Festival International, et en anglais : Festival International Acadiana's francophone world music festival. T'ain't nothing like it. If you're not from here you need to get yourself here. And if you're from here you need to get yourself over there.....
So it is Festival time again and I'm taking a break from the fun. Just got back from listening to the Malvenas, catching a little distant Brazilian folk, watching grandkids play in the fountain, and mixing up Lebanese and Cajun for lunch. (Spicy Chicken Gyros and Crawfish Maque Choux — both recommended.)
About this time of year every year I'm moved to make a springtime expression of Lafayette's thanks for the support we've has received from around the country and around the world. My server logs and emails, make it clear that our fiber conflict has attracted supporters from all over. The most appropriate expression of our thanks has always seemed to me to be to share with those folks that which makes the community worth fighting for.
So, before you go much further, click over to the KRVS website and catch the ongoing Festival International Stream which will be running all day today (Sat. 28th) and tomorrow (Sun. 29th). Get the music up in the background. Festival International is a great expression of what makes Lafayette and South Louisiana so unique. In a band which runs roughly south of I-10 (but further north near Lafayette) you'll find a unique and uniquely open culture. Leavened with a healthy dose African traditions the gumbo of cultures here is classically creole--in the anthropological sense: it is an uneven mixture of cultures. The original settler culture here was not British but French and other cultures, including what we call "Americain," are layered over that, not the other way around. Traditionalists remain amused by the American nervousness over things that can't be changed in human nature and confused at why anyone would think they should supressed be instead of celebrated. One index of that attitude: While the rest of the country seems lost in an anxiety attack over immigrant culture, Lafayette invites the world particularly if they don't speak English, to come on over and show us their stuff with the intent of adopting what we like best.
You're not in Kansas, Toto.
There's a nice, and growing collection of images and videos over at the Advertiser site that offer up a taste of the ambiance.... [Video index sans flash; images index sans flash]
Thanks all...local and not...here's what we've been fighting for.