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Old 04-11-2010, 03:36 AM
 
Location: Ferndale, MI
85 posts, read 307,976 times
Reputation: 55

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Good day y'all,

Does Louisiana have a separate and distinct culture from mainstream American culture? Is culture portrayed on TV and movies accepted as Louisiana values? How can this culture be characterized? Where would you find the typical Louisiana culture?

Thank you very much in advance for helping answer something that has always been at the back of my mind.
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Old 04-11-2010, 05:53 AM
 
Location: Lafayette, La
2,049 posts, read 4,711,445 times
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Americana exists here, but its definitely a very unique feeling.
Having a heavy French/Cajun/Creole influence, youll hear and see things done here that are done almost nowhere else in the Us, unless it is an outpost of Cajun migrants. The main things are the heavy focus on cuisine and music and festivals, and how we have adapted to live near swamps (not IN swamps mind you) and on land unsuitable for tall skyscrapers or underground development. Other than that however, you shouldnt feel that unfamiliar with the surroundings. Also, you would hear different region specific terms like coulee (a big ditch), save (to put away something), laissez les bon temps rouler (let the good times roll), cher (pronounced "sha" which means friend/pal), and other stuff like that. Then theres the specific New Orleans culture, which is really really laid back, with no open container laws (can have an open alcoholic beverage On the streets) and a general party atmosphere pretty much all day every day. Its really not an exaggeration.
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Old 04-11-2010, 07:47 PM
 
3,592 posts, read 4,947,987 times
Reputation: 4742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Innotech View Post
Americana exists here, but its definitely a very unique feeling.
Having a heavy French/Cajun/Creole influence, youll hear and see things done here that are done almost nowhere else in the Us, unless it is an outpost of Cajun migrants. The main things are the heavy focus on cuisine and music and festivals, and how we have adapted to live near swamps (not IN swamps mind you) and on land unsuitable for tall skyscrapers or underground development. Other than that however, you shouldnt feel that unfamiliar with the surroundings. Also, you would hear different region specific terms like coulee (a big ditch), save (to put away something), laissez les bon temps rouler (let the good times roll), cher (pronounced "sha" which means friend/pal), and other stuff like that. Then theres the specific New Orleans culture, which is really really laid back, with no open container laws (can have an open alcoholic beverage On the streets) and a general party atmosphere pretty much all day every day. Its really not an exaggeration.
It's definitely Americana. Louisiana people work hard, play hard, go to church, care about their families, their neighbors and communities. So what if we put "chow-chow" on a hot dog? Still America, with a flair only the South could provide.
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Old 04-11-2010, 07:56 PM
 
3,592 posts, read 4,947,987 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnemployedFinanceGuy View Post
Good day y'all,

Does Louisiana have a separate and distinct culture from mainstream American culture? Is culture portrayed on TV and movies accepted as Louisiana values? How can this culture be characterized? Where would you find the typical Louisiana culture?

Thank you very much in advance for helping answer something that has always been at the back of my mind.
And to squash a vicious rumor going around...if you're traveling in the US you absolutely do not need a passport to visit here!
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Old 04-12-2010, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Kennesaw, GA
167 posts, read 780,735 times
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I grew up right outside Nola, spent a few years living in Ruston and now live in the Altanta Metro. Louisiana culture is very different compared to other states. No one is a stranger. It was completely normal to meet a family for the first time and be invited to come into their home and share a meal with them. Growing up there were several Christmases where we had strangers at the dinner table because they were new to the area and had no one to share the holiday with. Families are usually close and live close together. In my family, I'm the only one that moved away. Gatherings are casual and intimate and life seems to be based heavily on relationships rather than keeping up with the Joneses and being the picture of success. Another poster got it right when he/she mentioned a strong musical and cuisine influence. I think alot of this creates a unique identity for Louisiana. I never really associated TV families with Louisiana lifestyles. I find TV culture to be fastpaced and petty- not very representative of any of my friends or fam back in Nola.
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Old 04-12-2010, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Youngsville, LA
431 posts, read 970,178 times
Reputation: 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by mezzogirl View Post
I grew up right outside Nola, spent a few years living in Ruston and now live in the Altanta Metro. Louisiana culture is very different compared to other states. No one is a stranger. It was completely normal to meet a family for the first time and be invited to come into their home and share a meal with them. Growing up there were several Christmases where we had strangers at the dinner table because they were new to the area and had no one to share the holiday with. Families are usually close and live close together. In my family, I'm the only one that moved away. Gatherings are casual and intimate and life seems to be based heavily on relationships rather than keeping up with the Joneses and being the picture of success. Another poster got it right when he/she mentioned a strong musical and cuisine influence. I think alot of this creates a unique identity for Louisiana. I never really associated TV families with Louisiana lifestyles. I find TV culture to be fastpaced and petty- not very representative of any of my friends or fam back in Nola.
Well said! I find the same to be true in my own neck of the Louisiana "woods".

We LOVE visitors and treat them like family. There is no better compliment one could pay us than by taking the time and spending the money to visit!
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:28 PM
 
1,645 posts, read 3,281,517 times
Reputation: 1391
Louisiana regularly comes up in discussions of the most "unique state".

I think mainstream America has many misconceptions and bizarre images enter their mind when they visualize Louisiana.
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Old 04-12-2010, 11:44 PM
 
Location: Siloam Springs,AR
10 posts, read 28,004 times
Reputation: 13
Louisiana ppl are very different, we love different, we speak different, But we almost love everyone lol
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Old 04-13-2010, 06:34 AM
 
Location: Kennesaw, GA
167 posts, read 780,735 times
Reputation: 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReluctantGardenStater View Post
Louisiana regularly comes up in discussions of the most "unique state".

I think mainstream America has many misconceptions and bizarre images enter their mind when they visualize Louisiana.
Well, in defense of the general public and their conceptions of Louisiana...
the Louisiana people who are interviewed on the national news for breaking stories, natural disasters, etc aren't exactly the state's "MVPs," if you catch my drift. And if you just happen to be driving through the state on the way to somewhere else, you might catch a radio station with some Old French stuff going on (like around Opelousas). Or, you rent a movie like the Waterboy. Let 'em think we're bizarre. More crawfish and crabs for the rest of us.
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Lafayette, La
2,049 posts, read 4,711,445 times
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Drive through daiquiri shops definitely makes it different too. I was amazed how many states dont allow you to walk around outside with an alcoholic drink. You cant even go outside of a restaurant with a cup of wine. Here it feels so natural to do that.
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