Sometimes folks from south Louisiana will take familiar stories and twist them to make them a little more Cajun. Cajun Night Before Christmas by “Trosclair” is a good example of this.
Santa in envisioned as riding in a skiff pulled by alligators named Gaston, Tiboy, Pierre, Alcee’, Ninette, Suzette, and Renee’. Also, Santa is dressed in muskrat fur. The whole book is written in the Cajun dialect and tells the story of St. Nick coming to the bayou. It starts out:
‘Twas the night before Christmas
An’ all t’ru de house
Dey don’t a t’ing pass
Not even a mouse.
Den Mamma in de fireplace
Done roas’ up de ham
Stir up de gumbo
An’ make bake de yam.
Copyright by Pelican Publishing Company 2001
After Santa finishes his stop he bids everybody farewell in true Cajun fashion.
Merry Christmas to all
‘Til I saw you some mo’!
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 Acadiana flag represents the region’s heritage
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.