Jamie Oliver

Cajun Life

APR 30 @ 02:20

by cohphanta

A few of you have asked about what it was like growing up cajun.  It was very different from the rest of the US.  I grew up around relatives who spoke french, some of them it was their only language. My mother spoke only french until she was in school..about age 5 or 6.  While french is her first language, she spoke mostly english to us.  They  had to learn english and weren't allowed to speak french in school.  Cajun French is not a written language and it varies from area to area.  I did learn some and can speak it, not as fluently as my mother. I did take one year of french and one year of cajun french in high school.  The language is being lost so the state is trying to teach cajun kids the language so it is not lost.  Here is a little bit of trivia for those of you who have heard of Zaydeco music.  The story is that the word zaydeco comes from a mispronuncitation of the french word for green beans...haricots vert. Back in the day when people would sit on the front porch and get their haricots vert ready for dinner they would sing and the men would play home made instruments like the washboard, etc....and thus was born zaydeco.

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MAY 01 @ 17:36

by Kye

Merci cohphanta.

Those must have been really magic times when the women were prepearing their zaydeco on the porch while listening and singing along to the instruments played by their men.

Its such a pity that cajun wasn't allowed in the schools, so many traditions have been lost through rules as such.

Different parts of rural France have their dialects, when the 'ancients' get toghether their languages are almost impossible to understand...the younger generations insist on speaking French but most are obliged to listen to their elders and so still understand.

Rural Burgundy isn't an exception...i still hear said: 'sacre le lourde', (never will see it written so i write it how it is pronouced) which means fermer la porte (close the door). Also 'se mettre la viande dans  le torchon' ...put our meat in the cloth!! means aller se coucher (going to bed)....our sons have somtimes heard us speaking rural for a laugh but i can't remember when they ever have done so themselves. They may do with their own children one day.

Oh and we women also used to sit on the veranda preparing the garden beans around two big buckets, but we just chatted and laughed together, the men of the family were out picking mushrooms at the same time.

MAY 02 @ 00:52

by JoyYamDaisy

Thanks Coco, such an interesting post!
I'll never forget hearing a zaydeco clip on Sesame Street and felt my heart jumping in delight!

Lovely to read your comment too Kye.
The world is such an wonderful place!smile

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