about an old festered wound. The irony of the fact that once upon a time Cajuns were made to feel inferior for speaking their native tongue and their culture, and now it has become somewhat hip and in vogue. I may have misread it, but that is the way I understood it.

I truly dont know of anyone who hasnt gotten past this former injustice. I am truly regretful that they were so effective at making Cajuns feel ashamed, that the language (and a large chunk of the culture) will have pretty much have disappeared once the baby boomers are gone. I also know of no one who doesnt appreciate the fact someone takes a respectful interest in their culture. As in any group, there are probably the minority out there somewhere who find the negative, but I think it is small, and not worth considering.

Though I will not get into the "Cajun" or "Creole" labeling thing here, because it is far too complicated to be solved on a forum (or maybe anywhere), I do disagree with only saying those who use the language on a regular basis are Cajuns. To me, though language may be the heart of a culture, the culture of a Cajun is far more. It also includes a way of life, music, and traditions. But, sadly, I see some of these things slowly going the way of the language. In spite of that, I think rural Acadiana will be different from the rest of the USA for a long, long time.

So, I for one, appreciate any interest in our culture, language, or music, whoever it is, and wherever they are from, and everyone on this board who plays a small part in keeping something that is special to me and many others, alive. For that I am thankful, and would graciously help anyone in any small way I can.

Bryan Lafleur

Re: Re: What's in a Cajun? Culture - Mind Set - Heart and CHICKEN

yea..i cant resist any longer either

i interpreted cajungreeneyes post as a "put down" to people outside of La. that come down and enjoy our culture and music..he said.."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"....after reading this i replied with.. we are "lucky" that people come down spend their hard earned money in La....... then he replied and confirmed what i interpreted by calling me an idiot for saying the cajuns were "lucky".

i have ran across a few cajuns that have this same mantra and backward mindset..but its ok.. to each his own though..i just want people to know that not all cajuns think this way and that a majority of cajuns love to share our culture with people from outside of La., tourism is a valuable part of La's economy right now and has been struggling since the hurricanes..attitudes like this dont help.

i too appreciate any interest in our culture, language and music. and being a displaced cajun knows how it feels to try learn the music and language from the "outside".

Re: Re: Re: What's in a Cajun? Culture - Mind Set - Heart and CHICKEN

Know what you mean Chad. Like you, I moved out of La., though I have my regrets, what it did do is show me with clear glasses what we have there. I am beginning to think every Cajun should leave for a while, maybe then things wouldnt be taken for granted and allowed to slip.

Re: Re: Re: Re: What's in a Cajun? Culture - Mind Set - Heart and CHICKEN

yup...the old saying.." ya dont know what ya got till it's gone"...i definetly took it for granted...lots of wasted time for sure.. now i'm scrambling to recover anything i can

Re: Re: Re: Re: What's in a Cajun? Culture - Mind Set - Heart and CHICKEN

That's so true. When you're far away from your country, or your native area, for a long time, you become aware of all the things you love and couldn't do without.

And look at all these outsiders (from Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom, France) who love and play your music :


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What's in a Cajun? Culture - Mind Set - Heart and CHICKEN

AAAAAAAaaaaeeeeee!!!!!! on that Christian.

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