Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Louisiana: The Three States

At the first Louisiana visitor center I hit after crossing over from Mississippi, the greeter mentioned that northern Louisiana was different from other parts of Louisiana, that it was more Mississippi-like than the southern half of the state.

More recently, "Thibodeaux," a student of history, explained to me that there are three states within Louisiana: 

  • New Orleans, with its Catholic, French-from-France, Spanish, Caribbean-neĆ©-Africa-and-France, and German roots; 
  • North Louisiana, which was not part of the Louisiana Purchase (a delicious, salacious story in itself), predominantly Protestant, and its development more like the typical westward colonization from "Americans" as in Mississippi; and 
  • South Louisiana, or Acadiana, with its strong French-from Nova Scotia-expelled to Louisiana culture.

Well, then there's Baton Rouge, added Thibodeaux, which has only one culture- make that "cult" - that of LSU and its high priests of the Church of Football.

More on the three states of Louisiana in the future, I'm sure.

1 comment:

Geoff Reed said...

That nails it for sure. I have taken great pleasure over the years informing people that we have two states - North "Luzanna" and South Louisiana. Never thought to add New Orleans as a third, but I've long been aware of the stark contrast between Cajun country and New Orleans. It is amazing how many people think that the two are pretty much the same.

What really impresses me is that Thibodeaux tacked on Baton Rouge well worthy of another division. That is so true, except I would further subdivide it into three divisions. The LSU intelligentsia, the guvermental bureaucrats, and the petrochemical crowd. Like a three ring Venn diagram with only the tiniest bit of commonalty.

Now LSU football is another matter. That unites not only these three, but just about the entire state as well. Cajun Catholics and Redneck Protestants gathering for church services on a Saturday night.