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The American South is one of the most incredible parts of the country. There’s tremendous and everlasting pride in everything the South has to offer, and because of that, traditions have stuck like glue. Because of the South’s size, visiting from anywhere else in the country can feel like you’re heading into a completely different county.
Here are the three main things that Northerners won’t be able to ignore when in the South.
There are some foods that the whole country loves. You can still find pizza, burgers, tacos, and tons of other familiar foods in the South- but you’ll miss out on the real treats. Southern food is more than just biscuits and gravy or a buttery dish of grits.
There’s heart and soul cooked into every bite, and you won’t want to miss out by going to some chain restaurant. You can find a different type of food in most states. From the Carolinas, famous for their barbeque, Georgia has fried chicken and pies like no other. You’ll want to taste your way through every state until you bite gumbo and start searching for Baton Rouge houses for sale.
This difference isn’t just about accents. A thick Southern accent is like honey for your ears, but it’s not the only Southernism that matters when talking. The words themselves have different purposes and meanings and can keep you entertained as you learn them. From how the good old ‘fixin’ to’ means you’re getting ready to do something- to fixin’s which is what you call all the delicious sides you’re having with your food.
It grows and evolves with time like all languages, but most of the common sayings and phrases have been used for over fifty years. When someone asks you to mash a button on your phone, know that they mean to press it, and don’t correct them. There’s no right or wrong dialect, so don’t be surprised if you pick up a couple of sayings yourself.
We’ve all heard of Southern hospitality. It’s real and alive even now. The South prides itself on having its doors open to neighbors and being there to help one another. Because of the deep religious ties, the area has, many people hold to loving thy neighbor.
You can see this in decor like the pineapple. In the South it’s seen as a sign of welcome, of offering community- so many southerners decorate the entrances of their homes with wooden pineapple cut-outs or other decors that feature the fruit. It’s a uniquely southern thing, branching from when pineapples used to be seen as the ‘king of fruit’ because of their high price and rarity.
Southerners grow close to people quickly once a friendship starts, and they’re fiercely loyal. Most Northerners can have a little culture shock from this and think everyone has a different agenda, but that’s not the case. It’s just how they were raised.