Cajuns are the specific class of people who are French Canadian descent present along the marshes, prairies and small streams of Louisiana. The word “Cajun”emerged in 19th
century when the Acadians began to arrive. Generally, the term Cajun is used to narratethose people of French that belongs to south Louisiana. But sometimes the word “Acadian” is used; and when one someone searches for it they find that their antecedents in real were Acadians from Canada.
In 1970, there were about 8 lac Cajuns present in Louisiana. When Acadians began to arrive in Louisiana, possibly as early as 1756, the population expanded rapidly, from about six thousand in 1810 to thirty five thousand in 1815.
The Acadians were French colonists who settled the area in the 1600’s, now which is known as “Nova Scotia”. In the mid of 18th century, Acadians were expelled by the British in 1755. Over the subsequent 30 years, thousands of the expelled Acadians made their way towards south Louisiana. But in the next 100+ years, the Acadians develop the commanding culture in many areas of south Louisiana. They keep much of their culture, and take some of the other cultural impacts. The Spanish, German, English, French, Indian and other cultures adjoined to the Acadian culture to build the “Cajun culture”.
Due to addition of migrants who reached in the start of 1800s and a high birth rate, the Acadians increased fastlyand it becomes the most numerous group in many locales where they settled. It was not until after World War I that conventional Society entered in Acadiana and start to influence on Cajun people life. Mechanism of fishing, farming and cattle raising, the constructions of roads that links southern Louisiana to the rest of the state, mass communication, and mandatory education changed regional economic conditions and revealed Cajuns to mainstream Louisiana society. The use of Cajun French language decreased, and in 1921 it was banned in public schools.
At the end of World War II Cajun veterans returns to their homes and it was the starting of a new era in Cajun culture, one distinguished by continuing participation in normal life and by the birth of Cajun ethnicity and efforts are done to preserve some traditional beliefs and practices. In 1968,Louisianacreated Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL) as a procedure to encourage the teaching of Frenchin public schools. Due to disputes over which French should be teach, Standard French or Cajun French the program has not been so much successful, though many Cajun children take part in French-language programs
MISCONCEPTION ABOUT LANGUAGE
It is general belief in the US that people who speaks French in Louisiana must be “Cajun”, but this is misconception that must be have to address, says Robert St. Thomas. “Cajuns” are not at all the only French-speaking people in Louisiana. There are 18 francophone and creolophone identities in Louisiana.
ACADIAN CULTURE IN LOUISIANA
Acadians were deliberately affected by the local Creoles. They took their words, borrowed their cuisine and cooking style. So, they have specificity from their Acadians cousins in the North. Acadian and Creole culture are therefore slightly associated with each other.There is something which is also very typical in northern Acadians, theirThibault and Thibodeau jokes.
Northern Acadians have many things that not present in the south, like their meals such as:
- la poutine rapee
- la poutine atrou
These dishes are a type of French/Breton galette de sarrazin but with special sarrazin flour from Madawaska. Their cuisine is not like their southern counterparts.
In the south, people use fruits, vegetables and spices that are unfamiliar to the north, and cook things like jambalaya, gumbo and fricassee. This is though shared with Creole culture as well.