Only in the South…
To some, the South may seem like its own country. We have very different traditions and ways of doing things here that you won’t find anywhere else in the world: strangers speaking to you in the supermarket; (we’re just being polite, ya’ll.) children (and adults) replying with “Ma’am” and “Sir.” Here are a few things that sets the South apart.
If you’re not from the South, be careful when you order! We like our tea as sweet as can be. Sweet Tea is a southern staple. Pitchers always have at least one cup of sugar poured into them. In many places, sweet tea might just be labeled “regular”. Unsweet Tea is considered unholy and unnatural.
If you haven’t experienced Mardi Gras, you are missing out on one of the greatest southern traditions of all. While several cities in the USA celebrate Mardi Gras, Mobile, AL, and New Orleans, LA, are where the celebrations began and captured the attention of all revelers. Contrary to popular belief, the birthplace of Mardi Gras is actually Mobile. It started in 1703 – 14 years before New Orleans was even founded! It would travel over to New Orleans around 1722 and grow over the years into what it is today.
Biscuits, cornbread, collard greens, grits, fried chicken, gumbo and more! Known in some places as “soul food” or “comfort food” these dishes will have you feeling fat and happy! Old family recipes are passed down from generation to generation, and almost everything has sugar, butter or bacon fat in it. We try to fry anything we can, including cheesecake, pickles and Twinkies. (try them, they’re awesome). And while food in the South may seem unusual, chances are you’ll love it!
In the South, we will put a monogram on anything we can! From ball caps to jackets, clothing, towels and backpacks, we firmly believe in monograms. This southern tradition can be seen on people of all ages, from toddlers to adults. We want our initials on everything!
Many phrases we use in the South are not common in other parts of the US. We have a different dialect and well of euphemisms to draw from that separates Southerners from the rest of the country. We say, “y’all” and other things like, “Bless your heart,” or, “Miss.” To us, these are just common formalities. We even create new words of our own like “tumped,” a combination of “turn” and “dumped” used to describe something falling over and spilling its contents everywhere. Accents vary, you could have a Savannah drawl, a Cajun mixture bubbling out like gumbo or even a panhandle hard on flat vowels and sharp consonants. The South is a linguist’s playground!
The South has many things that are exclusive to the area. These unique features of Southern culture can be a bit of a shock to those that move down here, but many get used to our customs and find themselves enjoying fitting in with the crowd. The South’s hospitality offers a warm welcome (a humid one, too) to all who wish to experience what this region has to offer!