Louisiana , Foods, places, cultures, history ... a Great place to live
I live in a town just outside of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and about an hour from the famous New Orleans. The South is known for a lot of things, good and bad. I would like to focus on the good, contrary to popular belief most of us do. We aren’t all uneducated, racist, voodoo practicing, back-woods, unsophisticated country hicks.
Yes, Louisiana and its people are different from anywhere else, our Cultures, the way we talk, our food, our way of living. We might in some ways be “behind” others but it is by choice, We choose to keep our roots alive. If everything changed with the times as most other places do, than we wouldn’t be unique. As with everywhere else we have negative things going on, we have racism, we have homeless, uneducated, people, but we also have Southern hospitality like no other, we have and succeed in a lot of our dreams and goals, we have some good educated teachers, Doctors, lawyers, and engineers just to name a few. We enjoy some of the best foods one has ever had the pleasure of tasting, We have strong family values, We believe in loyalty, and standing up for what we believe is right.
Below are various subjects that I feel are interesting things about Louisiana Traditions, beliefs and Opinions others have had. The intention of this article is not to disrespect or disregard any ones feelings or beliefs. This is not intended to start an argument or negative debate; however I welcome any comments, thoughts, opinions on any of the subject matters. I hope that my sharing of some facts, opinions and feelings will encourage you to learn more, to educate yourselves on some of our history, and who knows, maybe even decide you would like to take a trip this way and see some of the beautiful and unique things that our Great State has to offer.
The Controversial Flag of the Southern States
To many, the confederate/rebel flag is about racism and slaves, because it is believed that the civil war was about slavery, that is in fact a False notion, for those of you who are unaware, the Northern States also had racism, slaves and some were against abolishing Slavery, just as some of the South were. In Short, in the civil war the South were fighting against the Government that was going against the constitution. Most of us in the South just simply see it as a symbol that represented the South. Similar to the American Flag as a symbol that represents our Great Country. Now I want to be clear, there are some white people that view it and use it for the purpose of hate, my personal opinion? That is ignorance at its best and just goes to show you, that not ALL of us from the South are educated. To learn more you should look into a few sites, I’ve added a 1 link and there are many more with discussions and varying opinions on the subject matter. I for one really don’t care one way or the other about the flag, maybe that’s sounds un-American but its just not of importance to me personally, I only bring the subject up because I want people to understand that everyone doesn’t view it as a negative. Please do your own research as well. http://12angrymen.wordpress.com/2007/05/01/the-true-meaning-of-the-confederate-flag/
Mardi Gras in Louisiana
Mardi Gras in Louisiana is like no other. Mardi Gras is a French word meaning “fat Tuesday”, being the last day the people would enjoy rich and fatty food before the Lenten season began. Mardi Gras history is an interesting one, It is quite a long explanation. In Louisiana Mardi Gras is all about good times. As we say " Laissez les bons temps rouler " sounds like “Lazay-Lay Bon-Tom Roulay” , a Cajun Frenchphrase meaning, “let the good times roll” Here Mardi Gras,isenjoying a wide variety of foods, beverages, balls, carnivals, extravagant parades and of course the, oh so popular beads and other items being tossed. People come from all over to New Orleans to get a peek, to take part in the festivities. Mardi Gras is a great time of year and we all here enjoy the celebrations. To learn in more detail of Mardi Gras traditions and origin, check out some of these sites. http://www.eastjeffersonparish.com/culture/MARDIGRA/HISTORY/history.htm
Living in Louisiana
Living in Louisiana is portrayed in many movies and books as an unsophisticated society that live on the Bayou with alligators and other wild life, with no running water, and outhouses. Truth be known there are still people that live on the Bayou and even less have a few “gators” come on up to the back door, but this isn’t something that goes on everywhere, in fact many people in Louisiana have not been in contact with them at all or only when on camping or fishing trips. Many of us Live in a variety of very civilized homes, towns, and cities that are full of highways, byways, traffic and everything else that anyone else from other places deal with everyday. Now don’t misunderstand I am not at all talking down about those who live on the Bayou, it is a way of living like no other. I as well as many others from around here enjoy being on the water, taking in the atmosphere. The Bayou is a beautiful and incredible place. A wide variety of wild life, trees, marshes, and other natural beauties found nowhere else on earth. I have found some great pictures you should check out, just click on the links and enjoy.
Pictures of our beautiful bayous http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=what+is+is+like+to+live+in+louisiana&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&biw=1024&bih=649&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=SLJcUOXZCoqy8ASPmoCIDA#um=1&hl=en&safe=off&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=louisiana+bayou&oq=louisiana+bayou&gs_l=img.3..0l2j0i24l8.5051.6338.2.85220.127.116.11.0.0.0.170.610.5j1.6.0.cesh..0.0...1.1.Xy_SztpPB8s&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=65e165cb95b9257d&biw=1024&bih=649
Louisiana and its Football
Here in Louisiana Football Season is a big deal, we have our LSU Tigers and New Orleans Saints and first and foremost, no matter how our boys do, we always back them up, we are true fans. We have football parties/gatherings complete with food, beer, Jerseys, and a group of some of your best friends or you can go to your local sports bar and various restaurants and see the big screen lit up with crowds around. No matter where or who you are with during the game, everyone is on their toes, cheering on our team, you will hear laughter, talking and good times every where during commercials but when the game is on, all eyes are on the big green field, cheering, yelling and sometimes complete silence. You better believe that while the men are into the game, you wont find the women in the kitchen or elsewhere, they will be right along side the men, yelling at the screen as well. Tailgating is a big thing around here, for those that aren’t familiar I will try to explain in short. Out side of the arena of home games, you will find some of the most dedicated fans. Trucks, trailers, vans set up custom grills and things, tubs and totes of beer and other beverages celebrating our teams as well as good times with great people. You will see Men, women and children of all ages, decorations, painted vehicles and people, for miles you will hear the cheering, music, game playing on the radio and televisions and as far as the eye can see, colors of purple and gold . Football season is huge and always fun times. The links attached are of football season activities that happen around here.
Pictures of tailgating at LSU… http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=what+is+is+like+to+live+in+louisiana&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&biw=1024&bih=649&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=SLJcUOXZCoqy8ASPmoCIDA#um=1&hl=en&safe=off&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=LSU+tailgating&oq=LSU+tailgating&gs_l=img.3..0i24l10.5328.9595.2.10073.18.18.0.0.0.1.403.2440.9j7j4-2.18.0.cesh..0.0...1.1.Mq6k8RMN2j0&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=65e165cb95b9257d&biw=1024&bih=649
A taste of Louisiana
Now I don’t know about you, but to me an article or book about Louisiana would not be complete without talking about some of the most mouth watering flavors your taste buds will ever come in contact with. A traditional and old style of food around here is “soul food” originated from Poor African Americans as well as poor white families. Those that couldn’t afford good cuts of meat, would use pieces they had to create what turned out to be some of the best foods Such dishes as red beans, black eyes peas, green beans, greens,all seasoned with some type of fat from pork mostly, chicken and dumplings, fried chicken, chicken fried steak, breaded okra, cornbread, pigs feet, liver and many others, today most of these food are still eaten , and some places are considered a delicacy. I must say, in my opinion there is nothing better than a good home cooked meal, including greens, fried meat and mashed potatoes with a roux gravy, If you have never eaten, you have got to try some, as another saying goes “it will make ya wanna slap ya mama” its that good J Of course then we have more well known foods that are advertised and served daily in most restaurants such as crawfish etouffe’e, Jambalaya, shrimp creole, sauce piquante, dirty rice, shrimp bisque, turtle soup, gumbo, and of course crawfish. No matter what you try, it is all amazing. Our food is a wise mix of so many different cultures , and seasonings. Here are some links to pictures, recipes, and maybe some restaurants of some of our great food.
Gotta check out some of these most amazing foods http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=what+is+is+like+to+live+in+louisiana&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&biw=1024&bih=649&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=SLJcUOXZCoqy8ASPmoCIDA#um=1&hl=en&safe=off&tbm=isch&q=cajun+food+recipes&revid=1727672370&sa=X&ei=jLRcUKOdN43A9QTXu4DICw&ved=0CEAQgxY&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=65e165cb95b9257d&biw=1024&bih=649
Many people here still live by the traditional “man is the provider” lifestyle. Now I will not get into my personal views on that and certain people, because that would be a great discussion in itself. I will say that Many choose that live that life and it works for them, and as the old saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” which by the way I am pretty sure is another Southern phrase, who else says “ain’t”? Southern men in general are very hard working, ever heard of the term “redneck”? I am not positive it was originated from the South but I do know as far back as I can remember, it is a term used in reference to hard working men, men of labor , in general, poor “working” class. I don’t believe it was meant as a term of endearment but I personally believe it should be, I know some of these men who work hard to do the best they can with what they have and That is something to be proud of. I would also like to add, that aside from some families that choose to continue to live as the man as the provider, there are many women here that have a great work ethic as well, they want to be independent , or even participate/take equal part in providing for better lives and futures for their children. There is nothing wrong with a person with goals. In describing the general population here in Louisiana, I would say they are strong, opinionated, kind hearted, giving , hard working, honest people. We believe in Family Values, we believe in strong morals and we believe in standing up for our rights. Women here are, how we say “dance to their own beat”. Women here are unique, most women I know I am proud to know. We are a mom, a cook, a career woman, a wife, a friend, we like to wear a good pair of old jeans and a t-shirt, get muddy on a 4 wheeler, ride horses, go fishing and hunting, sit back and enjoy a cold beer, we can also paint our nails, put on a nice dress and heels and be a lady. I cannot speak for every single person but in general, In the South you will find some of the friendliest and loyal individuals you have ever met. This a place where true friends are part of the family, and where strangers are treated kindly. Yes at first glance we may look a little different than most and to tell you the truth we are, and I for one, am proud to say that. I can assure you, If you make a friend in the South, you will have a true friend, that person will stand up for you, believe in you and help you in any way they can. And that my friend is what being a True Southerner is all about.
Ending with a little Note
My hopes are for those of you that have read this were able to at least get a little bit of understanding of our passions for our foods, traditions, and in general who we are. Of course I know this barely skimmed the surface, which is why I do hope you will take the time to look at the sites I put on here and do some of your own research to learn more. There are so many interesting things about the South, in particular Louisiana, If you do a little more looking you will see why we are such a unique place and why we don’t want to change. If you ever do make it down to Louisiana, you must try some of our Amazing foods, maybe slip on a jersey and catch a football game (from our point of view), be a part of our Mardi Gras festivities, Take a tour on the Bayou, and if you decide to go on a haunted tour in New Orleans be sure and visit the grave of the infamous Marie Leveau if your not too scared that is. If you don’t know who that is or would like to learn more click on the links. Some links for the haunted tours, and Marie Laveau Below
This is a song you may have heard before, it’s a song written about Marie Laveau, it is a fun song.