Author: David Cheramie

En Français, s'il vous plaît: Heart of a Pirate

He was born sometime during the 1770s, maybe somewhere in France, maybe in Saint Domingue, maybe somewhere else. He died in 1823 or in 1827 or perhaps in 1857, in Honduras, Mexico or God knows where. He might have grown…

En Francais, S'il Vous Plait: Social Media to the rescue

For a strictly oral language that dates back to the 18th century as we hear from the self-proclaimed “experts,” Louisiana French has a remarkably robust presence on the internet. While some are lamenting its passing and are filled with a…

Barry Jean Ancelet / Jean Arceneaux

When CODOFIL began, James Domengeaux did not hide the fact that he favored the teaching of "standard" French to Louisiana French because it was not a written language. Despite a literary past that included many talented writers, no French-speaking Louisianans…

Dr. William Arceneaux

  On the photo of the founder of CODOFIL, we read the following dedication: "4/11/84. To my dear and esteemed friend Wm "Bill" Arceneaux, the true Educational leader of the State who has also the responsibility of saving the French…

Becoming Cajun

A shuttle ride in Houston sets a young teen on the course to learn his culture

Wings over Acadiana

Passing through New Orleans International Airport, named for one of its most famous resident, Louis Armstrong, our visitors arriving in Acadiana are entitled to be confused by its IATA code, those three letters which designate the airports, MSY as it…

The Almighty Shrimp

When your name is Cheramie, it is difficult to deny your origins from Bayou Lafourche and even more difficult to walk around without pocket knife. Let me explain. The Cheramie men have the reputation of always having a knife on…

High Water Mark

“The deluge roared like a furious bull, the winds howled like the braying of an ass. The sun had disappeared, the darkness was total.” Thus Outa-Napishtim relates the Deluge to Gilgamesh in a Sumerian text from the middle of the…

The Brotherhood of the Black Pot

In the kitchen of any self-respecting south Louisianan, one can expect to find a number of utensils among its array: a wooden spoon exclusively for making the roux, a large rice cooker and the ubiquitous Magnalite roaster; all essential tools…

The Incorruptible Bald Cypress

The Atchafalaya Basin is the largest wetland in the United States, covering some 1.4 million acres, or 5,700 km2. It's 20 miles wide and 150 miles long. It is known for its alligator and crawfish trade, navigable waterways and natural…

Hippo Stew

Among the hundreds of stories that folklorist Barry Ancelet has collected, the most famous are probably the Pascal Tales. Told in Fred's Lounge, these tales tell of the incredible adventures of Pascal and friends who traveled by bicycle on telephone…

Napoleon and the Civil Code

Considered to be one of the most important plays of American theater in the twentieth century and certainly among the most famous, "A Streetcar Named Desire" by Tennessee Williams portrays the slow degradation of New Orleans couple Stanley Kowalski and…

Crawfish: Myth and Reality

In their cosmogony, the Chitimacha recognize a Creator, Thoumé Kéné Kimté Cacounche or the Great Spirit. In the beginning, he placed the land under water, fish being the first animals. In order to have the land rise above the water,…

The Acadiana Flag

We are celebrating the 250th anniversary of the arrival of the Acadians in Louisiana led by "Beausoleil" Broussard with the Grand Réveil Acadien 2015 this October. Throughout Acadiana and beyond, from Lake Charles to New Orleans, we fête this event…

Memories of Betsy

The carpet was rough against my skin. I slept on the floor because most of my family, half of my neighborhood in Golden Meadow, was crammed into one hotel room in New Orleans. I woke up in the middle of…

Vive le Québec! Vive le Québec libre!

The influences that formed Acadiana are multiple. The arrival and establishment of the French, Creoles, Acadians and non-French speaking people, such Africans, Germans, Italians, Irish, Anglo-Americans, and many Native American tribes already there, are often mentioned. A Quebec friend recently…

A Tale of Two Mardi Gras

If it was luck that had Cavelier de la Salle find the mouth of the Mississippi and take possession of the land drained by the river by naming Louisiana after Louis XIV, the Sun King, and that on Mardi Gras…

Kirby Jambon, From the Bayou to the Seine

When James Domengeaux convinced the legislature to form CODOFIL, one of his dreams was that one day a Louisianian would be appointed to one of the forty chairs of the prestigious French Academy along the banks of the Seine River…

The Germans, Those Forgotten Creoles

Experts agree on a definition of Creole that recognizes, among other things, European origins. As the Acadiana flag shows, it focuses on only two countries: France and Spain. Our status as a former colony of these former empires, along with…

Water is Life

Next year, we will commemorate the sesquicentennial of the end of the Civil War, or the Confederates’ War as we say in Louisiana French. Between 1865 and 1870, after the terrible mortality associated with the deadliest war in American history,…

Everything in the Hog is Good

When the temperature starts to drop, mosquitoes are becoming scarce and the threat of hurricanes decreases until June, dry air pushed by the north wind fills our lungs and clears our minds so that we can finally enjoy outdoor activities:…

Looking for Beausoleil

Attached to the left bank of the serpentine meanderings of Bayou Teche, the village of Loreauville lies in Iberia Parish. All around, the rich and fertile soil nourishes the sugar cane fields that stretch to the horizon. Several families, as…

What is a Creole?

This is a question that seems to have as many answers as people who answer it. A typical endless discussion around a table covered with old newspapers and bushels of crabs can get started with questions such as: “Who was…