About

My name is Carmen Calderon. I am an {Almost} Cajun.

{Almost} Cajun
/ˈôlˌmōstˈkājən/
NOUN:
1.A PERSON WHO MAY NOT BE A NATURAL BORN CAJUN BUT HAS ADoPTED THE CULTURE AND WOULD CONSIDER THEMSELVES UNOFFICIALLY CAJUN
2. SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN ADOPTED INTO A CAJUN FAMILY AND TAKEN ON THE TRADITIONS DESPITE NOT ORIGINATING FROM SAID FAMILY
3. SOMEONE WHO ORIGINATES FROM CAJUN COUNTRY DESPITE THE LACK OF DIRECT CAJUN RELATIVES.
“I GREW UP IN SOUTH LOUISIANA AND MY PARRAIN COOKS REAL GOOD GUMBO, I’M A PROUD {ALMOST} CAJUN.”

If you aren’t from South Louisiana or knowledgeable about Cajuns this concept may seem strange, however, there are many definitions for the word Cajun, true Cajuns are those with lineage to the Acadians that migrated down from Nova Scotia during the Acadian Exiles. The term Cajun has evolved and is now used to refer to a larger group of the population,”there was significant cultural exchange, in particular with Louisiana’s other French-speaking populations, that resulted in the development of an increasingly homogenous cultural base among the poorer segments of Francophone Louisiana” (New Perspectives on Language Variety in the South). In addition, “Cajun was used by Anglos to refer to all persons of French descent and low economic standing, regardless of their ethnic affiliation”.

In short, the word Cajun is now an umbrella term that many people identify themselves with from South Louisiana. Despite its past usage as a derogatory term, being Cajun is now something to be celebrated. I’m proud of this background and the rich culture I grew up in thanks to the “Cajun” influence.

Cajun to me is the closeness in my community, the laid back attitude of the people in my town, small businesses, and big families, its AMAZING food, festivals, diversity, and tradition.