Louisiana livin’ Louisiana lovin’

Gwendolyn Ducre

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Photo by Hawkeye StaffWe explore a few of Louisiana’s regions and the diverse cultures that make this state unique and one of a kind

 

People who aren’t from Louisiana sometimes think residents drive tractors to school or work, have pet alligators and even all have a deep country accent.

Those who have been raised in Louisiana can testify that everyone is different, depending on the region.

There are 8,645 students enrolled in ULM. Out of that total, there are 7,667 students from Louisiana.

Here are a few regions that make up the Louisiana culture at ULM. Whether Monroe is your hometown or home away from home, it is always interesting to see the differences in Louisiana’s mulitiple regions.

 

If a tourist wanted to visit a rural farm area, the Northeast region is the place to go. This region is full of towns with populations under 1,000.

Brandon Johnson, a sophomore general business major, is from Transylvania. Here, everyone knows everyone and there are only one or two family restaurants to dine in. With a population of 600, residents have to become creative when it comes to having fun. Johnson says he mostly spends his time fishing and hunting.

He speaks with a heavy country twang, and is often asked to repeat what he says because students don’t understand his dialect. In reference, Johnson was then named “Boondocks Brandon.”

Living in a rural area is second nature to Johnson and he wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

“I’ll spend the rest of my life there. It’s real peaceful. Everybody farms and helps each other out with seeds or chemicals. Everybody has a close relationship,” Johnson said.

 

The Cajun lifestyle has been a major influence on Louisiana’s diversity.

Troy Davis, a sophomore criminal justice major, is a former resident of Lafayette.  Lafayette is home of boudin and is known for residents having broken down French accents.

Davis said moving to Monroe from Lafayette was a major culture shock.

“The food was the worst… I remember being in the mall and stumbling across a place that was supposed to be creole influenced. The owners weren’t creole, the seasoning and proportion of the food was off. I was upset and somewhat offended,” Davis said.

Phrases that are not commonly used in other regions are still being used in this region.

“We speak in a dialect that is a combination of creole and French, we add words take out letters we address people certain ways when we we’re not being formal. For example, we will refer to girls as ‘o’chere’ guys ‘my baw’ and we say ‘yah’ or ‘no’ at the end of a statement depending on what we’re talking about,” Davis said.

 

The southern way of life is full of culture and zest. With its Spanish-French influence, the Southern region has a lot of traditions and interesting facts.

The lifestyle there is fast pace, and the people are inviting. In contrast with other regions, the south has a different upbringing than most.

Marquita Kaywood, a junior psychology major from Marrero, says that she can’t help but notice the differences she comes across daily here in Monroe.  Kaywood, growing up in the southern region, was taught to be well mannered and expect the same treatment from others.

“I can’t even count the times I have walked into doors because the person right in front of me doesn’t even think to hold it,” Kaywood said.

Kaywood also recalls a time at work when she was asked, “Why do you have such good manners,” while politely thanking costumers.

The southern region has a different dynamic than other regions. The culture there also has a lot of diversity.

“I love the originality of my city. Like no matter where I go there is no place like it. It makes me proud when my city can come together in one place and there not be any violence,” Kaywood said.