The national championship put a spotlight on Louisiana. Some may know about Mardi Gras and our food, but do people truly know about Louisiana? The state has a unique history and culture that some may not know. Whether you're an out-of-state student or looking to get in touch with your LA roots, I'm here to give you a quick brief of what's it like to be a champion in Louisiana.
1. Oui, French is a second language here.
If you ever heard "laissez les bon temps rouler" and wonder why a state in America will use a French saying, a little history lesson can answer that.
A group of French people from rural areas of France immigrated to Canada. When they were there just minding their business, the British was able to control the Acadie area, but the Acadians didn't want to follow suit. So, the British expelled them from Acadie.
The Acadians, also known as Cajuns, eventually settled in south Louisiana. Our very own Coach Ed Orgeron a great example, because he does speak French and his dialect matches those who live in my hometown of Breaux Bridge and other parts of south Louisiana.
2. Louisiana Food Ethics
I'm here to tell you the truth and nothing but the truth. Don't dine at restaurants from other states who claim to make Cajun food. Many people in Louisiana follow this unspoken rule. If you want to experience our exquisite cuisine, then you have to come to Louisiana.
I believe that you will get the full experience of Cajun food through parents and grandparents who are from Louisiana. There's nothing better than a home-cooked gumbo. It's way better than paying $20 for a plate of crawfish etouffee.
Another controversial topic in Louisiana is boiled crawfish. It has to be spicy and well-seasoned. Adding potatoes and corn IS also necessary. Crawfish season has to be my most anticipated season of the year because it falls during the greatest holiday of all time, Mardi Gras.
3. A second Christmas
The title basically states how seriously we consider the Mardi Gras season. It's our second Christmas, and the greatest time to party of the year.
It's a time to eat loads of food and drink a lot, which is something you will see a lot even when Mardi Gras is over. I think every young Louisianan has been personally shocked by the fact that most states don't have daiquiris drive-thrus like we do.
Mardi Gras isn't always about Bourbon Street either. It's a great time to experience the music, food and art of New Orleans. Catching beads and gawking at the extravagant floats is also another favorite part of Mardi Gras. If you're new, I highly recommend taking a trip to New Orleans during Mardi Gras.
The Mardi Gras celebration doesn't stop in New Orleans. It's celebrated all over south Louisiana, but we know people from all over the country and world do come to New Orleans to celebrate.
4. The Sound of Music
If you haven't figured it out yet, music plays a huge part of our culture. We are known for jazz with legendary Louis Armstrong, and Frenchmen Street in New Orleans, which holds countless jazz clubs. Fats Domino is also another musician from Louisiana who was a pioneer of early rock and roll.
But, I think the most overlooked music genre that majority of people not know about is zydeco. Zydeco can be heard anywhere from my hometown of Breaux Bridge and the neighboring city of Lafayette. This genre is a mix of Louisiana French and Afro-Caribbean music. People dance to it all the time either alone or with a partner.
5. That's hot
It's miserable walking from class to class in that Louisiana heat. I really don't have anything else to say. It's just really hot, and the heat really is unbearable. This is just a warning that the heat really is that bad, and it's going to stay that way. Just drink lots of water.
Also, did I mention it rains a lot?
6. A friend of yours is a friend of mine.
The last thing I want to mention is our hospitality. I went to New York City a couple of times and figured out quickly that everything is fast-paced. I love the city and how fast-paced everything is, but we need a break. Louisiana really isn't fast-paced even in New Orleans.
We love to be with friends and family and having a good time. We welcome others with open arms and just want to share our culture with them. We may be rowdy at football games, but at the end of the day, it's just a game. We'll have fun and party with our opponents because life is too short to be angry.
When the weather is right for a crawfish boil with the ones we love, it's exactly the Louisiana way.