The island of Cape Breton is located along the coast of northern America. It is a constituent of the province of Nova Scotia in Canada (Dronet 12). The island has four counties namely: Inverness, Richmond, Victoria and cape Breton. In the recent past, this island has experienced a sharp reduction in population.
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However, the most remarkable thing is the eternal presence of the Acadian way of life. The Acadian culture is predominantly visible in Cape Breton (Dronet 13). The cultural practices in the Acadian culture have managed to stand the test of time.
It is common for ancient cultures to fade away with time. However, the people of Cape Breton have managed to retain various aspects of the Acadian culture. This is evident in their music, dance, art, farming, cuisine, and other cultural practices.
The Acadian culture has an impressive array of inherent components that define it. These components have specific characteristics that make them unique. They clearly set the Acadian culture apart from other cultures (Dronet 17).
Of importance to historians and researchers is the fact that these aspects of the Acadian culture have managed to remain relevant to the contemporary world. This fact makes the Acadian culture unique because majority of traditional cultures have been diluted by western values that are anchored on modern civilization (Szivos 22).
One aspect of the Acadian culture that has remained relevant is music. It is arguably the most relevant and vibrant aspect of the Acadian culture. Before the dawn of the internet revolution, musical instruments were an integral part of Acadian households. Acadian musical instruments include guitar, fiddle, and organ (Szivos 24).
Over the years, Acadian people have propagated their music by ensuring that it passes on to emerging generations through oral instruction and active participation (Szivos 25). The Acadian music is rich in poetry, knowledge, and philosophy. Besides, their music is humorous and spiritual.
The Acadian music is usually simple and based on topical issues that are rich in cultural heritage (Szivos 27). Mostly, their music is used to pass and communicate vital cultural information to young generations.
Acadian music is composed depending on the mood of the occasion (Salzman 14). There are songs that are composed for different occasions such as: sleeping time, showing love and affection, narrating historical events, giving counsel to the young and keeping people happy and motivated while working.
The Acadian music constitutes various styles. They include: reels, waltz dance, two-step dance, and the quadrille dance (Salzman 16). These types of music are known to inspire people into taking dancing seriously. It is important to note that in Acadian culture, music goes together with dance.
In fact, Acadians use dance as a way to express their rich musical heritage. Dance has become one of the most accepted and common avenues for expressing the rich Acadian cultural identity. Most of these songs were formulated by the early occupants of medieval Acadia (Salzman 20).
Another important and defining aspect of Acadian culture is their food. Food is at the centre of Acadian heritage. Over the last centuries, Acadian culture has been displayed and propagated through traditional cuisine. There are three most popular Acadian traditional dishes. They are: chicken fricot, rapure and meat pie (Griffiths 12). Chicken fricot is the most favoured dish in Acadia.
Chicken is its key ingredient. This dish is mostly cooked during festivities and merry-making. This dish is usually popular when there is a huge gathering of people, mostly for celebration or while conducting one of many traditional ceremonies that are a common feature in Acadian cultural heritage. Apart from chicken, Acadians use wild rabbit in the preparation of fricot.
Rapure is another popular Acadian dish. This dish is mostly favoured for occasions when there are special guests in the community of Acadians (Griffiths 16). In most contexts, this dish is cooked from pork. However, this varies depending on those who are preparing the dish. The other traditional Acadian dish is traditional meat pie. This dish is found all over the Acadian society.
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This dish mostly prepared during the Christmas festive season. In Acadian culture, Christmas cannot be considered complete in the absence of traditional meat pie (Griffiths 23). It is cooked with fresh swine meat. Chicken is also added as part of the ingredients. The pie is mostly eaten without mixing with any other dish.
Another aspect of Acadian culture is their literature. In fact, the Acadian culture has been kept alive by its rich and comprehensive heritage in literature. There are numerous literary publications that are particularly concerned with propagation and preservation of the Acadian culture. Through such literature, the Acadian culture has remained alive through generations (Griffiths 24).
The culture is transmitted through short stories, riddles and fables. In most cases, these fall under the category of oral literature. This practice has ensured that the Acadian cultural heritage is passed on to other generations. Some observers have constantly argued that the Acadian culture is a self-preserving culture (Griffiths 30).
This means that the culture has internal mechanisms that provide avenues for continuity. The most important aspect of cultural literature is that it gives a clear picture of how certain aspects and affairs of a culture have been carried out over time. This ensures continuity of culture and its inherent factors. The Acadians have many pieces of literature that contain their rich cultural heritage.
Another important aspect of the Acadian culture is their farming practices. Acadians were especially known for their ability to transform and reclaim marshy land and making it sufficiently arable (Gough 15). The Acadians were solely acclaimed for their farming practices.
This practice was acquired through their interaction with Frenchmen. The Acadians became particularly known for their ability to transform poor land into a state of agricultural viability (Gough 18). They were too good in reclaiming land, to the extent that their migration patterns were greatly influenced by the presence of poor farming land.
Dronet, Curney. A Century of Acadian Culture: The Development of a Cajun Community. Newyork: Pelican Publishing, 2001. Print.
Gough, Barry. Historical Dictionary of Canada. Newyork: Scarecrow Press, 2011. Print
Griffiths, Naomi. The contexts of Acadian history, 1686-1784. Newyork: McGill- Queens, 1992. Print.
Salzman, Jack. American Studies: An Annotated Bibliography 1984-1988. London: Cambridge University Press, 1990. Print.
Szivos, John. Talking Acadian: Communication, Work, and Culture. Toronto: John Chetro-Szivos, 2006. Print.