Thursday, January 03, 2008

Does 'Southern hospitality' exist?

Anybody see today’s editorial page in The Observer?

It read like one of my old North vs. South blog entries. The first writer led off with this: “I was born in the North, grew up in the South, and now live back North for business. When people there ask about the South, it's with a positive curiosity about the great weather and the friendly people. Yet, when I return home for the holidays and open the Observer, I find one derisive comment after another about ‘Northern transplants.’

Then the woman cutting my hair the other day asked me why I'd ever move to ‘Yankee country.’ It's a shame I'll be taking back with me stories of such ‘Southern hospitality.’”

Click here to see the full set of letters.

(Side note: As I told you guys last week, while I am no longer the Observer’s official newcomers columnist, I’d like to keep in touch with you on this blog, so let me know what issues interest you for future entries).

Here’s what’s going on: People are touchy about the recent debate in The Buzz column over whether there is a difference in holiday decorating customs in the North vs. the South - and whether either region has a claim on tackiness. There’s also some sensitivity about a recent Style section article suggesting that holiday novelty sweaters are garish (for what it’s worth, one of The Observer’s top editors was wearing such a sweater in the newsroom the day before that story ran).

I’m not interested in repeating a debate on these issues – or repeating some of the North vs. South comments that the posters on this blog have already written ad nauseum. (As usual, I won’t hesitate to delete out-of-line comments).

But I am interested in discussing the concept of “Southern hospitality.” Does this phenomenon still exist here? My experience talking to newcomers is that many do still find this region to be different from other areas of the country in terms of how welcomed they feel.

One thing to keep in mind is that the people here who are doing the welcoming are often transplants from another region who may have just been here a bit longer. And we’re not just talking Northerners – the wave of newcomers transforming this region is from all over this country, and the world.

So, are we a more welcoming region because we’re a region of newcomers? Or are we no more welcoming than anywhere else?

145 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

NO, southern hospitality does "NOT" exist. There is more hospitality in the midwest than was ever thought possible in the south. The southerners appear to have this stigma about people from other parts of the country and the southerners use their defamatory remarks to put all others in their place. Southerners are only friendly to other southerners. People in the midwest are friendlier and more compassionate than southerns. Down here you are absolutely on your own. Southern hospitality, I don't think so.

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think there is and always has been southern hospitality. It's become harder to be hospitable to those who have moved here because all they seem to do is complain about how boring Charlotte is, what bad drivers we are, and other issues regarding why the South is so awful. Thus, it has created a tension that causes many southerners to think, well if you hate our part of the country so bad, go home!

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That other person is so correct in stating there is absolutely NO southern hospitality here. I moved from North Texas and had always heard about southern hospitality but when I arrived I encountered the most rude inconsiderate people I have ever seen. When I moved to the great state of Texas People in the Dallas Fort Worth area made me feel welcomed from the first day I arrived. And if it wasn't for work and relationship commitments keeping me here I would gladly go back. I think if you want hospitality you need to go further west that's where true hospitality and compassion is.

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like Anonymous #2 said, "go home" - I did just that. I grew up in NC and after living in D.C. for 10 years my wife and I are ready to move back.

"Southern Hospitality" seems to only exists when there is something for the person to gain. Otherwise those from "these parts" seem to be threatened by anyone from elsewhere in the country.

Aside from the general rudeness, the crime, bad drivers, the childish acts of the city council, the asinine fans at Panthers game who tell you to sit down and the pollution Charlotte isn't bad. If you can find something to do that doesn't involve driving 10 miles.

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Southern hospitality exists but not so much in Charlotte anymore. The surrounding cities tend to be a little kinder but they are all changing too. With the influx of people from different regions there are very few native Charlotteans around anymore so that ought to tell ya' something....

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When we were moving here in 2001 we had casually met a neighbor while looking for at our house.

When we arrived with 2 cats and a dog only to find that our moving van with all our belongings was broken down on I-95 this "casual acquaintance" offered to put us up at her home. Not only that, but she was leaving on a business trip the next day and gave us the keys to her home to use until our things arrived. She is now one of my best and dearest friends although she has since moved to Arkansas!

She put the capital letters in Southern Hospitality!

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a native Charlottean but I have to admit that Charlotte becomes less 'southern' everyday. No one should make generalizations about the South based on Charlotte. Very few people in Charlotte are actually from the area so the hospitality or lack thereof must be from somewhere else. I welcome all newcomers but my hospitality ends when they become hostile towards the area and begin complaining. Why should we welcome people who apparently don't want to be here in the first place? No one appreciates an unruly guest in their home so why should we accept them in our city.I foyu really want to see what the South is like though you will need to drive an hour or so in any direction away from Charlotte.

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This "southern hospitality" thing is as Hypocritical as how these locals wear Religion on their sleeve. They act nice to your face..then insult you when your out of sight. Id like to know what "Christ" they say preaches this hateful talk & behavior. Religious extremist are a real turn off.Especially when its fake. Keep it out of work,stores...etc.
B.t.w....I have & always believed in God. But after living here..I almost want to become an Atheist. yeah...we'll take your land & jobs..after all...WE WON the War that they keep living. Southern Hospitality....barf.

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know several Charlotte natives since Ive lived here. They inject Religion in every other sentence...but in the next breath,they insult,berate,or cuss anything & everything. Such hypocrates. They could learn alot about the real ways of Christ if they left the area. Do they really think that God only exist for Southerners?? So naive. So ignorant. If it wasnt for the weather & cheap living....I would leave. But you have to take the Good with the evil.

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing beats Midwest & West Hospitality. Its so more genuine. Oh by they way...God exist there!!
Here...its so phony. I can't believe how much hate these locals harbor towards people from the North. WWJD?? ha..ha!!

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And the venom being spewed toward everything here is an indication of?

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, the rest of the nation is becoming more Southern every day. Poverty, lower educational standards, and the spreading popularity of pop country music and NASCAR all denote southern culture. So...who really won what? Y'all come back now, ya hear?

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in Charleston SC and my wife is a Charlottean . I travel up to the NY ,Mass area nearly every week . I have found that southern hospitality is not as plentiful as it once was possibly due to many transplants assume that most southerners are out of a mayberry episode. That being said , I am always treated well up north but then again I dont have an accent. I have also noticed that drivers in charlotte are way more aggresive than up north . Maybe its an "I have something to prove thing" , I know all of the idiot drivers cant be natives.

1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm coming up on my 3 year Charlotte anniversary after moving here from Minnesota. Southern hospitality absolutely exists. In MN they talk about "Minnesota Nice"...how everyone is so friendly there. I've actually found people in North Carolina to be MUCH more friendly. Our neighbors brought us cake and other treats...and stopped by to visit. We NEVER had that in MN.

Perhaps it's because of the transient nature. In MN everyone had their established friends and family, so people weren't looking for more people in their lives.

In NC we've developed wonderful friendships with so many people. I'll never leave.

Then again, maybe some of this has to do with the fact that we are THRILLED to be here, so we are also friendly and happy and put our selves out there.

If you haven't been treated well, perhaps you should think about the message you are telegraphing to others by your behavior???

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember being "back home" and having the door held open for me, people said thank you, etc. I expected that here it would at least be the same, but it's not. I don't think it's necessarily "Southern", I think it's Charlotte. Most encounters I have with strangers are just plain rude. People let the door close in my face, walk right into me at the stores and won't let me out into traffic. I miss those "horrible", door-holding, Northerners.

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charlotte's no longer indicative of the South, and society in general gets ruder every day.

1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The amount of negativity in this blog alone illustrates what frustrates natives. To anon 1:05 please stay as long as you like. You are always welcome. It seems that the individuals spewing personal insults in all of these discussions are not the southern natives but the transplants.

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's funny to see all of these anonymous posters slamming the South while they presumably live here.

Yes, there is such a thing as Southern Hospitality. But it wears thin when people move here from up North or wherever and then complain about how here isn't like there. And they're seemingly ignorant of the fact that as more of them move here, this place becomes less and less Southern and more and more not-Southern; expensive, congested, and mean.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you anonymous 1:05 for your comments. My family loves Charlotte also. We moved here from Florida because WE WANTED TO, not because I was transferred. When we moved into our home, almost all of our neighbors came by to introduce themselves within the first week and we had all kinds of treats and goodies delivered. When you walk down the street downtown, you are generally greeted with smiles and hellos. I would say that courtesy and hospitality are definitely contagious. It has caused us to be more hospitable and take the time to talk to our neighbors, meet people at grocery stores, buy someone we don't know a cup of coffee now and then. If there is no hospitality (be it southern or otherwise) where you live, perhaps you should look in the mirror. We love it here!!!

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course Southern hospitality exists. It just doesn't exist in Charlotte, which ceased being Southern years ago.

On the other hand, if one is as arrogant, judgmental, demanding, stuck-up and rude as the anons here berating the South, one has no reason to expect much in the way of hospitality.

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know. I'm a northern transplant who has lived in the midwest and have lived 5 years in the Triangle, and 4 years in Charlotte, and I think that people are about the same everywhere - if you're in need, they will be nice to you.

That being said, I've just returned from a trip to Florida, and I couldn't believe how rude people were in general in the stores. I was very happy to return to NC where most people are polite, no matter from where they came.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it hilarious how Yankees move down here in droves, drive off most of the locals with their attitudes, grind on the nerves of the rest of us, don't seem to realize that all that's left living here are Northern transplants and the people that hate them, and then complain about how Charlotte doesn't have "Southern Hospitality" any more.

You people are a plague. Go home and freeze to death, OK?

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats highly inaccurate about Minnessota. St.Paul is ranked in the top 3 cities in the country to live in. The people are fabulous. Its just too cold. But the literacy level is missed living here.

1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You people are a plague. Go home and freeze to death, OK?

1:41 PM

...I bet this yahoo just got out of church before posting that venom.

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Without all the Yankees that built this town in the past 10 yrs...these bible thumpers would still be riding in a horse& carrage on a dirt road going on a date with their cousin.

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've lived here all my life and I've always loved this city and state but I have really noticed a difference in the last few years. I do think the demographic is changing and not for the better. I still think it's beautiful and has a lot to offer but I do get tired of people complaining constantly about it. If you feel like you are being treated rudely then be nice first. Maybe you are putting off a vibe that is not inviting and people are afraid of you. You get what you give in life so maybe it's just a relfection of how you are treating the Southerners that you're complaining so much about. I agree with others that say that is impossible to be hospitable to someone who doesn't appreicate it.

Get to know the people and city in which you live rather than argue how they have treated you so badly and you hate it here. No one here owes you anything. You have to give a little before you can expect to get everything you seem to think you're entitled to. Either that or your expectations for anywhere you live are way to high and you are destined for disappointment no matter where you live.

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im confused by the amount of "Hate" these locals are spewing about Yankees?...kinda Hypocritical to then preach religion in the next breath? c'mon...be honest.

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in Pennsylvania, but lived in Charlotte for over a decade of my adult life. I loved my time in Charlotte, and I'm blessed to be able to say I made many (local Charlottean) friends whose generousity, caring, humor, and loyalty remain a gift to me. That said, I must also submit that I find more general, casual congeniality now that I've returned to the north. Strangers hold the door for me, and the words "'scuse me" and are used freely. Perhaps the fact that our polite behavior is less formal (and therefore perceived as more common)is a point of confusion...but being tackled--physically shoved--by elderly women as I waited in line at Belk and Dillard during the holidays was the most remarkable yearly occurance I encountered when I lived in Charlotte. By contrast, the women with whom I waited in line at my local Macy's this year--two in front and two in back, for 10 minutes--greeted me with "Merry Christmas", held my place in line while I grabbed a forgotten item, discussed their grandchildren, their doctors, their family trees, and found that they had friends in common in the process. There is certainly rude behavior in this area, as in all areas, but kindness and hospitality should not be regarded as exclusively Southern, just as coarse behavior and rude language should not be regarded as exclusively Northern. (And for those of my brethern who continue to evoke the Civil War: that's ridiculous. Make a valid point if you can, but don't use silly, cheap shots. It makes you sound like a petulant bully on a playground.)

2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't think that's a southerner preaching. It's a yankee trying show how hypocritical southerners are about religion.

I also don't think it would be so bad if everyone was still riding around in a horse and buggy. All this "progress" is ruining society anyway. Thanks for making another point!

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm assuming that the postings complaining about southerners being hypocritical about hospitality and religion are coming from the same individual. Hypocrisy is not limited to any particular area and a majority of the "Hate' being spewed is directed toward southerners.

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been the recipient of the kind stereotypical form of Southern hospitality as well as the snide ignorant type. I was at a concert with a friend about ten years ago shortly after I had moved from Boston. We both decided that we wanted a t-shirt yet to our dismay, the vendor would only take cash and we would have to leave the venue to get to the ATM. The vendor also wouldn't take credit cards. Much to our dismay, we turned around feeling a bit bummed out and then we heard the vendor calling to us. We went back and he handed us each a t-shirt to our amazement. When asked why he was giving them to us, he pointed to an man walking away in the crowd and said that he paid for the t-shirts. We chased him down to profusely thank him and I told him that I would gladly send the money to his office. He simply smiled and said that wouldn't be necessary and just to consider it a bit of Southern hospitality. To this day, I'll never forget that moment and I still have the t-shirt. It still is one of my favorite memories of first moving to the South.

On the other hand, in the first couple of weeks I had been here, I attended a soccer tournament with family friends to watch their son play. While there, a particular female asked me a question which I didn't quite catch a) because she somewhat mumbled and b) her accent was a little thicker than I had heard. I politely asked her to repeat the question and she then asked if the reason I didn't understand her was because I didn't speak English and chortled away. I was 21 and this lady was at least twice my age if not older. I looked at her and said that I do speak English and that I had a hard time understanding her since she mumbled and that my ears were still getting used to the Southern accent. I wasn't rude and very polite to her. The rest of the adults around looked mildly amused until the lady then said to me that she thought I was the funny one since I was Asian and I had a damn Yankee accent. Funny thing is that I have never had a Yankee, I actually have a little bit of a Southern accent now. Needless to say, no one said a word and the lady just turned on her heel and huffed off.

I think that there is hospitality everywhere you go. Whether someone holds a door open for you, picks up something you may have dropped, gives you directions or even a simple smile in passing.I don't think that it is restricted to a particular region, it truly is just the people themselves. Maybe people are just nicer in the South because they have never had to dig out of three feet of snow at midnight or perhaps Northerners are nicer because they have had to dig out of snow but have never lost their homes in a hurricane. I just believe that there are good people everywhere and I consider myself lucky that for the most part, I have been able to cross paths with many of them.

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Michael!!

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again. As a native Charlottean who has lived in Chicago, I (out of courtesy and kindness) only mentioned the things I loved about the area to people from Chicago. I kept the things I hated about it to myself, BECAUSE I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE RUDE TO TALK ABOUT THEM. Hmmmm...food for thought. I never realized there was such animosity toward northerners until I started reading this blog. I think it is so sad that we can follow the "when in Rome" philosophy. We all get homesick, but you wouldn't want every city or town to be the same. Enjoy the good stuff and keep your complaints to yourself. You might have a more welcoming experience! Brilliant.

2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Folks..you have to get beyond this "North" & "South" thing. We are ALL Gods Children. We all can co-exist. You have to accept change. Its a part of life.
-This area is not going to stop growing with "non-southerners"(I think the term yankee is mean & hateful. It validates what the above poster said about hypocracy).

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's true that change is inevitable but EVERYONE has to accept it in order to coexist. It would be easier to welcome newcomers if they didn't hate being here so bad.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, in the spirit of the Charlottean/Chicagoan blogger: Charlotte has truly wonderful facets. The weather, the growth (YES, take it as a positive--a tip from one whose home region has experienced the opposite in the past 30 years), the fact that the attitude of people there seems less generally oppressed (in comparison to my neighbors, who've seen mills, mines, and factories closing in a several-hundred mile radius of home, leaving precious few opportunities for non-degreed, middle-aged individuals)...the food, the pride they take in their culture and their traditions, the non-potholed roads, the fact that you'll be seeing bulbs bloom in fewer than 60 days, the proximity to the mountains AND the ocean, the charm of the architecture (especially in towns surrounding Charlotte), the melody of the locals' accents, the melange of accents you can encounter in the "new" Charlotte....count some blessings, people. Being happy where you live isn't the responsiblity of your neighbors; ultimately, it's up to you.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael...I agree with your point of view. I wish all locals had your attitude. On the other hand...some of the more divisive comments about hypocracy and religion are somewhat valid. The poster just doesnt candy coat his/her perception of people they have encountered. I too am amazed at how fluent religion is injected by people who also display very non-christian ways. These blogs always create hostility. But as we can see...there is much emotion also being injected. I think both sides have very valid points. Too bad that wont equate to peace & harmony. sad.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even if you went out into the country, southern hospitality still does not exist unless you are southern. Once you open your mouth they look at you like you have three-heads, no matter how polite you are. Just a bunch of ignorant people...

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous 1:50, I think you're referring to those Yankees known as the Amish.

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hospitality exists just about everywhere, but how genuine it is the question. I think "Southern Hospitality" is an old term that started way back as Southerners were basically raised to be respectful to everyone they meet. However, these days, southerners will show hospitality as it is in their nature, even it is fake. Many are hospitable until they are approached or faced by something that they are not used to or dont understand.

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being a native, I can say I think most southerners tend to give up on hospitality when they see it has no effect - a pearls before swine approach. As for myself I think the rush-rush-rush lifesytle we've all had to either embrace or endure has impacted how we interact with everyone from our neighbors to our families. To the disgusted northerners and southerners alike I can only say, "Bless your heart....."

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it here. I never realized how smart I was with only a 2 yr college degree. I'll never leave.
I've already gotten 2 promotions at work in 3 yrs!! They seem to respect my skills. As far as Southern hospitality...who cares?? If thats the main thing you moved here for....ooops!

2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't we all just get along?

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geez, didn't take long for the filter in the gene pool to get clogged again, did it?

And, thanks, Observer, for opening this can of worms in multiple places again so all the bottled up hatred can be vented.

"Happy" New Year, anyone?

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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2:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you gotcha6. I believe the busy lifestyles that everyone leads compounds the problem. Ten years ago it was uncommmon to hear a car horn but now i hear them blaring everyday. Charlotte is no longer a big southern ciy its just another big city.

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand why people who don't care about the topic continue to read the blog and post garbage. It's completely childish.

2:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can there be so many New Yorkers living here & I still cant get a decent slice of pizza....or some wings that are fully cooked!?!? I dont get it.

2:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon this blog & am amazed & frightened about how much hate exist toward the good folks from the North...WOW! This ruined my day. Thanks Observer.

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right about that Michael but whoever is doing that is trying to bait you. Don't feed into it.

Maybe this rude behavior is actually the resulting culimination of people from different regions and a changing pace of life. It could be the homogenization everyone seems to be looking for with this "can't we all just get along". If there are no differences in people than we'll just all be mean and miserable.

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael, please stop posting. You’re really coming across as a smug, pseudo-intellectual. Go back to Canada, you lousy Canuck!

2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

-southerners use their defamatory remarks to put all others in their place
-heard about southern hospitality but when I arrived I encountered the most rude inconsiderate people I have ever seen
-general rudeness, the crime, bad drivers, the childish acts of the city council, the asinine fans at Panthers game who tell you to sit down and the pollution
-They act nice to your face..then insult you when your out of sight
-Poverty, lower educational standards, and the spreading popularity of pop country music and NASCAR all denote southern culture.
-these bible thumpers would still be riding in a horse& carrage on a dirt road going on a date with their cousin.
-Just a bunch of ignorant people

These are just a few quotes from this blog which show examples of northerners directly insulting southereners and yet somehow northerners are offended. Instead they should be as ashamed by the acts of their fellow northerners as I am by some of these so called southerners.

3:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's just say that it's the ones who pee in the pool that are complaining about the quality of the water.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charlotte was nice in the late sixties and early seventies. Once IBM came to the region things began to change. The influx of transplants really changed the good old south.

3:13 PM  
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3:15 PM  
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3:15 PM  
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3:16 PM  
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3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From my experiences, many Southerners are likely to A) exhibit the Confederate flag as a symbol of pride (although they were losers in their only attempt at sovereignty) and heritage (although it is at least equally a symbol of a repressive, slave-owning, caste-system way-of-life as it was about states' rights) while B) decrying those who exhibit a Mexican flag which is being flown as a symbol of their pride and heritage. And C) determine much of their opinion about a new transplanted Northerner neighbor by their answer to the question (usually, semi-casually inserted into the first 3 questions) of where they go to church.

Sadly, Southerners are like most other groups of exclusive people - they take more liking to those outsiders that think, act, and look like 'insiders'. It's opposite the melting-pot ideal that this country has thrived upon. The Southern Hopsitality that I know to exist seems only to be from the folks that actually appreciate the merging of Northerners, Southerners, Midwesterners, foreigners, etc. and understand that their Southern way-of-life is being enhanced rather than ruined by their introduction to new peoples. The more metropolitan a southerner is, the more likely he/she is to be hospitable.

3:17 PM  
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3:24 PM  
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3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Southern" hospitality exists in every state I've visited-from New Jersey where I asked for grits in the grocery store and all the bag boys rushed to show me where to find them, to San Fransisco where a stranger saw me looking at a map and offered directions, to New Orleans where a "Thanks for working on Christmas Eve" got me a great hug, to Charlotte where my lovely friends and neighbors give me joy everyday.

You get what you give. I've been to many states, Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico and Canada, of course I've encountered a few rude (miserable) people but the VAST majority of people I've met are wonderful.

From one Southern girl to all of you, you will get true hospitality from me until you don't warrant the effort.

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leigh, are you married to someone in the paper that lets you write this stuff? Gotta be an explanation like that. Or they tell you, "write something that causes controversy so we'll sell some papers". HERE IS A HINT: good writing and good reporting sells papers too. Try that.

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 3:38- what you just posted is, as a Southerner would say, just plain "ugly". To demean another does not enhance oneself.

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has to do with how you're raised, not where you're from. Get over it.

There are jerks all over the country, not just here and not just "up north". Get over it.

You can't find cannolis here. Get over it. Have a biscuit with livermush because you won't find that anywhere else.

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Southern Hospitality does still exist if you can find a true southerner. These yankees that come down and stay aren't southerner (no matter how much they may way to be) and true southerners (like me -- I've never lived north of I-40) get a bad name because of their actions. Go to a small town like Lincolnton and you will see true southern hospitality still exists.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

I'm coming up on my 3 year Charlotte anniversary after moving here from Minnesota. Southern hospitality absolutely exists. In MN they talk about "Minnesota Nice"...how everyone is so friendly there. I've actually found people in North Carolina to be MUCH more friendly. Our neighbors brought us cake and other treats...and stopped by to visit. We NEVER had that in MN.


I moved to Minneapolis from Charlotte about 2 years ago and I disagree with you. I've met wonderful people from all different parts of the world here. Sure there are a few who won't even acknowledge you, but that's expected in a metropolitan area of this size.

Times have changed and with that qualities or assumptions such as Southern Hospitality and Minnesota Nice have become a thing of the past.

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Upon reading this, I'm so glad I moved to Boone.

3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are southern people so mean?

4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The civil war ended in 1865. Northerner/Southerner - I'm neither ...my ancestors didn't fight that war? Our differences are not even perceptible, except for accents and even those are becoming homogenous. It is always intimidating for us to face the fact that we aren't so different from those who have different accents; religions; origens; color or economic means?

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charlotte was nice in the late sixties and early seventies. Once IBM came to the region things began to change. The influx of transplants really changed the good old south.

Without IBM and the Banks where do you think the south would be? How are those Mill jobs working out for you?

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please.....somebody shut this blog down....its nauseating.

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a Charlotte native who has lived all over the country and I have found kind and hospitable people everywhere. I have also found mean-spirited and in-hospitable people everywhere. I try to look for the good and avoid the bad.

May I suggest that we stop having these north v. south discussions? The understanding that arises is from them is minimal and the venom and ill-will is overwhelming and sad. They seem to be little more than pot-stirring rants. That's too bad.

5:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anyone SOUTHERNER or Northerner wants to see how Southern Hospitality is supposed to be ,go to ALABAMA, MISSISIPPI and LOUISIANA and TEXAS; Although Im a YANKEE I get treated like a HUMAN BEING there. Charlotte is having a lack of resources problem that is causing polarity; WATER is running out , jobs are running out pateince are running thin; To many rats in the cage equals a fight ; Face it we need Dr. Phil to comehere and have a televised show about why we cant get along.

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How would all of you like to be me .... Im a YANKEE and Hiram Ulysses Grants Great grandson; They just as soon spit in my face in North Carolina; But everyday i go out and try to help someone or something be succesfull; Im working on things like jobs for military personel coming back , car plants ect....

5:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Souterners come up to Point Pleasant area and Columbus to work for the State because its UNIONized and they can get benefits and real retirement after 20 years. I am trying to get this Governmnet Unionized to save the SOUTH.

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Real hospitality starts in Georgia and ALABAMA and further down.

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is southern hospitality real? Is the sky really blue? Who knows!

6:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe this blog!

Southern hospitality does exist, but not in a large city full of people from all over the planet. I'm a Charlotte native and it continues to change here as quick as the area grows.

And the comments from our Northern transplants? With those types of comments and attitude you would actaully expect someone from the South to be hospitable? I find it amusing to hear so many recent arrivals complaining about things the area "doesn't have" - that just shows their ignorance of the area and the inability to learn about it.

6:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have lived in NC/SC since I was born in 1948. There have been friendly and unfriendly people in my life. I treasure the one's who have befriended me. I learned to work very hard to find a common bond with the people who were cool or indifferent to me. It took quite a while for some to warm up and I treasure them also. We all live in the same crayon box even though we may be different colors, talk differently, and are used to different ways of life. Maybe being a nurse most of my life plays a part in my attitude. Life is so short to stumble over the small problems. Keep trying friends.

6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know, most of the people that have been hospitable to me have been Yankee transplants like myself. Native southerners have this air of falseness about them. They don't seem sincere to me. I'm still waiting for an invite to the neighbors for a beer and BBQ and it's been two years.

7:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I beg to differ with the Midwest comment. I am personally from the midwest, and when I moved from Michigan to Wisconsin, spent 20 years figuring out how to try to fit it. People there are rude, they are cliquish, and if you didn't grow up and graduate from the local high school, your own children would never fit it nor play sports for the school. People are very to themselives, and wouldn't talk to you if their life depended on it out in public. I think they are just to cold and crabby to care. People here, regardless of where they are from, just seem 100% nicer.

7:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have spent most of my life in the South with a few years in the Midwest. As a southern insider I can tell you that the hospitality is there, but as soon as you walk away, you will be whispered about. Southerners do not like folks from the North. Period. And I'm talking about area's far away from Charlotte. They are very suspicious of anyone new who comes to town. And they will always be better than you.

The few years I spent in the Midwest were wonderful. When it snows, neighbors help each other clear driveways and sidewalks. I've never had anyone help me mow my yard in the South.

Like I said, southerners will be nice to your face, but as soon as you turn your back, well.....just keep on walking.

Just reading everyone's comments makes me lone for the Midwest again. That's the true heart of America.

9:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AMEN BROTHER....YOU SAID IT BEST!!!

9:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like I said, southerners will be nice to your face, but as soon as you turn your back, well.....just keep on walking.

9:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People who think there is such a thing as Southern Hospitality are delusional, unless they also think there's Northern, Eastern and Western hospitality too.

Most southerners are nice. And polite. So are most people from other places.

Why we have to keep trying to imply that we are better and others are worse is baffling.

10:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not all Southerners dislike Northerners... it is only the uneducated ones that hate.

11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is all just silly. If you want to receive hospitality then be hospitable. I am a true Southerner who has received both kindness and hospitality in the North, South, East and West. I have also encountered unkindness from unkind people in each area. Stop drawing lines in the country and set some better goals for yourself. You get what you give.

11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've lived here for about four years after moving from Chicago. I've not seen anything I could remotely describe as 'Southern Hospitality'. I think it's a creation of the film industry and movies like Gone With The Wind. The Southerners I've met seem to have the overinflated sense of worth that is found in many provincial areas... being proud of their history, but not making any of their own... It'd be a really *good* thing if the level of actual education were improved. Most folks I've met can only have basic conversations that seem to be regurgitated tripe from the O'Reilly show or the latest lecture at their church. It's been really really disheartening.

I did get a kick out of the Observer letter stating that Northerners are moving down here to see what they've won. :-)

11:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charlotte used to be a friendly town. Unfortunately all the imports that headed to this banking empire have ruined the once friendly city.

1:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see HATE MONGERS here and its to bad;This was the freindly place when we would go to Hilton Head but I think the general morals of the town has went down. People are polarized by the new members coming down; I have had People start laughing after I leave because of my Midwestern accent'. It dont take much for the Brainless to laugh like hyenais about nothing at all;

8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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8:47 AM  
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8:53 AM  
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8:56 AM  
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9:02 AM  
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9:06 AM  
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9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Charlotte used to be a friendly town. Unfortunately all the imports that headed to this banking empire have ruined the once friendly city.


I don't understand this. Why would you place blame on those who have moved to Charlotte? Maybe it's those native to Charlotte that are the problem. Maybe the city has attracted the wrong people. These issues are only going to have a negative effect on the city. Think about it. What person or business would want to be located in such a hostile environment?

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so sad to me. I'm going to stop reading...as a native Charlottean it is really depressing to hear about all of these misconceptions and generalizations we make. I think the very culture of Charlotte has changed so much with the influx of so many transplants in such a short period of time, so naturally people get territorial and irritated with all of the rapid change. As natives, we need to remember who we are and continue to welcome newcomers. As newcomers, you should try to remember your manners and keep the negative comments to yourselves. No place, town, country or anything is perfect. We really need to learn to appreciate where we are in the moment. That is hospitality, whether it is Southern or not is irrelevant. We all need to grow up a little (or a lot).

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember, there is no "I" in "TEAM."

But there is "MEAT!"

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was raised in the south as were many generations on my mother's side. Southern Hospitality seems to exist amongst southerners. What I have found is that when I've generously opened my home to many of my neighbors from the northeast that over the course of time there is a great lack of reciprocity - I had one family over probably 20 times and they invited us over twice. We love this family and they are wonderful people. But their culture seems to be, "Get what you can when its free". After a while this attitude is a turn off because the relationship becomes terribly unbalanced to even the most gracious of southern hosts/hostesses.

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have carefully studied all the comments on Southern hospitality and crunched the information through a sophisticated computer program. I have solved the puzzle that has your readers confounded, that is, does Southern hospitality exist?

The answer is

Some folks are nice, and some ain't.

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Born and raised in the Charlotte area...transplanted to Chicago 10 years a go(@31y/o). I have to agree with the person and his comments about the Midwest. Midwesterners are kinder and much more genuine. People from the South label everyone and treat outsiders like garbage. They are closed minded and hate everything different.

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, thank you Dave! Very well said.
Second, hospitality DOES exist in North Carolina.

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Southern hospitality does exist (especially in Texas ;) ), but has taken a turn for worse as women gain in power and care less about being the caretaker of the house and family. Roles have changed with time. Women are no longer shy about anything really. I.e. asking men to buy them drinks. In fact just last night 3 teamed up myself and a friend just to have a conversation! And they were from NC,KY,& AR. This is expected from women from a big city like NY, but not our southern girls. It's a darn shame.

4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude...3 women?!?!? What are you complaining about?

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The civil war ended in 1865. " -- That would be the WAR OF NORTHERN AGGRESSION for those of us raised in God's country.

4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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9:03 AM  
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9:07 AM  
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9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, people all over the country can be polite. However, polite is short for politician; so be careful.

By the way, the south fired the first shot in the "civil war".

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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9:09 AM  
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9:11 AM  
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9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If someone was breaking down your door you'd fire the first shot too!

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, but only if I owned the house the door was attached to.

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What part of the South did Southerners not own when Northerners invaded.

Back on the topic of Southern hospitality, I have no problem with you folks from the North moving down here as long as you understand that we will not take kindly to being insulted, ridiculed and mocked for the way we do things. If your ways are so much better why do you keep moving down here. We enjoy our slower relaxed pace. I have many friends from Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburg, Connecticut and other places above the Mason Dixon. I have never insulted one of them, at least not for being from the North or for the customs they brought with them. Also, when you move from the Bronx to Fort Mill, SC, you have the funny accent, not me. I was in Cincinnati before Christmas and had several people tell me how much the like my accent and were very friendly toward me which leads me to believe hospitality is everywhere. The reason the South feels like it is loosing the Southern hospitality is because many people from different areas are moving here so areas like Charlotte are less Southern. There is still hospitality it is just less Southern than it used to be. We have to accept the fact that our area is growing and changing everyday. Attitudes of exclusion on either side only make things worse. I'm not the kind of person to take cake or pie to my new neighbor but I will speak the you and try to get to know you. One of my best friends is from Wisconsin and another is from Ohio. We make fun of each other sometimes but it is never hostile. I also don't believe in being nice to your face then talk trash about you behind your back. If I don't like you, you'll know it. I'm in my 30's and have never lived outside of North or South Carolina but I have visited lots of places and never run across a lack of hospitality, just different kinds. I've never felt like an outcast because I say ya'll, fixin, or caufee. I do make fun of my friend from Connecticut for saying cwafee(cofee). I say live and let live but if somebody really pushes you stomp a mud hole in their butt. ;)...

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am from Ohio and we have our backstabbers but most People in Columbus are from OHIO; The Carolinas in general has a larger diverse population than I haveseen in Washington , D.C. or anywhere I have visitd; This is the reason why communication is so hard here; Many Peopl dont trust one aother because of geography or social beliefs; I am for segragated neighborhoods by Region . Lets say the New Yowkers have their neighborhood and Ohioans have their neighborhoods. Things do work out better with Ethnocentric neighborhoods , thats Southerners in their own area . New Yorkers in their area ; Foods the same, Religions the same and if Peole want to go outside their circle , they can and not forced.

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets face it the Carolinas are changing faster than People can keep up; Alabama has changed also with more car Plants coming from Foriegn lands; The Idea of a wheatstick in your mouth and a strawhat on a tractor is going , going , gone. This is getting faster and faster and I dont even like it and Im from OHIO where its slowing down ; People are moving down to the South in exodus of the Mid West and other places.

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Southerners will not recognize Charlotte in ten more years because of growth; I feel for all of you but you must be able to face the change coming; This city has been stagnant for the last ten years and this is really slow growth from where I come from; Charlotte doesnt even have an outerbelt yet finished, this isnt good from an outsiders business perspective. I am shocked many Companies havent left the area . The roads here are not meeting demand at all anymore. Someone from a bigger city , like Atlanta needs to be the MAYOR here for the future of everyone.

7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charlotte and surrounding areas has been built by piece-meal and no long term planning; If they keep wanting People to come here they need to design a big plan for the road system streching into Davidson and onward past Rock Hill; If they dont want Roads then the LEADERS need to turn the PEOPLE valve off and let it be known " NO MORE PEOPLE" and tell the truth about lack of resources here, like quality of jobs, roads and houses that People can afford . signed YANKEE

7:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look at ALABAMA with four car plants now. In Alabama you can drive for 30 miles and not see a soul; It reminds me of the Carolinas 25 years ago. Only 4.6 million people ad Carolinas has 9.6 million with no car plnats , do the math.

7:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I find hilarious, is on this post titled "does 'southern hospitality'exist?" This shining star from the south proves exactly what my expeirences have been while living in Charlotte. Really Sir......... droves? drive off locals? People that hate us? a plague to you?Go home and freeze?
Well, I guess with no True "southerners" left, Welcome to NY, I bet your glad your are here. I hear the south is a bitch.

Whats with the OK at the end? How does that fit?....that was plain weird. Hahahahahahaha

RE:I find it hilarious how Yankees move down here in droves, drive off most of the locals with their attitudes, grind on the nerves of the rest of us, don't seem to realize that all that's left living here are Northern transplants and the people that hate them, and then complain about how Charlotte doesn't have "Southern Hospitality" any more.

You people are a plague. Go home and freeze to death, OK?

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For more on what's going on around tha Charlotte area, go to www.charlottehomes4professionals.com

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well as a native Southern Californian, let me tell you all how much better you have it than we do out here with all the crazy people. At this point, we have only been to North Carolina but it seems very nice. People aren't stuck on themselves. In Los Angeles..it's all about me! I can't wait to relocate to Asheville! Hopefully I will be a good citizen of your area and leave all the bad traits of Los Angeles behind.

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's an ideal, existing only in our imaginations, alongside the "southern belles" and "country gentlemen". Those things exist now, if they ever did, in movies like Gone With The Wind, debutante balls and Civil War reenactments. The natives here are friendly on the surface, but their smiles seem to have that painted on quality.

12:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Southern hospitality does exist. More so in the smaller towns than in the big cities.
Mt. Airy, the city that Mayberry was based on is a wonderful example of southern hospitality.
and on the Outer Banks of NC, it's like you've gone back in time 100 years.
the people are soooo nice and friendly.

I've traveled to the north, the midwest and southwest and the ones that don't seem to have a personality at all are the ones out in the Nevada area.
But, really it all depends on the individual person you talk to, not the section of the country.
When I was in England the people
were very nice to me near Bath England.

2:03 PM  
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2:27 AM  
Anonymous Bella said...

Yes, but not just in the South! I have lived in the South my entire life but I've also traveled all over the World. I've found that people often treat you a certain way based on how you treat them. A person tends to be more hospitable when greeted with a smile! The civil war is over, and I think that the North vs. South conflict it retarted. Don't we have enough problems with people over seas? Geez!! I love the North just as much as I love the South. It's called the UNITED states of America, not the "Half of the states still hate each other!!"

10:05 PM  
Anonymous Bella said...

* conflict is retarted

10:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Southern hospitality is a myth,when I first moved to the south I came with an open mind and no preconceived notions(no I didnt tell you people how to live or tell you to change your culture)and came across this regressive civil war mentality. I think the word "yankee" down here is used as much as the words "I" and "you". I heard constant complaining amongst others how yankees are taking their jobs, buying their property and a bunch of other ridiculous rants. Not to mention all the douchey bumper stickers like "Born southern by the grace of God" Their obsession with fighting an imaginary war is weird and pretty twisted.

Far as southerners telling us to go home, most of us do exactly just that. After a few years I got on the first thing smoking and never looked back. Never been happier to be back in the good ole north.

4:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So-called "southern hospitality" is FAKE AS HELL. My parents are from Georgia and I've lived in South Carolina, Georgia, and the "Yankee" part of Florida, Tampa, which still has a lot of southern influence but isn't like JawJah for instance. I've also lived in Baltimore and New York, and found more GENUINE friendly people in those cities than I ever found in JawJah or the Palmetto State. A great deal of Southerners will smile in your face and talk about you something fierce behind your back. They are also infamous for giving lip service for things they don't intend to do or won't do, or hope you won't ask them to do. FAKE = Southern Hospitality. Sorry, but that is the TRUTH.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have to agree with one poster about people from the Midwest. As I said I had the displeasure of living in the South and it's fake hospitality/talking behind your back thingy in JawJah and SC, and lived in Baltimore and New Yawk. I also lived in the Midwest and found those people truly real and genuine for the most part, and willing to help someone out in need. Southerners usually will only help you out if their is something in it for them. TRUTH AGAIN.

10:29 PM  

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