LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - On Saturday hundreds of people gathered at the 8th Annual Culture Fest to celebrate cultures from across the world. However, what about one that’s near and dear to those right here at home.
"Fun, food, music and faith," Louisiana Heritage Center Loletta Wynder said.
That is what some would call the four pillars of the creole heritage. While many may not know what it is, for Louisiana natives, it’s a way of life.
“To lose the idea of Creole,” Edward Poullard said. “That was impossible because you were surrounded by it no matter which direction you went.”
The ethnicity made up of many different backgrounds.
"French, Spanish, African and native American," Wynder said.
With so many genetic variations of the Creole culture, Wynder says many people come to the center confused.
“Not knowing what your culture actually is, what your family make up is, your ancestors,” Wynder said.
There are many who embrace their background. For some, family recipes are passed down, for Poullard, it’s the Zydeco music.
“I learned the accordion first, from my dad, strictly by hearing and watching,” Poullard said.
After a serious hand injury, Poullard could no longer play the accordion, but says two of his children took over.
“I was just amazed they were interested in learning,” Poullard said. “Seriously interested in learning.”
Like many cultures around the world, Creoles speak their own broken French. However, the language is nearly lost. That’s why Poullard says it’s so important to teach people about their Creole background.
“This is my time to give it to another generation, because when I’m gone in my family,” Poullard said. “If my kids don’t learn, and try to pass it on to other members of the family, it’s gonna be dead. It’s gone be gone forever.”
For more information on the Creole culture or how to trace your genealogy, visit the Louisiana Heritage Center website.