NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 31: Anthony Bourdain films Parts Unknown Queens in New York, New York on November 11, 2016. (photo by David Scott Holloway / ??? & ?? 2016 Cable News Network. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.)
CNN is honoring honoring Anthony Bourdain, airing one of the final episodes of his Parts Unknown show tomorrow Sunday June 17 at 9PM – his look at the local food, music and cultural traditions of this amazing area. This is passage comes from his opening narration.
“The thundering hooves of many horses, the sound of a thousand beer cans popping open. And music, always music.
There are parts of America that are special, unique, unlike anywhere else. Cultures all their own, kept close, much loved but largely misunderstood. The vast patchwork of saltwater marshes, bayous, and prairie land that make up Cajun country is one of those places.
While the rest of the USA got stitched together by superhighways, southwestern Louisiana remained relatively isolated. I-10 wasn’t completed until the 1970s, finally connecting this part of the state with New Orleans, Houston, and the rest of the nation. With that came chain restaurants, drive-throughs, and strip malls.
But fear not-it’s still magnificently weird.
Take, for example, Cajun Mardi Gras. Ordinarily, I loathe the idea of Mardi Gras. Any kind of group celebration, anything festive involving dancing fills me with self-conscious dread. Thousands of happy drunks crowding into the French Quarter, for instance? Not for me.
But Cajun Mardi Gras is another thing entirely-closer to the ancient French tradition, vaguely more dangerous, downright medieval. Cajuns do things their way, always have, always will. Whether it’s hanging on to the French language of their ancestors, their music traditions, or food, Cajuns fiercely keep it all vibrantly alive.”
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