Does anyone know what it is like to be from a part of a state that is not the part that everyone knows about? When people hear that I am originally from Louisiana, unless they are also from the area, they usually assume that I am from south Louisiana or even more specifically, from the New Orleans area. (The latter being complicated by the fact that my husband, who isn’t even from Louisiana, went to seminary in New Orleans and did live there for a couple of years, but this was before we met.)
Every time a hurricane comes up on the Gulf Coast, we field questions about how my parents are weathering the storm. While they may get residual rain from the big storms, their area is more known as the area where the hotels fill to capacity with people evacuating from the Gulf Coast.
Louisiana, for most people, immediately conjures up images of zydeco music, Cajun food, and the French Quarter. While I enjoy visiting the French Quarter, love spicy Cajun food, and have been a Saints fan since long before last year’s amazing Super Bowl winning season, that is not the Louisiana of my childhood.
North Louisiana is actually a very normal place to grow up. My hometown is your standard southern mid-sized city in the Bible Belt. People speak with regular southern accents. The timber and paper industry is a big one in that area, and hunting, fishing, and high school football are a way of life. It was a great place to grow up, and we look forward to going back as often as we are able.
So the next time you meet someone from Louisiana, ask them “North or South”? If they are from northern Louisiana, they will appreciate the distinction. People from south Louisiana think that north Louisiana is a different state anyway. :-)