Cajun Mardi Gras – Tickling

Cajun Mardi Gras – Tickling Society

Music; Ambience: Horn, Mardi Gras music (accordion, triangle, violin) Basile, LA

Say Mardi Gras and you’ll probably think of New Orleans. But there are other Mardi Gras, in the rural Cajun communities of south Louisiana – with their own versions of organized mayhem. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Barry Ancelet is a professor of French and Folklore at the University of Louisiana.

“One of the main points of Mardi Gras is to provide hilarity. When a Mardi Gras visit is at a house, if you step back and look at this thing, it looks like the most incredible explosion of color and music, and laughing. It looks like a festival. It is a festival, in fact. But it’s a festival that can come upon you. whether you mean for it to or not. The Mardi Gras goes from house to house begging for the ingredients for a gumbo. Or support to make that gumbo in the form of money. For example, they stop traffic and coerce money from these people. Now, on any other day, if a bunch of masked people stop a car on the highway and demand money, they should be arrested within about fifteen minutes, but on Mardi Gras day this is expected and appreciated. If a group of Mardi Gras runners surrounds you and is asking for money and you’re having trouble finding coins and they take one of your shoes, that’s just the name of the game, and you have to hop around good-naturedly. In a lot of senses, Mardi Gras is a lot like tickling. When you get tickled it makes you laugh, but it makes you feel uncomfortable and you wish that wasn’t being done.In a lot of ways Mardi Gras is like tickling society.”

We’ll hear more about Cajun Mardi Gras in future programs. Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

Cajun Mardi Gras - Tickling

There are many ways to celebrate Mardi Gras. In the rural Cajun communities of south Louisiana, it's organized mayhem.
Air Date:02/14/2013
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Cajun Mardi Gras - Tickling Society

Music; Ambience: Horn, Mardi Gras music (accordion, triangle, violin) Basile, LA

Say Mardi Gras and you'll probably think of New Orleans. But there are other Mardi Gras, in the rural Cajun communities of south Louisiana - with their own versions of organized mayhem. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Barry Ancelet is a professor of French and Folklore at the University of Louisiana.

"One of the main points of Mardi Gras is to provide hilarity. When a Mardi Gras visit is at a house, if you step back and look at this thing, it looks like the most incredible explosion of color and music, and laughing. It looks like a festival. It is a festival, in fact. But it's a festival that can come upon you. whether you mean for it to or not. The Mardi Gras goes from house to house begging for the ingredients for a gumbo. Or support to make that gumbo in the form of money. For example, they stop traffic and coerce money from these people. Now, on any other day, if a bunch of masked people stop a car on the highway and demand money, they should be arrested within about fifteen minutes, but on Mardi Gras day this is expected and appreciated. If a group of Mardi Gras runners surrounds you and is asking for money and you're having trouble finding coins and they take one of your shoes, that's just the name of the game, and you have to hop around good-naturedly. In a lot of senses, Mardi Gras is a lot like tickling. When you get tickled it makes you laugh, but it makes you feel uncomfortable and you wish that wasn't being done.In a lot of ways Mardi Gras is like tickling society."

We'll hear more about Cajun Mardi Gras in future programs. Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.