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Louisiana, USA

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Louisiana is a state in the USA but, unlike the other 49, Louisiana follows the Napoleonic Code which sets the example of equality in the eyes of the law1. It's also famous for its pelicans (which is the state bird) and mosquitoes, so if you're going to Louisiana it's wise to pack some insect repellant.


Louisiana has an area of 48,523 square miles and its capital is Baton Rouge, not New Orleans despite what other people may tell you. The state tree is the cypress, the state flower is the magnolia, and its nickname is 'The Pelican State'. The state is named after Louis XIV, the Sun King.

Louisiana came to the US when the French sold the state in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, which more than doubled the size of the US. On April 30, 1812, Louisiana officially became the eighteenth state.

Fun Stuff

Louisiana is pictured as a state full of illiterate people who make their living catching crawfish and other seafood, and living in swamps. While a few people do, in fact, make their living this way, that view is mainly stereotypical2.

The biggest festival in the region is the state-wide celebration of Mardi Gras, or 'Fat Tuesday'. This celebration is the day before Ash Wednesday, but can usually be celebrated at least a month in advance. The whole city comes out to play for a massive session of all-night parties.

The primary language is English, but it would be advisable to have a French/English dictionary handy. Also, watch out for alligators and you should be fine.

Tulane University, New Orleans

While Tulane University is most probably the best place to spend four years of your youthful life, most people attend merely for the crawfish. A typical student can expect to partake in two months of crawfish eating, and a continuous intake of Abita beer. In the absence of crawfish, students are commonly found eating fried seafood po'boy3 sandwiches, while washing them down with beer.

Tulanians are given the opportunity to obtain a world-class education at an institution rich in history and tradition. They are also provided with ample access to shrimp creole and bourbon whiskey.

1It also states that what belongs to the husband belongs to the wife and vice versa. A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams is set in New Orleans and the Napoleonic Code is central to the story.2Another great book which expresses the old and new Louisiana is Exquisite Corpses by Poppy Z Brite. The story is quite gruesome but it captures the feel of New Orleans.3This is short for 'Poor Boy' - any sandwich with meat.

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