Lately, I've been thinking a lot about culture and what exactly it means. As a generic who-knows-how-many-generations American, my culture isn't quite as defined and obvious as that of many first or second generation Americans’. For example, what is it precisely that makes culture cultural?
Is it how others see you? As a southerner, I certainly hope not. We usually get a bad rap in the media.
What about traditional clothing. Is that what makes a culture? Maybe in some cases, but I don’t think that really applies to us. The only traditional clothing that’s easily recognizable as “southern” isn't something that we wear at celebrations or formal events as it is with Native American cultures or cultures from other countries.
We can’t really even say that our language is part of our culture since it’s spoken in so many other countries that have distinct cultures of their own.
So what is it that defines those of us that live here in the south? What is our culture? I've put together a little list. Even though we may not all do all of these every day. They are, I believe, what describe “the south.” What do you think?
A southerner has…
1. A love of sweet tea, friend chicken, watermelon, goober shakes and biscuits and gravy
2. Colorful local colloquial expressions such as: fixin’ to, bless your heart, over yonder, be back directly, y'all (you all – plural, not singular), etc.
3. No fear of dirt or hard work
4. A true appreciation of pickup trucks and football
5. True hospitality and an understanding of when it’s appropriate to say “yes, sir, yes, ma’am, and sweetie”
6. A good time sittin’ on the front porch chattin' with friends (on a porch swing or in a rocking chair of course)
7. A good imagination when it comes to fixin’ things (gotta love that duct tape)
8. At one time eaten a moon pie with an R.C. cola
9. A love of country music
10. An understanding of firearms
11. A rule not to leave the house without “looking how you would want to look if you were to meet the man of your dreams”
12. And last but not least a deep love of God and country
All of these make up our culture. It’s a part of who we are, and even though it may not be as noticeable as some other cultures, it’s enough for me. So, who are you?