The year is 1755, and the Catholic French living in Nova Scotia are being exiled for their refusal to bend the knee to Protestant England. They fled and settled in what is now south Louisiana. The region where they settled is now known as Acadiana, a 22 parish region that makes up a large portion of Louisiana.
A parish is typically the area of jurisdiction for a Catholic church, and since the church was central in those days, everything was formed around it. We say ‘parishes’ instead of ‘counties’ in Louisiana because of the large role of Catholicism in the lives both the French and Spanish colonists in Louisiana. The Acadiana flag symbolizes the French and Spanish heritage of the Acadiana region.
The Acadians brought their culture with them, and adapted it to the Louisiana landscape. Catholicism is still deeply rooted in south Louisiana, and even our way of cooking harkens back to Acadian way of life. The map bellow illustrates how widespread Acadiana is.
It’s important to know that Acadiana is a specific region. Although the culture of Acadiana may bleed over into other places in Louisiana, Acadiana has a distinct culture and flavor of its own.