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The city of New Orleans, located by the delta of the Mississippi River and the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, is a distinctly American town, although it has a rather unusual cultural makeup. Most places in the United States are primarily informed by British or Spanish tastes which reflect its history of colonization. Most of the United States was settled by the Spanish or the British Empire. However, New Orleans was settled by the French and was not purchased by the United States until the early 1800s.
The French colonial influence on the state of Louisiana is exemplified in a variety of ways. Many of the towns have French names, instead of counties they have parishes, and the architecture of New Orleans. Not to mention the famous French Quarter neighborhood of that gulf city.
The diversity of the city also comes from it being a major point of entry for immigrants in the 19th century and as a result is full of different kinds of cultures and peoples.
New Orleans is generally considered to be a cultural center of the South and is so distinctive that it even has a special local accent and dialect or creole. It is also often called the birth place of jazz and was Louis Armstrong’s home. Today there are many different Jazz festivals that take place within the city.
The French influence on the city is also evident in some of the traditions there such as their symbols, like the fleur-de-lis. France was a catholic colonizer and therefore catholic holidays happen to be of great importance in the city. Mardi Gras, which, translated into English means Fat Tuesday, takes place before lent every year (lent is a traditional period of aestheticism in the Catholic church) and is celebrated by an absolutely huge party involving decadent eating and drinking.
These features of the city not only make it a wonderful place to visit, but also to live. The history of the region make for the opportunity to constantly learn about American culture and diversity.