What is Southern Culture?

Discussion in 'SHH Community Forum' started by Hobgoblin, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. Hobgoblin Veritas veritatum

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    I have to ask the Hypsters from Dixie, what is it like to live there? Its a very general question to ask with a lot of complex answers, I know. How is the South different from the North? How important is religion? How do you live with the history of slavery? What makes a person distinctly "southern?"
     
  2. Thundercrack85 Registered

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    Having lived there for some time, I would like to throw in my 2 cents.

    The South is perhaps the most religious place on this Earth that is not an official theocracy. But it can feel like one. For example, teaching evolution remains a controversial topic.

    White Southerners have a rather unique... perspective of the Civil War and slavery. While most will agree that slavery is bad, and nowadays, even that segregation is bad, there is a sort of denial of the true horrors of the institution among White Southerners. They see themselves as the victims of the war.

    Overall race relations have come a very, very long way since the 60's. But there is an unspoken enmity between White and Black Southerners. No one wants to talk about it. It seems to be getting better with the younger generations.

    It's key to understand that virtually all social progress in the South was brought about by outside forces. Be it the Union army, the US Supreme Court, or federal marshals. Southerners are by and large, extremely conservative.
     
  3. Piper Maru Guest

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    Fast food, guns, and Jesus.
     
  4. Marvolo Registered

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    Lived in the South all my life, and it is where I feel most at home.

    Its really hard to explain just what makes the South the South, or a person "southern". The South just is, and the people just are. Its in the land, and its in the blood. You can't really fully understand it unless you've grown up in it. The more cynical might have you believe its a bunch of hatred, but there is something here something deep that I haven't found anywhere else. I love it, despite how I ***** about it around here, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

    Yes, you have your bigots, your racists, and your religious nuts like any place. We just have our own unique brand in high concentration. Very conservative. The liberals don't speak out much. While it is true there is still plenty of racism, interracial relations are generally smooth. I have african americans in my own family, and have grown up seeing them as no different from any other race. My grandparents generation are still coming around to that idea. Things move slower here, and change is slow.

    Nothing like going to a smokehouse, getting a slab of ribs, and a sweet ice tea in the middle of July in the South. And the country! Don't even get me started on the country. The Blue Ridge Mountains, Smokey Mountains, just the mountains in general are something to behold. Standing at an overlook staring out at hundreds of miles of wilderness you really get a sense of what it must have been like when the mountain men first saw the Gap and began their journey west.

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    Side note: My grandmother didn't have indoor plumbing until the 80s. You know what they say "If the outhouse ain't broke..." lol.
     
    #4 Marvolo, Apr 10, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  5. ElMariachi Bald to the Bone

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    There is plenty racism in the 'North'. Not sure why the South gets that criticism alone. Boston, New York City, LA, Chicago, etc. All of these places have been segregated to some degree. Race relations in some of these places are arguably worse than down South these days. Just because they didn't have slavery doesn't mean they liked blacks or other minorities .
     
    #5 ElMariachi, Apr 10, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  6. NickNitro Extra Terrestrial

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    I live in FL......we aren't considered the south. We are like...upper Cuba
     
  7. RockSP MYTH SMITH ˆž∞!!!

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    People need to get over this misconception.
     
  8. Evelisse Exactly

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    I grew up in the North, moved to the south after high school for college and never left. Yea pretty much you just live your life and other than the heat, no real big difference. Guess it depends where, everyplace has it's bad areas north and south, I feel just as uncomfortable being in certain rural areas in the south as I do in the north. As far as racism, I'm Hispanic, guess it's just more open down here, but again just as many as up north, just a lot more closet cases up north but yea it's still there. Oh and we are allowed to dance down here, besides what popular 80s movies might convey.
     
  9. Asteroid-Man Registered

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    I'm Canadian, and even I got that joke! :D
     
  10. NickNitro Extra Terrestrial

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    well Im glad you dont have to deal with some of the crazy Southerners Asteroid-Man up in Canada....just those crazy French

    Its the only state the more north you go........the more south you get......if that makes any sense.
     
  11. C. Lee Superherohype Administrator

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    It's nice.

    It's slower and more laid back.

    Generaly pretty important.

    Well....we don't walk around having discussion about while having lunch at Burger King or shopping at WalMart. It's usually only brought up by Northeners who seem to think that it's an overwhelming obsession to us.

    Being friendly to strangers.
     
  12. Nell2ThaIzzay Registered

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    Having lived in the south for the past few years, originally living in California before that, this whole "southern hospitality" thing is perhaps the most overblown misconception out there about the south.

    The whole "being friendly to strangers" bit typically only happens in the country, not as much in the larger cities, and the whole "being friendly to strangers" bit that happens in the country is no different than the way people act in the country out in California. It's not a southern thing, and is more of a "rural versus urban" deal than a "southern hospitality" thing.

    In my experiences in the south, all of the racism and religion stereotypes are absolutely true. I have been outcast and ostracized from certain groups simply because of my religious beliefs (or rather, lack thereof) or my political beliefs. There is always something in effect to try to take rights away from the non-white, Christian segment and to impose their Christian values upon everyone else via theocratic means. Heaven forbid you be Muslim or middle eastern. Or heaven forbid you be a liberal. Muslims and liberals are about the bane of southern existence.

    Basically, my experiences with the south having lived here the past few years is a living, breathing, real life Fox News. The only source of sanity I get is when I'm around the local college community and people are more tolerant and open minded. Outside of that, you better hope you're a non-Muslim, non-Liberal, non-gay white Christian conservative.

    The way of life, and value system down here, is completely at odds with anything and everything I've ever known growing up. I'm almost to a point that if the south wanted to secede again and create their own nation, we should just let 'em.

    And don't even get me started on sweet tea. I mean what kind of freaking abomination is that???
     
  13. terry78 My name is Stefan, sweet thang

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    You seem tense.
     
  14. NickNitro Extra Terrestrial

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    I saw a giant truck driving down the road the other day, confederate flag waving in the air. Clearly they were hardcore rednecks, mud all over the tires and body of the lifted Truck.

    It wasnt the confederate flag that surprised me, I see them a lot in FL (Im originally from PA), it was the giant windshield sticker they had that said "Tradition, Not Hatred"

    I know the South gets a bad rap for being intolerant, and for good reason. I was just happy to see this one truck, and that one sticker. Gave me some hope.
     
  15. Spider-Who? ERMERGERD!

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    I live in Virginia, but I've also lived in Philadelphia and a couple places in New Jersey.

    If I had to choose, I'd pick Virginia in a heart beat.

    Everything is typically a lot more laid back, people are happier/friendlier. Yes, I would say there are more religious people in Virginia, but its NEVER been a source of issues - churchs here try to help out the communities and that's about as visible as they get, no damning others for differing beliefs. There are still plenty of other faiths, atheists and where I live is a melting pot (hispanic, indian, middle-eastern, african american, asian). People around here love their cookouts, hiking, hopping on their boats and speeding down the rivers. There's lots of hunters and fishing, horse back riding, dirt biking, etc, though none of it is as all-encompassing as you'd imagine. It's pretty diversified. I've never ridden a horse, hunted, rode a dirt bike or stepped foot on a farm (outside of a elementary school field trip).

    Slavery only comes up, like another poster said, when people from the north bring it up. It's really amusing to see northerners sit atop a high chair and feel great about damning southerners for slavery, even though slavery and racism existed north of the mason-dixon line as well. Northerners act like some sort of hero, even though NONE of them had ANYTHING to do with ending slavery, just like none of us Southerners had ANYTHING to do with those who did have slaves 150 odd years ago. I'd also like to point out that I've witnessed far more racism in northern towns than here in VA. (And history lesson: it's not like all southern states had slaves because they wanted to or where evil people - at the time, it was deemed "necessary" - there just weren't enough people to grow all the crops that supported the nation.

    You'd be surprised at the amount of documentation of slave-owners who hated slavery, even freed them when they died, but whose hands were tied behind their backs due to the circumstances of the times (high demand for food stuffs, not enough hands to actually make it happen). That's no excuse for slavery by ANY means, but it does undermine the "white southern devil bigot" image ignorant people try to pass as fact.

    If southerns wanted to play the blame game like northerners like to do, we could simply state that northern states were far too lazy to grow their own food or move to better climate for farming and demanded the southern states take care of it for everyone...the demand far outweighed the ability of the supplier to supply it on their own, which is why slavery lasted for as long as it did, despite there being a well documented disdain for it by slave owners. But again, slavery was a terrible, terrible institution no matter how many slave owners hated it, and anyone who says otherwise is psychotic.

    All in all, the South is a lot like the North, you be in a town full of nice, sane, respectable people and drive ten miles to another town and hate it (though if I were honest, I would say that the ratio of good to bad falls heavily on the bad side in the northern states I've lived).
     
    #15 Spider-Who?, Apr 10, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  16. C. Lee Superherohype Administrator

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    Ever think....it's your attitude? I've been to 25 states and 3 countries. There are good and bad things and people everywhere. It's been my experience that you generally get back what you give off. You smile at people you get smiles back. You scowl at them you get that back.



    I'm reminded of a story my father recounted to me once when we lived in Florida.

    He was at his local favorite bar having an after work drink with his pals. A guy comes in and orders a drink. He starts talking loudly about how terrible Florida was. New York had better this. New York had batter that. New Yorkers did this better. New Yorkers did that better. He went on and on for a while. Dad said he and his buddies laughed at the guy....

    ....then dad asked "Can I see it?"

    The guys said "Can you see what?"

    Dad said "The court order that says that you have to stay here one damn second longer than you absolutely have to."
     
  17. Thundercrack85 Registered

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    I always thought "Southern hospitality" was an ironic phrase, like "Little John".

    At any rate, like Nell said, you better be white, straight and Christian, if you want any hospitableness.
     
  18. Evelisse Exactly

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    In some places sure, just like the north though right? Or is there a state that has that all fixed?
     
  19. Juicy J Registered

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    Yes there's a lot of ignorant people down here (I live in Alabama, so yeah) and a lot of bigotry but overall most of my family and friends are generally accepting, loving, and nice to everyone they encounter. There's good and bad everywhere, but I think you've got to try harder to find the jerks down here than up north. I think 'southern hospitality' is a term we've earned, to be honest.
    Like C. Lee said, it's what you show people that you get back. My grandmother, the sweetest woman I've ever known, moved down here from Minneapolis a few years ago and for the first few months couldn't stop talking about how nice everyone was compared to up north. She's lived in Chicago, Washington DC, and several other places, so she's no stranger to the north.
    She's also a liberal and non-religious, so I have a tough time buying some of the things you all are saying.
    Also, whoever took a crack at sweet tea: you're wrong. No way around it :woot: I don't know what kind of sweet tea you've been drinking, but come down to Alabama and have some Milo's sweet tea and just try and tell me you don't like it.
     
  20. Midnyte_Sun Medianoche de Sol

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    I think Southern people, white or black, tend to be the nicest most down to earth people. Their lives are not as hectic or chaotic as the East or West coast, and each town has its own soul.

    If you like the cosmopolitan life, shopping, diversity, it really isn't your place. The food is good as long as you stay away from the truck stops and fast food joints. Shopping is hit or miss...Walmarts have done their damage. If you like hunting/fishing and trapping, this is a good place for that.

    Places I've been to: Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, Ozarks (Arkansas-Southern Missouri), and Texas.
     
    #20 Midnyte_Sun, Apr 10, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  21. Thundercrack85 Registered

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    Well, I'm European. So for me it was a particularly fun experience. Blacks dislike you because you're White (though they did warm up when I made it clear that I wasn't a Southerner), and the Whites look at you funny because you're a foreigner. But hey at least they don't lynch you anymore.

    On the plus though, being white, I never got pulled over by the cops. Which is more than can be said for some of the Latinos I knew.

    But I may be accentuating the negatives. The South has some nice things too. The topography is beautiful. It's a fairly inexpensive place to live. And people will pretty much leave you alone, if you leave them alone. Provided you're white of course.
     
  22. C. Lee Superherohype Administrator

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    Ah...the mythical land to the north...where no black/Latino man is ever hassled by anyone and can drive without worry......must be Canada......
     
  23. terry78 My name is Stefan, sweet thang

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    All that free medicine has made them immune to racism.
     
  24. DarkSovereignty Ooga Chakka

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    And the syrup. It a scientifically proven fact that tolerance composes 54% of maple syrups chemical make-up.
     
  25. ThePhantasm 2 sexy 4 a stormtrooper

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    I've been to both the North and the South USA, and I have to say I like the South a lot better (though its much hotter in climate than I'm used to).
     

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