Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

And from Acadiana ...

Day of Acadians -- focus on paintings of Mary Anne de Boisblanc at the Acadian Memorial.

"Acadians celebrate culture"

New Brunswick report on Acadian Day celebrations.

Monday, August 15, 2005

First Day Cover

Canada Post - New Press Releases

Picture of the new Canadian stamp remembering the deportation, which depicts the 1930 commemorative Grand-Pre stamp superimposed on the Acadian flag.

Canada Post issues Acadian stamp

Canada Post issues Acadian stamp

Dumb laws

We enjoyed a day at Vermilionville yesterday. We learned about one of Louisiana's dumber laws: at living history museums such as Vermilionville, where costumed interpreters prepare food in authentic fashion, they are not permitted to share it with visitors, nor are they permitted to eat it themselves, neither are they permitted to feed it to the animals. They are required to dispose of it as garbage.

Deportation cross unveiled in Dieppe

From July 28: Odyssee Monument Unveiled in Dieppe; another story.

Thoughts on Le Grand Derangement

Yesterday we went to see Cody Daigle's musical "Grand-Pre," at the National Park Service's Acadian Cultural Center in Lafayette. It was well done musically and technically; Daigle is a solid playwright and director. He wrote the play quickly, and proof-readers missed some details that I found distracting. One of the main characters, "The Soldier" (ably performed by the multi-talented Daigle) is called that by others and refers to himself as a former soldier--but then he says he was a Lieutenant in the British Navy. Sailors are not soldiers. Then he goes "to the Port" to chat with ordinary sailors to see if he can get some gossip (as if a former officer in the British Navy would be chatting up ordinary sailors and accepted by them as one of their own).

This "Soldier" has a teenage son with a bit of wander-lust who each day is found "at the port" watching ships come and go. His father gets advance word of the expulsion, and on the night of September 4 "the Boy" sneaks aboard one of the ships in "the port" and stows away to live the life of a sailor. A bustling port in Grand-Pre? Has Daigle ever been there?

Something else struck me watching that play. Why is it so many people focus on the tragedy of the act of expulsion rather than the survival of the people? Why don't we tell more the stories of those who resisted? Why don't we tell the stories of those who were the pioneers to reestablish life in New Brunswick and Louisiana? I want my kids to know of the heroism of Beausoleil Broussard and the strength of Firmin LeBlanc, not of moping folks who get swept up in history and are always victims, never masters of their destiny.

Even tellings of Hawthorne's "Evangeline" tale often miss one of Hawthorne's key points, that Evangeline had to get on with life, stop moping about her own loss and start giving herself for others in a new life of dedication--only then did she find herself in the place where she was reunited with Gabriel.

This is the 250th anniversary of Le Grand Derangement--and yes, that was a horrific tragedy in our history. But we lived through it! Our ancestors survived, and rebuilt their lives, and preserved their faith and their heritage. That's what we need to remember. That's what we have celebrated three successive times at the Congres Mondial Acadien.

Sounds of Acadie ... has links to Acadian radio stations in the Maritimes. My favorites are Radio Beausejour and Radio Clare (they're the ones I've listened to while in Acadie). Celebrate La FĂȘte Nationale de l'Acadie by tuning in.

"Come celebrate l'Acadie" "Acadians make loud, proud noise as they mark Aug. 15 national holiday."