Those who have never experienced life in South Dakota sure do seem to have a lot of questions. If you’re South Dakota raised or have lived here for a while, then you’ve probably have had to set some out-of-towners straight on their misconceptions or incorrect stereotypes or just educate them a little bit on life in South Dakota. Here is just a small list of some of the topics we have to explain the most:
1. We don’t drive horse and buggy.
We’re not sure how many times we need to explain that, yes, we operate cars, just like you.
2. We have a bit of a rivalry in our state, and you have to pick which side you’ll devote your alliance too.
Okay, so that was a little dramatic, but the West River / East River competitiveness is ever present.
3. “Pop” is the term we commonly use.
Stop telling us that pop isn’t a word. It’s the same thing as soda!
4. It’s not a big deal if we don’t lock our doors in rural South Dakota.
Honestly, there are some places where it’s not necessary one bit.
5. Believe it or not, it does get hot in the summer.
Not every day is a blizzard; we have tank top and shorts weather too.
6. We are not North Dakota.
Let us repeat this again: two separate states, people.
7. These are not our typical places of residence.
Are we really still explaining this to people?
8. We usually prefer to measure distance in minutes or hours as opposed to miles.
“Oh, it’s about 30 minutes west of Sioux Falls” is a type of answer you might get from a South Dakotan.
9. Chislic is delicious, and even though you’ve never heard of it, you must try it.
This traditional South Dakota dish is a must try, and it goes great with crackers and seasoned salts.
10. It’s normal for us to end a lot of our sentences with “you know?”
Live in South Dakotan long enough and you’ll start doing it too.
11. No, we are not all miserable.
Actually, we think our state is fantastic. We enjoy a low cost of living, low crime rates, no income tax, gorgeous, wide open spaces, and four seasons. Sure, it does get cold during the winter months, but we handle it just fine.
12. There is more to South Dakota than just “the faces.”
Mount Rushmore is a beloved national memorial, and if you tour South Dakota is its certainly a must-see. But don’t forget about all of our amazing state parks, nature and hiking trails, the beautiful countryside, or our fabulous cities and towns.
What other misconceptions or aspects of our culture do you often explain to out-of-towners?