Essay about The Cajuns : Americanization Of A People By Shane K. Bernard

Essay about The Cajuns : Americanization Of A People By Shane K. Bernard

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Southern culture is based upon three main things. The south is known for its hospitality, language, and food. Here is a bit of an overview on the history and background of the Cajun culture and language. Cajun culture began with the arrival of French Acadians who migrated to and settled in what is now Louisiana mainly between 1765 and 1785 (Cajuns, 1996). Cajun French is a variety of the French language spoken primarily in Louisiana, specifically in the southern parishes (Cajun French, 2016). The Cajuns spoke French almost exclusively until the 20th century. Many would learn English get along in an increasingly Anglo society as the 19th century progressed, but their main language was Cajun French. The basics of the language is their Acadian French, or the language of the 17th century France (language, 1997).
Back when the people in southwest Louisiana spoke mainly Cajun French they were not allowed to speak the language in schools. In the book the Cajuns: Americanization of a people by Shane k. Bernard talks about how they were not allowed to speak to the teachers in French. If French words were spoken, “they were turned over to the principal’s office, where the principal had a set of rubber tubes tied together and we were whipped. The girls caught were punished different, as they were forced to walk around the flagpole with bricks in their hands”(Bernard, p.19). In my last interview Mrs.Winola comments that “school was fun at first but the teachers didn’t want us speaking French while on the school grounds so if we were caught speaking the language we would be punished.” She also says how her and her brother were caught speaking French and were forced to write lines “we will not speak Cajun French while on the school grounds.” B...


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...andparents, great-grandparents and early ancestors spoke so very well is not a dying language but a language that is coming back to life slowly but all at once and also growing. I can’t begin to understand why children were punished for speaking the language that they had known, or understand what the children went through. Back to before when I had said the language was growing the world will soon remember the language and begin to learn it again they are already teaching Cajun French in some schools today so we are just one step closer. we may never know why the teachers and the principals back then would not allow for there to be French speaking in the schools and why they punished whoever spoke the language. Now I ask of you do you believe the Cajun French language is a dying language or just a language that hasn’t been recognized for it full potential just yet?

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