Social Question

KNOWITALL's avatar

What regional differences are you/ have you noticed?

Asked by KNOWITALL (24080points) March 19th, 2013

Whether you’re in the US or not, have you noticed some major differences in lifestyle choices, politics, dialects, or anything that sparked your interest?

I have noticed that our region is obviously more religious, more pro-military less government, more into corporal punishment, more meat-eating, than a lot of other people on fluther, even in my own country. It’s nothing new, but is enlightening to discover the feelings the differences evoke in conversation.

I’m just curious about what you have noticed about your area, and how you’re different from other areas.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

16 Answers

tom_g's avatar

Great question. I haven’t spent too much time outside of New England. But one thing I did notice when I was living on the west coast is that people were far less tethered to a location. Everyone I met in California seemed to feel very geographically-free. They were living in CA right now, but felt no obligation to stay there. Their family and friends were spread across the country. In New England, however, it seems like many of us (not all) feel “stuck” here. If we’re raising kids, there is some pressure to stay near family – and that family has no intention of ever leaving New England.

marinelife's avatar

Those in the West are less inclined to categorize people by asking what college they went to or what religion they are.

The West is much less likely to talk at a party about politics or other issues of the day.

thorninmud's avatar

I grew up in Texas, but have by now lived an equal amount of time in Chicago.

Texas is very different. It has a ridiculously strong sense of regional identity, It seems to consider its relationship to the rest of the country as incidental, at best. It self-consciously cultivates its image as a quasi-republic, ready at the drop of a Stetson to take its ball and go home.

Here in Chicago, there’s some sense of a Chicago identity, but it’s not nearly as flamboyant. (and I’ve certainly never heard of an “Illinois” identity). There’s a tendency for Mid-Westerners to think of themselves as being “average Americans”, representing the middle way between the extremes. Their relationship to the rest of the country is less petulant as a result

KNOWITALL's avatar

Thanks for the responses. I have to admit that I often still very like a minority here, which is fine, but some of my natural responses which reflect MY real life, evoke semi-horror in others.

Like being vegan, not cool here for the most part since we’re a rural farming community. There are many more things I’m noticing lately as well. Sometimes when I’m on fluther reading and commenting, it’s like going to a different planet.

ragingloli's avatar

I have noticed that terrans are animalistic savages, even compared to the Cryptalids on Tryxalis, a moon around Zeta Reticuli 2.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@ragingloli You make me feel normal- lol

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@KNOWITALL If you want to see differences come to NYS. I can tell a downstater from an upstater, a northern resident from other areas. We have some real rednecks in some areas, granola types in other places. We have great tourist areas that bend over backwards to make you feel welcome (Cooperstown, Lake Placid). If it weren’t for our state government this would be a great place to live.

Judi's avatar

I noticed a cultural difference when I changed churches. My old church was German Lutheran and ate a lot of meat. In my new Church you need to always have vegetarian options available.

DominicX's avatar

One thing I notice in particular about the Bay Area is how gay-friendly it is. I had absolutely no problem coming out of the closet. Most people here are for gay marriage, even if they are more conservative. We’re home to some of the most outrageously liberal cities in the country: San Francisco and Berkeley. Certainly a fair amount of yuppies and hipsters here. :)

JLeslie's avatar

Growing up in the NYC and DC suburbs it was very diverse, the whole world lives in and around those cities. Being different colors, religions, langauges was actually being the same. In the northeast we joked about cultural stereotypes, had food from all over the world all around us, and we knew who was Italian, who was Panamanian, who was Chinese, who was Vietnamese, etc.

Then I went away to college in Michigan and it was a little bit of bazaro land for me that it was so “white.” Very few people spoke a second language. I met many people who had never met a Jewish person before (I am Jewish). The people from the Detroit suburbs did live in fairly diverse communities, but many people from other parts of the state had less experience with it. The Detroit suburbs in fact had the whole food thing going on, Greek, Italian, Polish, Asian, and the majority of my friends new what country their grandparents or great grandparents immigrated from. But, I also met my first DAR there, I didn’t even know what it meant until someone explained it to me. Daughters of the American Revolution for those of you who don’t know.

Then I lives in SE Florida and it is the northeast transplanted pretty much.

Now I am in Tennessee and people here are very friendly and helpful for the most part. They almost never ask where you are from or where your family is from. I have had a few people ask about my last name, which is a Jewish name, but they don’t come outright and ask if I am Jewish, unless of course they are Jewish too. They are shocked when my husband and I make some sort of joke about him being Mexican or me being Jewish. Although funny enough my Russian friend, she came here 8 years ago does it all the time about Russians. Just this morning I texted her that my movers did not show up today bevause they confused the date and thought it was tomorrow. She texted back, “are they drunk? russian? What?...”

@tom_g I agree some parts of the country people feel more stuck, or they are more loyal to the local or can’t imagine moving away from family. But, I do find both types of people in all places. People who have recently immigrated here I think tend to be more mobile. They already aren’t in their home country, so moving 5 times within the US doesn’t seem as much of a big deal to them I think. I wonder if there any stats on education level affecting mobility also? I know my husband and I think in terms of the entire US being open to us to live if we choose to (we would need a job though) and other people never really think in that way.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I’m from New Jersey. It’s not as bad as it sounds…..kinda. But I’ve noticed people from Jersey have a very sarcastic sense of humor. In my family if I joke with you a lot and call you things like “asshole” it’s actually a sign that I like you.

This caught a lot of people off guard when my fiance and I were in Belize. We’d be out at the bar and she’d call me an asshole and I’d fire back calling her a bitch. (all in good fun of course) but the people down there would look at us like OMG…They’re in a serious fight right now….how do you let him/her talk to you like that?

The funniest part was the person we rented our house from was an American. Right off the bat we clicked really fast when we met. We were out at the bar together one night and started joking around a lot with each other and we both pretty instantly came to the conclusion that the other had to be from NJ. Turns out our land lord grew up 20 mins from where I currently lived in NJ.

augustlan's avatar

My family is from your neck of the woods, @KNOWITALL (Missouri, right?), but my grandparents relocated my mother and her siblings to the Washington, DC area before I was born. Growing up just outside of DC but also spending a lot of time visiting ‘back home’ in Missouri, I saw definite regional differences.

The Missouri folks in my family are all religious (Baptists), while we weren’t so much. In DC, every religion (and lack of religion) was represented, but in Missouri most people are some variety of Christian.

In MO, there were some black people and tons of white people, but they didn’t tend to hang out together. As @JLeslie said, in the DC area it is a very global community and I grew up with classmates, friends and boyfriends from practically every country in the world which was pretty cool.

The MO contingent had a sort of southern twang, which I always found intriguing since it’s not really in the south.

What is really interesting to me is the transformation my mother’s sister underwent when she moved back to Missouri (from DC) as an adult. When she lived on the east coast, she was not religious and was very liberal. After living in MO for many, many years, my aunt is now a very conservative Christian. Like, an ‘Obama-is-the-anti-Christ’ type of person. I recently asked her if she thought that her current views were a result of where she lives, but she didn’t see it that way. I still wonder, though. The one and only time I became fervently interested in religion, I was in Missouri. I was only there for a couple of weeks, and I decided to get baptized! After I was back home, that fervor fell away from me within weeks. Maybe it’s something in the water, haha.

JLeslie's avatar

@uberbatman Yeah, I say a lot of people in the NE “bicker” all in good fun. I don’t like name calling at all, but a little arguing in fun is nornal to me. My friends in MI are similar. Here in the mid south many people are horrified. Not all but many. My husband’s family is from Mexico and although they are willing to debate, they don’t like anyone raising their voice. They obsess about it. I finally fgured it out when my MIL was talking about her new son-in-law (her dayghter’s second marriage) saying how wonderful he was that she had never seen him raise his voice. It never occurs to me to say that about someone, unless I think they are overly passive aggressive LOL. Not that I think her SIL is passive aggressive, he just would let his wife win most arguments, he didn’t want to bother to argue, and he wasn’t someine to raise his voice.

ETpro's avatar

Yeah, when I first arrived in Boston from Virginia Beach, I had no idea how to modify the car I’d driven up here. I could tell it wasn’t street legal here. They don’t allow cars on Boston streets. Fortunately, I finally found a quantum mechanic able to transmogrify R to H spin on the Higgs Boson and he modified my Jeep into a perfectly functioning cah.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@augustlan Yes, southern Missouri here. I’m starting to think it may be in the water, too. :)

I have had a few black friends in hs, but have worked with only two in my entire life, so you’re right, seems like races don’t mix a lot here, but it’s not nastiness, we just don’t come into contact I guess.

In your aunts defense, I never thought it was this area influencing my religious leanings, especially since I stopped attending church regularly, but after being on fluther awhile, I truly think it’s a definate regional ‘thing’.

JLeslie's avatar

Southern MO basically is the south and in the bible belt. It’s similar to how northern Florida basically is Georgia and southeat FL is the northeast.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther