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Random Queries > Do you feel defined by where you live/ where you are from?

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message 1: by Suefly (new)

Suefly | 620 comments I live in New England, and I am from Rhode Island, and yes, it's a real state and no, wr are not near Long Island (NY). New Englanders are known to be cranky, stout and a bit blunt, and 'salty'. Overall, I don't notice it, but when I travel, especially to the South, I feel that they are much kinder, but it can be used against them(I witnessed something weird in a book store down there that even I, as shy as I am, would have told the guy to take a hike. However, the poor woman just went along with it) My question is, are we products of our enviroments? Are all Southerns nice, Midwesterners easy going and 'salt of the Earth' types, West Coast types crazy, Easterns cranky? My hubby is Southern bornand sti gripes about 'us' being unfriendly. I see it differently: small talk between strangers standing in line is a bit out of the norm , but for him...

I'm curious. Are we defined by our geographics?

message 2: by Brittomart (new)

Brittomart Umm, all southerners are not nice.

message 3: by Félix (last edited Jan 07, 2011 07:52PM) (new)

Félix (habitseven) No. Not for me, anyway. Maybe some general cultural tendencies. I've moved around a lot -- and am no longer the same as I was in upstate NY where I grew up. I have absorbed some of the cultures of all the places I have lived.

message 4: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24357 comments Mod
Not all midwesterners are easygoing.

Although looks can be deceiving

message 5: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Boy howdy I guess so.

message 6: by Suefly (last edited Jan 07, 2011 08:01PM) (new)

Suefly | 620 comments Ahhh, good point. I would like to add, I have a VERY dry sense of humor, hence the RI is not Long Island comment...I'm not that much of an asshole. Just dry humor. Still, Midwesterners seem much friendlier then Notherners. We have (poor) Patrick Kennedy and crank-tastic Sen. Barney Frank.

message 7: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Generally I find Midwesterners to be more friendly. But then, people get shot dead for no good reason in Omaha many times a year.

I've known New Yorkers and New Englanders who were hard-shelled and pushy -- but just as many who were kind and sensitive.

message 8: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24357 comments Mod
I just don't know that you can generalize all that much based on geography. I've had a lot of extended family in the South. Some were incredibly sweet and gracious with no fakery whatsoever; others were hardnosed and self-centered, many had what probably a lot of people would think were laconic, frugal, "Yankee" qualities.

message 9: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) My behavior is shaped somewhat by my history of community interactions wherever I wander.

message 10: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11694 comments I was born in Oregon but only lived there a few years. However, I still identify as an Oregonian, and I feel closer to that state than to any other I've lived in. What's not to like? It's beautiful, the people are generally nice, Portland is bike-friendly and they don't have as many crackpot freakjobs as Utah.

message 11: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) When I was living in Texas, I had a nutjob neighbor from Oregon. One day he was ranting at another, native Texan neighbor, telling her to go back to California where she came from. Had to laugh.

message 12: by Stacia (the 2010 club) (last edited Jan 07, 2011 09:31PM) (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) I do feel sort of defined by having spent the majority of my life in California. It was only after I had finally moved off the west coast, that I realized not everyone was used to seeing things which I considered normal or nothing out of the ordinary.

message 13: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments This is a really interesting question. Now, I can generalize about midwesterns, as I've been one my whole life, but I can also say that living twenty-seven years in Chicago and fourteen in small town Wisconsin has shown me that cultures within cultures, if you will, are different. I think some of the stereotypes about midwesterners are probably true (e.g. like Larry said, we tend to be polite) but not, of course, as LG pointed out, universal to the region. I'm proud to be from the midwest, though, and I admit to getting pissed off when the media portrays flyoverland as the kingdom of morons who wear overalls and fuck their cousins or whatever.

message 14: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24357 comments Mod
Oh, RA. You have NEVER fucked your cousin? I guess you think we just fell off the turnip truck, in our overalls.

message 15: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Ok. You got me! Only the hot ones.

message 16: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11694 comments At my sister's wedding rehearsal I was getting ready to leave. My cousin gave me a goodbye kiss. She tongued me.

message 17: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) That's hot.

message 18: by Aynge (new)

Aynge (ayngemac) | 1202 comments No. Not all all. There are all sorts of people in all places, but there are definitely geographical climates. For instance, the general vibe in say, Venice is much different than, say, Seal Beach. They are not that far apart. And Japan was like another planet.

I once dated a guy from New York, and he taught me a lot of colloquialisms I'd never heard before such as "F*** that noise!" and "Jew me down." He also told me that "gypped," a word I use often, is actually racist, and saying "midget" is like using the N word.
I was all "SERIOUSLY?"

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) I loved being in Japan. It felt strange to come home after being around polite people.

message 20: by Aynge (new)

Aynge (ayngemac) | 1202 comments Yeah, Japan was very cool. But very weird, too. I still have a deep abiding love for Japanese candy.

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) I miss drink machines on every darn corner with hot and cold drinks.

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) I even miss being on crowded trains, sandwiched in between strangers.

message 23: by Aynge (new)

Aynge (ayngemac) | 1202 comments Can you imagine those train pushers here in the US? That wouldn't last long.

message 24: by Stacia (the 2010 club) (last edited Jan 08, 2011 11:34PM) (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) Japan may be the most polite country, but it is also the horniest. Every time I wore a tank top, guys would be flat out staring down my shirt. I quit sitting down on the subway because there would always be a guy standing up near me.

I also had an experience at Tokyo Disney with a pineapple spear and a group of men observing (because I fail to notice people around me half the time) until my husband told me to stop savoring the pineapple.

message 25: by Aynge (new)

Aynge (ayngemac) | 1202 comments Yes, they are way more open about sex. They are also pretty racist.

My grandmother was Japanese, and she married a white American. Her family pretty much disowned her.

I think it's hilarious how you can fart with abandon in public in Japan, but if you blow your nose it's totally scandalous.

message 26: by Stacia (the 2010 club) (last edited Jan 08, 2011 11:36PM) (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) My husband's grandmother is from Japan and she married a white American as well. They didn't take it so hard - at least they didn't diss us when we were in the country.

But...I do know that some of the people I met that had lived there for many years had experienced subtle prejudices. It's just not always out in the open, but it's there from a part of the population. Luckily, we were surrounded by lots of patient people.

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) Oh, and I miss the restaurant window displays and eating in restaurants where you order from a machine but have no clue what you're getting. My husband would go out with his co-workers for lunch and play "food roulette."

message 28: by Aynge (new)

Aynge (ayngemac) | 1202 comments Yes, they are subtle about it. After all, they are the most polite people on earth. They think it's rude to look you right in the eye.

But I lived there for years, and I know that if you are a foreigner you will never be fully accepted. Tolerated, but not accepted. Even if you have some Japanese blood.

I miss Pachinko, and those awesome puffed rice treats. And the cherry blossoms. And how clean everything was. And Felix the Cat bubble gum. I hang out in Little Tokyo though. I can get a lot of Japanese stuff there.

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) Cleanest country in the world, I swear. It's rare to even see litter.

message 30: by Aynge (new)

Aynge (ayngemac) | 1202 comments I love the Japanese work ethic. Everybody there works their ass off, and everybody takes their work damn seriously. Even the garbage men were spotless.

message 31: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Paschen | 7137 comments Being from the midwest has been a great advantage to my brother in Brooklyn, NY. Though he has not lived in Iowa since 1983 or so, he is seen as a midwesterner and therefore more likely to be honest, be polite, show up on time, groom himself and not sass back. His employers, since the temp. agency back in the 1980s, are continually impressed by his ethics and wholesome qualities.

message 32: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments i'm always wondering how other people see me. what are the prejudices against the dutch and can they be applied to me?

message 33: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments that sounds like i'm fishing for compliments, but really i'm just curious.

message 34: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Uh huh.

I have never heard of any stereotypes about the Dutch -- good or bad. Where I grew up, people of Dutch descent were often considered to be frugal and smart in business matters, though. Oh, and short.

message 35: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments short? that's weird, we're tall people.

message 36: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Yeah well these were people whose ancestors immigrated to America in the 1600s.

message 37: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments they probably didn't drink their milk all those years.

message 38: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) That's it. Yup.

message 39: by Jonathan (last edited Jan 09, 2011 06:37AM) (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 4728 comments I once saw a very nice Dutch television documentary on perceptions of Dutch culture in America.

It's basically a history of the town of Holland, Michigan, which was founded in the 19th century by a very traditionalist Dutch Reformed immigrant congregation. The town has retained a lot of its original Dutch character down to the present day, and to the makers of the documentary it seems in some ways "more Dutch than the Netherlands," almost comically so.

There are some very humorous interviews with residents of the town in which they discuss their perceptions of the present-day Dutch. Of course, they are all of Dutch descent and are generally very admiring of Dutch culture, but they do express misgivings about what they see as the relaxed social policies in places like Amsterdam, etc.


Click the "video" link in the upper right to play. The intro is in Dutch, but much of the program is in English, since all of the interviews were conducted in the US--so it might be interesting for everybody.

message 40: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11694 comments The Dutch?

They are the only people who can buy from a Jew and sell to a Scot and still make a profit.

message 41: by Jammies (last edited Jan 10, 2011 08:26PM) (new)

Jammies I keep trying to put in to words my feelings about living in and being from Ohio.

We're in the midwest, but people in places like Kansas and Nebraska dismiss us as Easterners.

Ohio as a whole is strongly "red", but the areas around our universities and colleges are much more "blue". That makes the city I live in a nice place to live, but we get crushed by the rest of the state when it comes to things like anti-gay marriage/same sex benefits/drug laws.

Ohio used to be considered an agricultural state although Akron, Lorain and Cleveland for years had huge factories.

I've lived here since I was 16 months old, and I certainly don't identify as a Californian, but I'm not sure what parts of being a Buckeye I do identify with.

message 42: by Félix (last edited Jan 09, 2011 10:15AM) (new)

Félix (habitseven) I meet people often who picture everything east of the Mississippi as a gigantic congested area devoid of trees and natural areas. I no longer hold it against people who have never strayed far from their place of childhood -- but it amazes me how much geographical ignorance there is out there in peopleland.

Having lived the first half of my life in New York State (very rural and small town in nature, with beautiful trees and other natural sights), this really shows up for me. I can't count how many times I've told people I'm from New York when they automatically assume it's New York City. Even adding "upstate" doesn't seem to make a difference. I don't let it bother me anymore, though. I try not to let too many things like that bother me these days.

When I was in college in South Carolina, I met a local girl. I told her I was from New York. Her response was, "I can't find my way around Spartanburg, much less New York."

message 43: by Dr. Detroit (new)

Dr. Detroit | 6031 comments Jonathan wrote: "It's basically a history of the town of Holland, Michigan"

...which is basically a giant tourist trap.

message 44: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 4728 comments Yes. The documentary has some fun with the tourist attractions--the tulip festival, windmills, wooden shoes, etc. But the story of how and why the town developed its Dutch identity is actually pretty interesting, I think.

Holland, Michigan, also played an important role in raising money for Dutch refugees during WWII and for Dutch recovery after the war, which is a story that receives a lot of attention in the film. Princess Juliana visited right after the war to thank the town, and they have home-movie footage of that. They also interview people who are old enough to remember the occasion. It was actually a pretty big event in their lives.

message 45: by Carol (new)

Carol | 1679 comments What rural NY town, Larry? If you don't mind sharing.

message 46: by Cosmic Sher (new)

Cosmic Sher (sherart) | 2234 comments Growing up in Salem I always felt like soggy Wonder Bread, kinda generic with no substance or character here, and very damp. We're kind of opposite of Jammies town in Ohio, where we (well not me) tend to be more conservative & 'blue' & religious here, but we're capped on each end by 'red' Portland & Eugene. "Oh those Liberals!", as my Dad likes to say.

I always wished we had more of a cultural history like Rochester or somewhere back east. As if there isn't much to hold on & be proud of because the culture seems so new & kinda flaky. I have no doubt living here warped me into the woman I am today, but in huge part because I didn't love a lot of it.

Now I've probably pissed off all the Oregonians. Sorry Phil! (I think maybe many of "the crackpot freakjobs" migrated to Salem because they read One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest one too many times. I worked there btw.)

message 47: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Carol wrote: "What rural NY town, Larry? If you don't mind sharing."

Little village south of Albany. Ravena is the name.

Lyzzibug ~Still Breathing~ (lyzzibug) | 708 comments I'm in South Texas and not EVERYONE is nice, but there are certain pleasantries most people follow, such as opening up doors for one another.

I’ve never experienced any racism down here being half Hispanic, but I do have some white friends from up North Texas that have told me that they get snubbed a lot.

message 49: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17346 comments Mod
I've said this before in other threads but I live alarmingly close to the area of town where I was born, so clearly I've lived within the same three mile radius for 79% of my whole life. I like it here. I travel a lot, I've seen a lot of the world, but I honestly believe this is the best place for me to live. That is all.

message 50: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11694 comments Cosmic Sher wrote: "Now I've probably pissed off all the Oregonians. Sorry Phil!"

Oh, no worries. You posted on the right day -- I'm a little distracted by the Oregon/Auburn football game that will be on tonight.

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