Meet Carmen

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

I was born in Honduras and grew up in Cecilia, Louisiana. This is a small town in St. Martin Parish which is settled in Acadiana, the region of Louisiana that is the heart of the Cajun Culture. My father is Honduran and my mother is from Indiana. Long story short, my nanny (mom’s sister) married a boat captain from Louisiana, and after moving my mom followed along. As for my dad ending up in Louisiana, I guess this is to luck that Louisiana has a very big reputation in Honduras. This is largely due to the agriculture programs at our univerisites since Honduras’ economy thrives off of agricultural crops, although he claims it’s because at the time USL got voted one of the top party schools in the U.S.

I grew up enrolled in the French Immersion Program to which I credit a lot of my motivation and passion. This program is what initially sparked my interest to learn more about the culture and heritage of where I grew up, one that I embrace whole-heartedly. 

i.e.) I love Meche’s Donuts, Tabasco Hot Sauce, and crawfish season.

I attended a Catholic high school which further engrained the values of the south and the sense of pride I have coming from a small town community.

Side note, this may sound cheesy but I think it’s completely appropriate to mention this in order to put this in to perspective. If you come from my area I can guarantee the song, That’s What I love About Sunday by Craig Morgan , speaks to you. However, I won’t start right away fulfilling all the requirements of a southern belle stereotype, I do enjoy many other genres of music.

Anyway, I’m currently studying at Louisiana State University where I am pursuing a dual-degree in International Trade and Finance as well as French.

My culture and background has afforded me so many opportunities. I’ve gotten to travel the world, I speak three languages, and I grew up eating the best food in the world.

It only seemed appropriate to share my passion and excitement for where I come from by starting this blog.

What’s A 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.

The Purpose of This Blog

Here you can find the latest of what I’ve been up!

In the case of most blogs, this is the goal, to provide updates and new information. Depending on the topic this could be personal life, how-to guides, hobbies, the list goes on. In the case of Almost Cajun my goal is to provide information on the French culture of South Louisiana. This is accomplished through posts explaining Southern traditions, events that go on in our state, or my experiences studying abroad in Europe and how I see they relate to my culture back home. Occasionally, you’ll get to read of my mishaps as a student. I share them in the hopes I can save another soul from enduring whatever the frustration had been as well as bring back memories to another or provide you with laughs.

Make yourself at home. Happy Reading.

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