#atozchallenge: Cajun

By now, everyone has heard of AI (artificial intelligence) and probably enough bad things about it to never want to go anywhere near it. Recently, I heard about a tool called Ask AI, written by a company called Codeway. Remember the pictures from Saturday? They were done by Wonder, another of their products. Anyway, I downloaded it a couple of weeks ago, and have been having lots of fun with it. Just to try it out, I asked it to write me a blog post on Cajuns. Here it is…

Cajuns are group of people with a rich and fascinating history. They are descendants of French-Canadian immigrants who settled in Louisiana in the late 18th century. Over time, they developed their own unique language, cuisine, music, and traditions, which continue to thrive in the region today.

The term “Cajun” comes from “Acadian,” which refers the French settlers who originally came from Acadia, a region in present-day Nova Scotia, Canada. In the mid-18th century, the British expelled the Acadians from their homes, and many of them ended up in Louisiana, where they were welcomed by the Spanish colonial government. Over time, they intermarried with other groups, including African Americans and Native Americans, and formed their own distinct culture.

One of the most famous aspects of Cajun culture is their cuisine. Cajun food is known for its bold, spicy flavors and its use of local ingredients like crawfish, shrimp, and andouille sausage. Some of the most popular dishes include gumbo, jambalaya, and red beans and rice. Cajun cuisine has become popular around the world, and many people visit Louisiana specifically to try authentic Cajun food.

Another important part of Cajun culture is their music. Cajun music is a blend of French and African American styles, with the accordion and the fiddle as the primary instruments. The music is often played at community gatherings like weddings and Mardi Gras celebrations, and it has a lively, upbeat sound that is hard to resist. Cajun music has also had significant nfluence on other genres, including zydeco and swamp pop.

Cajun culture is also known for its strong sense of community and family. Cajuns are proud of their heritage and often gather together to celebrate their culture and traditions. One of the most famous Cajun events is the Courir de Mardi Gras, a centuries-old tradition where costumed participants ride on horseback through the countryside, collecting ingredients for communal gumbo. The event is a way for Cajuns to come together and celebrate their unique culture and history.

Despite their rich history and traditions, Cajuns have faced many challenges over the years. For many years, Cajun French was discouraged in schools and other public settings, and many Cajuns were ashamed of their heritage. However, in recent years, there has been a renewed interest in Cajun culture, and efforts are being made preserve and celebrate it.

Overall, Cajun are a unique and fascinating group of people.

Couldn’t have said it better myself. Here’s some of that Cajun music the AI talked about. This is "Pays D’En Haut (Tit Galop Pour Mamou)." The name baffled Google Translate.

The Creoles and Cajuns of Louisiana live side by side, with plenty of crossover and intermarriage, but they are two distinct people. Cajuns are descendants of the French people from Acadia (the maritime provines in Canada) who were evicted from that area by the British after the Frech and Indian War, who then moved to Louisiana. The Creoles are descended from the French settlers who intermarried with the Black slaves. This video does a much better (and probably more correct) job of explaining.

Having said that, there is quite a bit of intermarriage and crossover between the Cajuns and the Creoles, and zydeco music, a Creole form, is appreciated by Cajuns as well. Here’s accordionist Clifton Chenier, with his brother Cleveland on the washboard (which he plays with two old-fashioned bottle openers), with "Zydeco sant pas sale."

They won’t let me embed it, but here is a very handsome Creole couple dancing to zydeco music. Anyway, we’ll see you tomorrow with the letter "D"!

28 thoughts on “#atozchallenge: Cajun

  1. Thanks John for posting this informative post … I’ll be back to read through properly – cheers and I love the music and food from that area … Hilary


    1. I’m very familiar with the first one. They’re amazing dancers and the young woman is quite attractive… The other two were fun to watch, and whoever was playing harmonica in the last one knew what he was doing….

      Liked by 1 person

  2. JOHN ~

    When AI strongly suggests that you “take that ‘MARK’, are you gonna do it?

    ~ D-FensDogG


  3. Spent a year or so in Louisiana when I was in the Army. Grew to love Cajun/Creole food. My favorite was seafood gumbo over rice. Off the subject a little, saw Elvis Presley at an outdoor event of some kind in New Orleans before he was famous in 1956. Wasn’t that the year you were born?


  4. Where was that AI program when I was in High School? Of course I would have been immediately busted for plagiarism as I wasn’t that suave in composition. Great blog; you beat me to “Cajun and Zydeco” by a few days, but I’ll get there!! Zulu


  5. I was trying to guess what todays word would be. Another C word that contains the letter J is “cajole.” That’s what first came to my mind.


  6. Well, I guess we don’t have to worry about AI taking writer jobs.
    Cajun food is very delicious. I love vegan gumbo, which I guess some would argue isn’t very traditional, but most food it’s all about the spices and flavorings you add.
    Thanks for the fun history lesson.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. not bad on their part, with facts and reporting, but it seems to lack a bit of the human element. maybe I just have to get used to it. I want to experience cajun food and music in person -)

    Liked by 2 people

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