February 2015 - In This Issue:
At the country Mardi Gras in southwest Louisiana, called the Courir de Mardi Gras, the Mardi Gras (costumed participants) wear colorful costumes and masks that represent country folk, priests, and academics, to name a few of the roles play-acted throughout the day. Meanwhile, the capitaine and co-capitaines, sometimes with burlap whips, attempt to keep this unruly, drunken, and prankster-driven group under control. It is a day when lawyers, barbers, doctors, cooks, politicians, farmers, and others mix together acting crazy while wearing their masks to keep their identity a secret.

The first time I went to the country to watch the Tee Mamou Mardi Gras, I was confused. What is going on here? Why are people whipping each other? Why is someone wearing black face? While I was intrigued by the spectacle and colorful costumes, I judged what was going on. Frankly, I made these judgments without much knowledge or information. I assumed that I knew what was going on, but I didn't.

It is not just at Mardi Gras time that I make judgments and assumptions based on limited information. We all listen to a brief snippet on the radio, see a Facebook post, hear something from a friend and then assume we know what is going on. We then form an opinion about that thing or person based on limited information.

I know that when I take the time to learn more about a person, event, or a news story I begin to understand a more nuanced, complicated story. Things often are not as they seemed at first glance. The Mardi Gras wear their masks once a year, we all have masks that we don every day. What if we take off our masks and reveal ourselves? What if we allow others to show their true face we listen deeply to them?

Then, I believe, we will live more fully and care for one another.

Happy Mardi Gras,

Tee Mamou Mardi Gras




Below are two of my favorite Mardi Gras songs. The first is a country Mardi Gras song and the second is New Orleans style.


Tee Mamou Mardi Gras Video 


Professor Longhair's Mardi Gras in New Orleans 


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