Need some info on TN (Memphis, Knoxville: fit in, transplants, find a job)
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We are thinking of relocating from New York to TN. We are looking into Maryville, because of their schools. I am concerned with a few things.
1 - We are Catholics. I know that most of TN is baptists, but I am concerned on how we will fit in. I know someone who moved to TN from NY, and once his neighbors found out he was Catholic, they stopped waving and it was very hard to find a job because of that. They would hire their own people. Are there any areas in TN that I should look more into that other northerners are relocating to? Are there any that I should stay away from?
2 - Acceptance of Northerners. How are we accepted in TN?
Hi, I've lived in Maryville for 9 months now, TN almost two years. So, I'm not an expert, but I did move here from another location.
I'm Protestant, but I don't think the fact that you are Catholic would be a problem here. There is one very active Catholic Church in Alcoa by the Super Wal-Mart that I know of, and others. People here are very friendly to others, and very helpful.
I think TN is more than accepting of differences, especially if those who relocated here have respect for other's property and privacy. We have been getting to know our neighbors, and other than casual references to church, religion is not discussed alot where we live. And I'm from the deep south, but I haven't heard any derogatory comments about people from the north.
The most derogatory comments I hear, I tend to agree with. East TN is very friendly, very cordial. Maryville has had an influx of people moving here, and some of those people are really rude and impatient drivers. It's not the majority, but some will honk their horn if you let someone into your lane when there's an accident ahead. I just usually smile and wave at them myself! People get upset about that, but that's really the only thing I've heard about so far.
I am also looking into relocation and I'm in Indiana right now. I'm looking into Knoxville, TN. If you do a search on religion you will see that this issue was already extensively discussed and the message I got from it is the following: If you're moving to a larger more diverse city, you will not have issues with religion (Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Tri-Cities), however, the smaller the city, the highest probability of having some issues. Don't worry too much about being accepted, just don't try to change the place you're moving to.
A word of advice from my own experience.....job search is more of a challenge....look first and get a job before you move if possible.
Hello, welcome to the forums.
I moved to East TN 10 years ago, we are Catholic. I did have a few little issues when we lived in Jefferson County about our religion. Mainly I found the issues were because of either closemindedness (new word??) or mis education about our religion. I usually just avoid the conversation. Your neighbors will ask you if you have found a church yet and invite you to theres. I found just saying, "Thank you, but I have found one I am happy with" and leave it at that. We now live in Washington County and love the church we go to. No one looks at us crooked about being Catholic here, I think you will find the same in Maryville area. There are a lot of great ones in the Knoxville dioceses (which covers from Tri-Cities to west Knoxville and everywhere in between.) One very nice thing is that once you are a parishioner of any Catholic church here you automatically are sent a Catholic newspaper every month that lets you know about events and goings on in all the churches, very community orientated diocese that is not just limited to Catholic
There are many many other religions besides Baptist represented here in East TN and everyone seems to get a long great. The church my parents go to in Rogersville (which they love and are very involved with) is involved in a county wide effort to learn about all religions. Once a month a different church (doesn't matter which denomination) holds a "social" and invites not only the general public, but specifically other denominations of church's and their members. I think this is a fantastic thing and I hope the concept grows. Lets face it, Christianity is Christianity, why argue over nuances? I have found this to be the most common school of thought. So I wouldn't worry about if you will be "accepted". If you are nice people, nice people will accept you and we seem to have those in abundance here in TN no matter what religion you choose.
The Knoxville Diocese is small but really active. I'm no longer an active Catholic, but I didn't experience any hostility when I was one. There IS a fair amount of ignorance about Catholicism in East Tennessee in general (e.g., don't you worship Mary and the Pope), but I don't think that applies directly to most of Maryville or Knoxville. I went to college at Maryville College, which is Presbyterian, but there were actually about as many Catholics as Presbyterians among the student body. Most students were Baptist or Methodist, I found. I think the presence of UT and Maryville College means that there are a lot of different people in both of those places who are more familiar with Catholicism.
Before you rule out Knoxville you should look into the reputation of specific schools rather than the district as a whole. There are good public schools on the west end of the county, which is also where there are a greater number of Catholics and transplanted Yankees. There are also some Catholic schools there, if you prefer. You might especially want to check out the area around Cedar Bluff Road, which is where the Catholic high school is located.
Forgot to reply about acceptance of "outsiders." As far as Knox County / Knoxville go, the western end of the county has been where realtors have been directing "transplants" for at least the last 10 years, in part because many needed easy access to jobs in Oak Ridge. (That's how I ended up in Tennessee, and in "west Knox.") I expect with the redevelopment going on in downtown Knoxville and surrounding neighborhoods that there will be more non-Tennesseans moving there as well soon. North, East, and South parts of the county don't have as many "transplants," but it's not like you'll be treated like you have three heads - although you may run into a little bit of "You tawk funny - you ain't from around here." You get used to it. You will be surprised by the number of people that ask if you've found a chruch yet. I've come to the conclusion that for many folks it's their way of trying to make you feel welcome. You definitely want to just tell them "you've found a church you're happy with" (as another poster suggested) and the great majority will let it drop there. That is a tactful way of letting them know that this is a conversation that's more personal than you want to have right now. Manners are important in the South (I'm originally from Philly, so I come from a similar background), and being blunt ("I't's not your business where I go to church.") would be a much bigger faux pas than up North or in the Midwest (my wife is from Kansas City, and my impression after 13 years there is that Midwesterners are more frank than in the South or Northeast). Again, I reiterate that manners are important in the South - wave to the neighbors, tell the kids to say thank you, etc. and it will go fine. Now I'm shocked when I travel and people are blunt or rude, LOL!
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