North Carolina May 01, 2017
10 Strange Habits Every North Carolinian Will Defend To The Death
Culture is a weird thing. It varies from country to country, state to state and place to place. Yet, it’s pretty easy to lump a certain group of people into one culture and see the similarities. Take North Carolinians – from using strange words to describe things, to giving directions by landmarks (because, who can trust a GPS) and even throwing down over some BBQ or basketball…these are more than ‘habits’ they’re parts of what it means to be a North Carolinian.
1. Defending our favorite style of BBQ to the death but secretly trying the other (Eastern or Lexington) and maybe secretly liking it.
Sure, I've met some people who just absolutely hate the vinegar style or vice versa, but with so much amazing BBQ in the state...there's no reason to put yourself in a box and not venture out a bit. I've tried amazing BBQ throughout the state.
2. Shutting down the world for snow
In the Piedmont and eastern region of the state...snow days are rare and also sacred. They don't come often so when they do, we go all out....no shame. Sure, we might be terrible at driving and clear the grocery stores out in apocalyptic style but the prep is part of the fun. Also...snow parties.
3. Going to the beach...before a hurricane
Ok, this strange habit mainly applies to surfers but any seasoned one knows that's the time to get the best waves in North Carolina...even if the ocean is a bit crazy.
4. Agreeing to disagree...well, sort of.
North Carolina will always be a swing state. The political climate and political divide has made for some interesting developments... including some that received national attention.
5. Crying...or cussing, over basketball
If you haven't cried over a Duke V UNC game, can you really call yourself a North Carolinian? Even if you support the Wolfpack, Pirates, or Mountaineers - you've had your fair share of sports stresses and victories too! This is a great state for the sports fan.
6. Taking our out of state visitors to a questionable looking restaurant to see their faces when we get there and when they try the food.
From gas station fried chicken to BBQ from a window, the best southern cooking comes from tried and true establishments. If you have to say - bring cash with you, even better.
7. Spending as much time as we can outside.
From hiking mountains, laying on the beach, to sitting on the front porch - with so much beauty who'd want to stay indoors?
8. Preferring our own words to the actual ones.
Yonder, buggy, clicker, 'mashin' the TV...why use the real world when we've invented perfectly acceptable and understandable alternatives? North Carolinian dialect also varies depending on which section of the state you're from. Even as a writer with a B.A. in English, I have used 'yonder' and 'ain't' in the same sentence with no shame.
Just like yonder...supper is also pretty elusive. Mainly a Sunday meal served after church with friends and family, supper isn't quite dinner but it's never lunch. Sometimes 'supper' even pops up on a Tuesday when your mom tells you to come down and 'eat your supper.' Supper is a tradition, a meal, a word, a gathering, and fully part of the culture.
10. Having a general distrust towards GPS.
Maybe this applies more to us 'country folk' who had to navigate long and winding roads before the days of GPS, but growing up with my Grandparents or family members giving me at least ten minutes worth of directions for a two mile journey (usually with interruptions of shorter, alternative routes from another family member) has ingrained in me that I really can only trust that the blue church will be on the left, the big oak tree on the right, Bojangles in a mile, and a my turn a little down yonder after the light after Bojangles. It works...
What else do you think ‘makes’ a North Carolinian? This is a pretty general list; I’d love to know more regional cultures and habits you’ll long defend!
New to the state and these cultures – here are
12 things you quickly learn when moving here.