People can, and often do, build shrines in their memory to cherished experiences in their lives. While some of these shrines are dedicated to memories of a purely personal nature, a few are related to community traditions that have grown to have especial meaning. The Mardi Gras is one such tradition, which many Americans value both for its historical significance as well as because it is a much looked forward to event of fun, color, and uninhibited celebration. Indeed, the Mardi Gras has grown to the stature of a form of American pilgrimage for many citizens and tourists alike.
What makes the Mardi Gras so singularly extraordinary among the tens of hundreds of festivals that are characterized by fun and gaiety? No doubt, a survey to determine the main factors behind the mystique and charisma of the Mardi Gras would throw up several rational and emotional descriptors such…… [Read More]
The music was so intoxicating that it was impossible to stand still or to even walk without a rhythmic gait.
The food smells were equally overpowering. Not only had all the local markets, bars and restaurants opened their doors and set tables and chairs in front, but hundreds of people were cooking on the streets as well. Barbecue grills sizzled with chicken, ribs, sausages, and pots of boiled crawfish, corn-on- the-cob, red beans and rice, gumbos, and zatarans of various flavors. Even if one had eaten a full-course meal before arriving, it would have been impossible not to indulge and sample as many selections of tastes as your wallet or stomach could tolerate.
Late afternoon, the Endymion parade began its long route to town, through the French Quarter and that would eventually end at the Superdome, where the Endymion Ball would take place. To see these parades on television is…… [Read More]
One of the most well-known aspects of the modern Mardi Gras celebration is the throwing of beads and other trinkets from the parade krewes (groups and organizations that have floats in the parade) to the crowd of spectators. his was started in 1870 by the welfth Night krewe, and was quickly taken up by other groups, each of whom throws their own unique trinkets (Mardi Gras New Orleans 2009). Contrary to popular belief (and wishful thinking) however, the baring of breasts by women to get beads is not actually a part of the Mardi Gras tradition, but is simply the result of a lot of drunken college students losing their inhibitions and doing whatever they can to draw attention to themselves (Mardi Gras New Orleans 2009).
Something that definitely is a part of the Mardi Gras tradition is the King Cakes. his pastry has a complex origins, again beginning…… [Read More]
Under French rule, masked balls and festivals were the predecessor of the festival we know today. After being banned when New Orleans came under Spanish rule, the masked festivals returned in 1827 (Davis, 1997).
The festivals developed during the 19th century to include parades featuring masks, people in carriages and on horseback. To curb complaints about violence during the celebrations, the Comus organization was formed to impose a measure of regulation and safety to the event. This organization began customs such as using the word krewe to describe its members, the unifying theme displayed by floats, and the Mardi Gras ball (Davis, 1997).
The king and queen tradition, together with the king cake tradition, were instated during the 1870's (Hall of Festivities, 2010). Today, Mardi Gras in New Orleans occurs every year in February. Millions of tourists are attracted by this colorful and attractive festival.
Davis, Jim. Mardi Gras…… [Read More]
Aside from the Spanish conquerors, after American gained power on their land, there were also times when the Mardi Gras was banned by the U.S. Government. It was only because of Creoles that the ban on Mardi Gras celebration was lifted. In 1827, the Americans were once again able to revel days before the penitence of Lent. Festivities were once again gathered with people wearing masks, drinking, and enjoying the merriments on the streets. It was in 1837 when people made a public parade of happiness in New Orleans, with masks and costumes, in celebration of the Mardi Gras.
The official colors of the Mardi Gras event were known in 1872. There are three colors of the Mardi Gras in which each represents and symbolizes something. From Celebrate Express Online, these colors are the following.
Purple - a symbol of justice
Green - representing faith
Gold - representing power
The…… [Read More]
Full efforts of the city's resources have begun to rebuild the image of Mardi Gras as the massive phenomenon it was. After a few years of smaller celebrations, more recent celebrations have returned to their outrageous roots, and tourists are once again flocking to the insane festivities offered in the crazy days of Mardi Gras. The 2009 celebration is looking to bring back the pre-Katrina glory, and is backed by the entire city. The mayor and all the residents have continued to amaze the rest of the nation with their dedication to keeping the Carnival running.
Although recent celebrations have been relatively small in comparison to pre-Katrina debaucheries, the city of New Orleans refuses to let their livelihood die. Many citizens have dedicated time and effort into reviving the tradition. As each new year after Katrina continues to grow and bring more and more tourists back to Mardi Gras, it…… [Read More]
the nineteenth century saw the Mardi Gras celebration banned, but when it were restored in New Orleans in the 1820s it was a great equalizing force, allowing African-Americans -- man of them still slaves -- the freedom to drum and celebrate in ways they were unable to almost anywhere else or at any other time (Carnaval 2000). The celebrations are still a great equalizer, brining together people of all classes and backgrounds in a racous celebration of life.
Davis, J. (1997). "Mardi Gras history." Accessed 8 September 2009. http://www.eastjeffersonparish.com/culture/MADIGA/HISTOY/history.htm
Carnaval. (2000). "Mardi Gras: Myth and history." Accessed 8 September 2009. http://www.carnaval.com/cityguides/neworleans/history.htm
Hall of Festivities. "Mardi Gras." Accessed 8 September 2009. http://www.novareinna.com/festive/mardi.html
Mardi Gras New Orleans. (2009). "Mardi Gras history." Accessed 8 September 2009. http://www.mardigrasneworleans.com/history.html… [Read More]
Professionals involved in therapy and counseling with members of the Creole culture of New Orleans and southern Louisiana should be aware of the history and traditions of this group that make it distinctive from all others in the United States, and indeed from the French-speaking Cajun communities in the same region. In Louisiana, Creoles are not simply the white descendants of the early French and Spanish colonists, although in the post-Civil War era of Jim Crow there was a major attempt to redefine them as 100% white. This was never the case in history since they are a mixed-race people descended from Europeans, Native Americans and African slaves during the 18th Century and occupied a special caste in pre-Civil War Louisiana. They spoke their own language known as Creole French, as do tens of thousands of their descendants today, and in appearance have often been able to 'pass' as…… [Read More]
This is a pattern that is relatively consistent over a long time period (Clayton & Spletzer, 2006). The only difference in 2005 was that unemployment claims did not rise in the fourth quarter with the drop in jobs, as they had done in the past.
It is difficult to draw definitive conclusions as to where these employees went in the fourth quarter of 2005. To do so would be filled with generalizations that do not account for all of the factors involved. However, it can be surmised that in the fourth quarter of 2005, workers in New Orleans went elsewhere and were dispersed into other economies. Statewide numbers do not support a change that is significantly different from other years. Therefore, it does nor= appear that this diaspora had an impact on a state or national level. The only reasonable explanation is that unlike other years, where workers filed unemployment…… [Read More]
Reid (78) suggests that Sweetback's sexuality and his "controlled" violence are important elements when it comes to his escape. Prior to this film, Reid (78) points out that black male sexuality was portrayed as being "animalistic and instinctively violent," however, Van Peebles depiction of such a sexual being with "a controlled and motivated violence" was a "heroic idea" that certainly was different than anything the African-American community had seen before in its portrayal of sexual black men.
All three of the "road films" -- Easy Rider, Stroszek, and Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song -- are films about taking to the road in search of something or as a means to escape from something. All of the characters in the collective films -- Billy, yatt, Stroszek, and Sweet Sweetback -- are trying to escape some type of disillusionment, whether it is disillusionment with the government, disillusionment with life, or a disillusionment caused…… [Read More]
Some never will be, due to the damage and loss sustained after the hurricane and floods. The society is New Orleans is still suffering because they have lost the order that was there, and are struggling to rebuild it, often without the support of any outside sources. It has taken too long to try to get New Orleans back to normal, and there are questions that wonder if it will ever be remotely close to the place it was before the hurricane.
In the functionalist approach, parts of society are interrelated. That certainly illustrates New Orleans after the hurricane, because the society has struggled so hard to come back together. Restaurants have reopened, Mardi Gras has continued, the French Quarter tries to lure visitors, and the businesses are coming back, some more slowly than others. Many people are determined to rebuild the city and make it better than it was…… [Read More]
He also observes the poignant problem of racism that arises here, which is also his reason for calling the new cult "white" Buddhism: in spite of the fact that the hite Buddhists may adopt all the traditional Asian customs- from their name to the food they eat or to the rituals as such, they will still be part of the "mainstream of the white culture." (Allitt 1999, 459). That is to say, the racial differences, still linger no matter what, and are emphasized by the American racism, which is the dark side of American culture.
Finally, Eldin Villafane analyzes the way in which the Catholicism of Spain was imposed to the Native Americans in Mexico, emphasizing the great religiosity of the Hispanic people. The author discusses the differences between Christendom and Christianity, the first being the powerful and complete assimilation of all life-matters into the religious frame.
Thus, all these…… [Read More]
Social Control and the Life-Course Perspective
Social control theories attempt to understand crime by looking at the formal or informal social controls which lead most people to forego criminal behavior but simultaneously fail to hinder others. Of the various individual theories which fall under the umbrella of social control, perhaps one of the most disruptive and innovative for the sociological study of crime is Robert Sampson and John Laub's life-course theory, which posits that not only does childhood and adolescent behavior predict later criminal behavior, as suggested by numerous other theories, but that certain events throughout one's life may also serve to alter a person's trajectory towards or away from criminal behavior, such that one attempting to understand the social factors precipitating crime must necessarily examine an individual's life-course, rather than just his or her childhood behavior and development. To understand just how much Sampson and Laub's theory differs from…… [Read More]
tales we know to be true. They begin with "once upon a time." They end with "happily ever after." And somewhere in between the prince rescues the damsel in distress.
Of course, this is not actually the case. Many fairytales omit these essential words. But few fairytales in the Western tradition indeed fail to have a beautiful, passive maiden rescued by a vibrant man, usually her superior in either social rank or in moral standing. Indeed, it is precisely the passivity of the women in fairy tales that has lead so many progressive parents to wonder whether their children should be exposed to them. Can any girl ever really believe that she can grow up to be president or CEO or an astronaut after five viewings of Disney's "Snow White"?
Perhaps, perhaps not. But certainly it is true that modern popular culture contains a number examples of characters and stories…… [Read More]
Shopping as Entertainment
hen the Bluewater shopping center in Kent advertises itself as 'the most innovative and exciting shopping and leisure destination in Europe today' (Bluewater website) it is reflecting a widespread and highly significant trend. For many contemporary large-scale shopping centers, leisure and entertainment are as important as, and are thoroughly integrated with, their retail activities. The combining of shopping with entertainment has been recognized in the cumbersome term 'shoppertainment' (Lamancusa). Thus the MetroCentre in Gateshead invites its visitors to 'Uncover the world of shoppertainment at the Centre' (MetroCentre website); Sawgrass Mills Mall at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, boasts that it 'features almost 2 miles of "Shoppertainment" (SawgrassMills web site); the Madrid Xanadu center is promoted by its U.S. owners with the slogan 'Shoppertainment heads to Europe' (Madrid Xanadu web site). Indeed, the Mills Corporation, the American developer behind Sawgrass Mills, Madrid Xanadu and many other such enterprises, registered the…… [Read More]
Wedding Gowns: The History Of the White, Western Wedding Gown
Despite the seeming ubiquity of white wedding gowns, the association of a beautiful, white dress with a bride's marriage day is relatively recent and specific to Western culture. Most women up to the 19th century simply wore their best dress, which was unlikely to be white. "Grey was much favoured as both modest and useful, and brown was not uncommon; white was usually just too impractical" (The history of the white wedding dress, 2013, eader's Digest). White came into fashion amongst the aspiring middle class when Queen Victoria wore white to her wedding. White had been often worn by royalty in the past but was not particularly fashionable at the time. "Victoria's attire was considered far too restrained by royal standards, with no jewels, crown, or velvet robes trimmed with ermine. White was also considered the color of mourning at…… [Read More]