Thinking about moving down south? That’s understandable; there’s a lot to recommend about it. The people. The sports. The music. The food. If you’re a dyed-in-the-wool Yankee, though, southern life may represent a seismic cultural shift.
Want to know what you’re getting yourself into? Before you start browsing Little Rock houses for sale, educate yourself with this handy-dandy primer to all things southern.
Don’t Pay Attention to the Stereotypes
Us southern have been the butt of a lot of jokes over the years, and the first thing you need to know is that not all stereotypes are true. Some are, as you’ll discover below, but the negatives ones are by and large untrue.
Whatever you may have heard, the reality is that the south is one of the most diverse regions in the country with a rich legacy of multiculturalism and a passionate love of the arts. We do say “y’all” a lot, though.
Southern Hospitality is A Way of Life
One stereotype that is true, and one that we’re all very proud of to be honest, is how pleasant and polite folks down south are. Southern hospitality isn’t just about having good manners, it’s about tradition and community, two things all southerners value deeply.
Around here, neighbors aren’t just the people we share a street with, they’re members of our family. As such, we make it a point to help and support one another as much as possible.
We Take Our Barbecue Very Seriously
There are very few things that southerners are willing to go to war with each other over. Barbecue is one of them. Every southern state has its own variation on slow-cooked meat dishes, and everybody knows that their state’s version is the best.
In the Carolinas, it’s all about sweet and vinegary sauces. In Tennessee, folks prefer their own unique blend of dry-rub seasonings. In Missouri, it’s all about the crispy burnt ends. One thing all the different styles have in common? They’re all delicious.
You’ll Never Find a Better Music Scene
Nothing goes better with tasty barbecue than some equally tasty live music. Luckily, you can find both in equal amounts down south. The south is, after all, the birthplace of everything from country and rock ‘n’ roll to jazz and blues.
We also have one of the liveliest hip-hop scenes in the country, giving rise to such superstar rappers as Ludacris, Lil Jon, OutKast, Missy Elliot, and more. Whether you’re a fan of the classics or searching for something cutting edge, the south has it all.
“Bless Your Heart” is Fightin’ Words
If the sheer number of critically acclaimed lyricists the south has birthed didn’t already tip you off, you should know that southerners have a special way with words. Every state down here has its own unique dialect that it might take a while for new transplants to learn.
Something true all across the south, however, is the implication of the phrase “Bless your heart.” Despite how it sounds, this isn’t a parting nicety but rather the most grievous insult imaginable. Say it to the wrong person and you can kiss their southern hospitality goodbye.