Crawfish – Trying to fit the culture Being an outsider is challenging anywhere in the world. Getting used to the food, the culture, or even the language is something that requires time and effort. New Orleans is a place that regardless where you are from, its people make you feel welcome. In some places, they would try to teach you their traditions, but in most of the cases you will learn by just looking around because almost everyone would be engage in them. I would say the connection between the people and the culture is what makes New Orleans a great city.
Sara Roahen is an xample of an outsider that fell in love with the city and tried to fit the culture in all the possible ways she could, as it is illustrated in her story: “Crawfish: A Crawfish Is a Darned Beast! ” “Every crawfish season in Louisiana, the heart of which runs roughly from January through May, I teeter through relearning the technique. And every season I undergo the crustacean eater’s equivalent of a fashion crisis.. ” Sara Roahen feels that she has become part of Louisiana, and that somehow she has fit the culture.
However, it can be notice from the beginning of her story that even though she has experienced different crawfish easons, every time she has to relearn the technique. Meaning that she has not truly become part of the culture because like any other outsider, it is not something they grew up following. I can certified this since I am not from here, one time someone tried to teach me how to properly eat crawfish and the more he taught me, the more confused I got. It’s is something I would never become an expert at, just like Sara Roahen.
In the same way, it can be notice that she has not become a Louisianian when she incorporated the description of the two women eating crawfish around her, which were experts on the task. One after the other, she twisted the crawfish in two, placing the tails ends temporarily aside in order to free the manicured trigger finger of her right hand… She did not pause, or even speak, until the tidy beheadings were complete. ” Sara Roahen was amazed by looking at this lady eat the crawfish like a particular tourist would be while watching something distinct to their own traditions.
I think the more Roahen tried to sound familiarized with the culture, the more she failed because of her reactions. “Matt and I tried to appear in control at Hawk’s… We casually traded peeling tips as we ate… But we could not resist posing our largest crawfish over a piece of boiled corn.. Our waitress caught us taking its portrait. It’s all right, lots of tourists do that, she said. ” This is another example where Sara Roahen fails to demonstrate her desire to appear or become a true local. As mentioned before, her reactions are those of a tourist.
She wanted to capture the moment, that for her was unique, but for a true local would be something common. Not being from here makes me understand her reactions, because it is something I always do, being impressed by the little things. It is something hat happens spontaneously. What attracts about the traditions here, is that even though it might be something simple like eating, it gathers and connects people. “My best voyeuristic memory of Mardi Gras 2006 is a group of teenagers standing around a cascade of crawfish that one of their fathers had just tipped from the pot.
The kids were in the same position when I passed by again an hour later, still chatting and twisting and sucking, carcasses beginning to bury their feet. ” By writing this, she is demonstrating that she enjoys noticing the aspects of this culture that is not her own. Somehow, she is also implying hat when you get engage in the traditions, time flies and it is not even noticed. I have seen this many times, every crawfish boil you go would last hours. The more you talk with your friends or family, the more crawfish you eat, and it appears to be something endless. I wondered how much better socialized we would be today if my teenage friends and I had rallied around mounds of boiled crawfish.. ” By this, she is trying to say that with its traditions, Louisiana prepares its people to become more sociable. Not only crawfish boils support this idea, but all the others traditions Louisiana has (music festivals, parades, nd so on). It helps people to become more sociable because the residents start following the traditions at an early age.
I think this is one of the reasons Sara Roahen fell in love with the city, because of the connection there is within people and the traditions it gives. To become a true local, I think one has to follow the traditions the way they were developed. It is a difficult task, since almost everyone adds a personal touch to everything. Sara Roahen wanted to fit the culture so bad that she decided to do her own crawfish boil, however, she did not invite anyone. “| did not know whether my first attempt at oiling crawfish would be such an occasion, and I did not want anyone else to know either. By doing this, she is failing to fit the traditions which are bringing people together and being sociable. I would say it is impossible to become a true local if you are an outsider because it is hard to adapt to new traditions even if you try over and over. She found a “crawfish production manual by the Louisiana State University Ag center that stated: Local consumers in Louisiana are not overly concerned about the presence of a full intestinal tract. ”
Sara fails to fit the culture once again without even realizing it. The first step to my bisque recipe… as to purge the crawfish by bathing them in saltwater, rinsing them, and repeating. You do this enough times to cleanse the crawfish.. and also to wash out their intestinal tracts. ” Even though others may follow those steps too, she is not being the true local she desires to be. She even implies this idea when she says: “I will never be a local in this regard. ” This makes me realize that I would never be a local either. I decided to read this story by Sara Roahen because I feel identified with her in the aspect that she is an outsider and ries to fit the culture in her daily basis.
I wanted to see how other outsider would describe a tradition that I have experienced myself. I did like how she explained her thoughts and feelings toward the crawfish tradition. However, I do not think that she is a local or would ever be. I believe a true local would not accept in completion how Sara Roahen writes because she fails to fit the culture. I think that she would have to change her outsider reactions, but it is something that happens unconsciously. To conclude, I believe Sara Roahen will not fit the culture to the extent she would love to.