17 Things Only People From the South Will Understand

The South is a region like no other, defined by a complex history, year-round warm weather, and a strong community-minded culture. From traditions to cuisine and ways of life, we’ve compiled a list of things that only people who grew up in the South will understand.

Sweet Tea: The Southern Elixir

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According to Southern Living, “Southern-style sweet tea is freshly brewed black tea that’s sweetened with sugar while hot, chilled until cold, and served over ice.” This isn’t just a refreshing drink; it’s also a cultural staple in the South that is deeply ingrained in their way of life.

Southern Politeness

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Politeness is a cornerstone of social interaction in the South, and manners are instilled from a young age. Hospitality is also important in the South, and guests are welcomed into homes with open arms, food and drink are offered, and a friendly, community-oriented demeanor is always maintained.

The Significance of Church and Community

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Churches in the South serve as vital community hubs, reinforcing the bonds and shared values of local people. Major life events, community announcements, and social gatherings are often centered around church activities, and religion is intertwined with daily life in the region.

College Football: More Than Just a Game

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College football is a tradition in the South, and families will often support the same team for generations, showing deep-rooted loyalty and community pride. The New York Times says, “College sports, and particularly football, occupy a role at the center of daily life in the South.” 

The Art of Southern Cooking

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Using local ingredients, southern cooking reflects the region’s agricultural heritage and diverse influences. Family dishes are passed down through generations, and these recipes hold sentimental value. Southern meals, particularly those on Sundays or special occasions, are often lavish spreads that encourage family bonding.

The Legacy of Front Porches

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Southern architecture positions the front porch as a transitional space where the private home meets the rest of the world. This symbolizes the openness and community-minded culture of the South, and socializing on the porch is an important part of southern life. Historically, the front porch has been a stage for storytelling, music playing, and enjoying the outdoors.

The Heat and Humidity

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Southern summers are hot and humid, creating a unique climate that shapes daily life and local customs. The weather influences everything from architecture, with homes designed for airflow and shade, to a traditional midday break in the working day, where people avoid outdoor activities during peak heat.

The Importance of Barbecue

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More than just a cooking method, southern barbecue is a cultural event deeply rooted in tradition. According to Smithsonian Magazine, “From the Atlantic to the Gulf, bordered by the western outposts of Texas and Kansas City, the area of the United States known as the ‘barbecue belt’ houses four distinct barbecue traditions—Carolina, Texas, Memphis, and Kansas City.”

Southern Literature and Storytelling

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Storytelling is an integral part of southern culture and often reflects the region’s complex history, values, and social dynamics. Southern authors like William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor have captured the essence of the South, talking about the region’s landscapes and characters in their stories.

The Influence of Music on Southern Culture

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Various music genres have been developed in the South, including blues, country, early rock ‘n’ roll, and gospel, reflecting the region’s diverse cultural heritage. Music festivals, church choirs, and live performances in local venues often play an important role in southern life, offering communities a chance to express themselves and celebrate together.

The Role of Agriculture in Southern Life

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Agriculture has been a historic cornerstone of the southern economy and way of life, producing cotton, tobacco, and now soybeans and poultry. As a result, farmers’ markets, local produce stands, and agricultural fairs are prevalent in the South, showing the region’s ongoing connection to its farming roots.

The Tradition of Quilting

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A long-standing tradition in the South that started in Gee’s Bend, quilting serves as a way to tell stories, bond, and express art. According to The Collector, “the expertly crafted Gee’s Bend quilts are known for their bold and improvisational use of color, geometry, and mixed materials. Every Gee’s Bend quilt is unique yet belongs to the same aesthetic family.”

Southern Festivals and Traditions

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Known for its vibrant festivals and traditions, events like Mardi Gras in Louisiana, peach festivals in Georgia, and music festivals in Tennessee are integral to the southern cultural landscape. These events attract locals and visitors alike and often reflect the region’s history, agriculture, music, and culinary heritage.

The Complexity of Southern Hospitality

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Warmth and kindness are extended to neighbors and strangers in the South, as hospitality is rooted in the strong community values of helping others and making guests feel at home. Hosts will often produce impressive meals and take guests on guided tours of the town.

The Beauty of Southern Landscapes

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The South boasts a range of diverse and stunning landscapes, from the Appalachian Mountains to the Gulf Coast beaches, which influence the lifestyle of locals. Outdoor activities like fishing, hunting, hiking, and boating are popular, and the natural beauty is a source of inspiration for artists, writers, and musicians.

Manners in the South

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Manners hold significant value in the South, and there is an emphasis on polite behavior, respect for elders, and adherence to social norms. Children are taught to address others by titles such as ‘sir’ and ‘ma’am’ from a young age, and table manners are considered essential.

The Resilience of Southern Towns

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Having faced economic challenges, natural disasters, and significant societal changes, many southern towns have a history of resilience, which is reflected in community solidarity, the preservation of historical landmarks, and a strong sense of local identity. In recent times, communities have focused on revitalizing small towns, adapting through local businesses and tourism.

Read More: Why People Aren’t Religious Anymore: 15 Simple Reasons

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As society evolves, so does our approach to spirituality. This article looks at the subtle yet profound shift from traditional religious adherence to a more personal, evidence-based belief system.

Why People Aren’t Religious Anymore: 15 Simple Reasons

17 American Attractions That Not Even Americans Want to Visit

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The United States of America—land of the free, home of the brave, and the location of some of the most ‘unique’ tourist attractions you’ll ever lay eyes on.

Get ready to chuckle, scratch your head, and maybe even facepalm as we look at 17 American attractions that not even Americans think are worth visiting.

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17 Fairy Tales That Are Now Considered Racist

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While fairy tales weave magical narratives that span generations, many emerge from historical and cultural contexts tinged with biases. Hiding in many of these tales, racial undertones can be found. Let’s look at 17 fairy tales that have deeper implications.

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18 Common Traits Found in Adults Who Had Unhappy Childhoods

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Being a parent is a hard job, so even those who are truly trying their best will often miss the mark on creating the best environment for their children. Unfortunately, this means that many of us grow up with far-from-perfect childhoods that affect us into adulthood. Here are 18 common traits found in adults who had unhappy childhoods.

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18 Things Old People Just Can’t Get On Board with Today

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Over the past few decades, society has evolved, and with it, so have a few things that older generations find it uncomfortable to get the hang of. While younger generations are easily able to adapt to these changes, some of which are drastic, others may be struggling slightly. Here are 18 things the elderly may have difficulty learning.

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