Is There Really Such a Thing as Southern Hospitality?

I’m just going to say it: People in the south are more friendly. When it comes to hospitality and kindness it seems that region makes a difference.

I’m certainly no expert in anthropology. I haven’t done any official study. This is all based on my own personal experience. I’ve spent significant time in Nashville over the past couple of years and have had experience after experience with people who go out of their way to say hello, ask how your day is going, or flash an unsolicited smile.

There is, it seems, such a thing as southern hospitality. Years ago when we moved to North Carolina with no family or friends within hundreds of miles, we were taken in, invited to lunch, and included in family reunions even though we weren’t part of the family. No offense to our northern friends, but it happened much more often in the south than it ever has in the north. It’s not a knock on the north. It’s just different.

My theory is that people in the north are simply much more used to keeping to themselves. Long winters leave them holed up in their homes more than half the year. It’s simply easier to go about one’s own business, nose-to -the-grindstone, business before hospitality.

Southern weather is a bit more palatable. People are out and amongst each other a greater part of the year. Could it be that more sun and warmer weather leads to more pleasant personalities?

Variety in human behavior is one of the things that makes travel so fascinating. It opens our eyes to new ways of living and behaving. If variety is the spice of life, then I’d like mine flavored with liberal amounts of Cajun, Mexican, and Italian.

What’s your favorite region of the U.S. to visit?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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One thought on “Is There Really Such a Thing as Southern Hospitality?

  1. Tom–I think you're right with most of your observations about the South. Sometimes, when you're a tourist visiting a region, you might have a stilted impression because the folks in the hospitality trades are suppose to be friendly. But with our recent visit to Nashville, Knoxville and Severeville (sp?) TN, people were more laid back and relaxed. I didn't notice much speeding on the highways and people seemed to take more time to engage me and listen. Good thoughts.