Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Big Easy

New Orleans. What a terrible tragedy. A city of a million people flooded, destroyed, evacuated. I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like. It’s pointless trying to compare this with other natural disasters, but whichever way you look at it it’s terrible.

Of course the human suffering is the worst. Every one of the thousands of people who died will leave a big hole in the lives of everyone around them. Hundreds of thousands of people are homeless, and likely to remain so for months.

It seems petty by comparison, but I wonder what the long-term cultural effect of this tragedy will be? From what I understand, New Orleans has – had - its own unique culture quite distinct from the rest of the South. I’ve never been, but I’d have liked to. I would still like to. What will happen to that culture now? Will the city ever be rebuilt and re-inhabited? Will it ever feel like the same place again? I won’t attempt to compare the potential loss of a culture with the human suffering that’s been experienced, but it would still be a terrible loss.

I pray that the city will be rebuilt and will come back to life stronger than ever. I’m reminded of Nehemiah and Ezra rebuilding Jerusalem after a generation in exile in Babylon.

In the meanwhile, I'd like to try to do my bit for New Orleans culture by trying to do some Creole cookery and inflicting it on some of my friends. Alas, with my cookery skills it’ll probably be an insult to the place. I dare say to do it properly you have to be born into it and spend years learning. But it’ll be my way of remembering the city after it’s disappeared from the news. For anyone who fancies doing the same, I found a brilliant recipe site: which is both highly intimidating but also inspiring.

Wish me luck! If I have any success I might post how I get on.


Blogger McSwain said...

I don't know much about British politics, but I do have an appreciation for Gumbo! Did you try it??

9:38 am  

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