Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Little Ethnic Observation

Being the possessor of a double-barrelled Cajun name and being out of Louisiana by a far piece, I sometimes encounter strange expectations of others.

A minor one has to do with the spelling of my name.  I've totally given up on the first name; and go simply by Angel.  Some expect me to be a large, Hispanic male and are disappointed when I don't habla very well.   The last name is more problematic: it ends in a silent "X."  Thus, it sounds like some slang expression of familiarity that urban youths use.  More than once I've gotten told "That is so wrong!" 

But there's the comic Cajun stereotype.  The story behind the Cajuns goes back to the Grande Dérangement, a bit of ethnic cleansing done by Perfidious Albion in 18th century Nova Scotia, then called Acadia.*  What did Britain do with inconvenient French-speaking families who had improved the land and who were farmers and fishers?  Simple, they kicked them out.  And a considerable number migrated to French and Spanish colonies in the latter half of the 18th century where they started the process of establishing farms and ranches all over again. 

While I have an accent (New Orleans urban, sometimes called a Yat accent), it lacks being picturesque or folksy.  But I can put it on at will.  On some points I know how to fish and drink beer; but I have never gotten into a knife fight in my life.  As a matter of fact, for girls to fight in any form is regarded as so déclassé where I come from!  Didn't God make guys to do heavy lifting like that?

One time I found it useful to establish that I was, in fact, a real ethnic.  It happened that I had an Acadian costume from some cosplay event, and I wore it to a graduate class once.  Talk about being delightfully noticed!  I soon learned that sort of thing was frowned upon.  What fun is life if you can't go in costume?  I think that attractive guys should dress like musketeers!

Here's a little musical treat: "Jolie Blonde," an instrumental of a traditional Cajun song.

and "Jolie Blonde," by a great artist, Georges Rodrigue:

And have a nice Turbo Dog sometime!

*I tend to be blunt before my daily chicory coffee intake.


Banana Oil said...

Enjoyed the music and art.

Rudolph said...

Very interesting. Nice to read a little about you, Angel.

Bilbo said...

Nice music...thanks for sharing it. I lived in Louisiana (well, the Shreveport/Bossier City area) for about 5 years while I was stationed at Barksdale AFB back in the early 1970's. Liked the people, loved the cuisine, and never could stomach chicory coffee. I knew the story of the Acadians and their transformation into Cajuns. Sometime, I'll tell you a few stories about us ethnic Hungarians...

Big Sky Heidi said...

I like the idea of guys dressing up, myself. The lumberjack look is so out-of-date.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Bilbo, we have an ethnic community of Hungarians in Albany, LA.