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Old 11-15-2007, 11:01 AM
 
2 posts, read 5,270 times
Reputation: 10

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Morning all,
I just relocated to Vicksburg MS and am working at a local car dealership. My fiance is from here and she's the reason I decided to live here. I'm from NY State ( fingerlakes region ) and have found that anyone I mention NY to automatically thinks NY City? I'm an educated and well spoken person who has shown nothing bu respect for the people here. I'm going through the learning curve with regard to the local culture but seem to run into this "yankee" additude a little too much. Yes, I find myself asking people to repeat themselves at times because I honestly don't understand what they said! I don't mean this to be derogatory at all. Only been here for 3 weeks now. How can I get past this negative additude? One observation I've made that is disturbing...Being from the North " I'm white" the additude by whites toward blacks is "in your face" here so to speak. Sad, but an eye opener for me.
Not everyone has been rude to me but I find the interaction between myself and many others to be tense and distrusting.
Comments?
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Old 11-15-2007, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Gulfport, MS
469 posts, read 2,613,426 times
Reputation: 543
Hi there,

I hope that your positive experiences begin to outweigh the negative in Vicksburg soon! Moving from the Yankee North to the Deep South can be a major culture shock. The people around you probably aren't sure what to think of you, either. As for the 'New York = NYC' thing, unless you've been there, you could be forgiven for thinking that NYC makes up the entire state of New York from watching movies and TV. I used to live upstate in Woodstock, which is some amazingly beautiful countryside. I visit Vicksburg often, one of my very best friends lives there, and everytime I visit I'm struck by how charming and pretty the town is. It's very small though, not much to do there, and everybody knows everybody.

You say you've "shown nothing bu respect for the people here", just keep in mind that your idea of respectful is not always what Mississippians think of as respectful. What to a New Yorker is a respectful, brutal up-front honesty can seem to us to be brash and blunt. It cuts both ways, though, Southerners can seem two-faced and clannish to outsiders.

As for the racism -- it's the Deep South. I'm not making excuses for these folks, but our history is very long, and complicated, and painful. Both black and white Mississippians suffer the consequences from slavery, Jim Crow, and the Civil War. That's hundreds of years of dark hurt that's not going to magically disappear in a couple of decades. My advice is to pick your battles. Does it really matter if 98-year-old Auntie Eunice calls black people "negroes"? Yeah, it might tick you off, but that's small stuff compared to things like police brutality, blacks being shut out of jobs, etc. The best thing you can do is put forth a good example for the people around you. If a friend makes racist or misogynistic remarks or whatever, then say, "You're not going to talk like that around me. That's unacceptable." If s/he cares about your friendship, they will be ashamed of themselves and try to stop. Turn it around on them, saying, "I thought you were better than that. I know you're too good a person to talk about people like that." If they refuse to stop, then dump them. There are people in Vicksburg who are good, decent human beings, you don't need to make friends with trash.
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Old 11-15-2007, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Alvarado, TX
2,914 posts, read 4,419,749 times
Reputation: 800
Default Agree with Mississippienne, and

you might include in your statement, "I'm from New York STATE," or even include the name of the town/city, i.e., "I'm from Albany, New York," could make a difference, especially if you can get the locals to actually listen to you and not your accent. Gonna take a long time, though, to soften the accent, I know.
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Old 11-15-2007, 02:47 PM
 
Location: The South
767 posts, read 2,097,290 times
Reputation: 701
I'm from the South(Mississippi). My son lives in Brewster, NY. When I visit, I occasionally have to interact with the locals. Almost everytime, if I speak to someone first, for example, a store clerk, their usual reply is "Pardon?". This has happened so many times even when I am very careful to pronounce my words slowly and correctly.

Mayby you are doing the above. It always ticks me off.
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Old 11-15-2007, 03:01 PM
 
2 posts, read 5,270 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you all for your input. I'll clarify a couple points. When I say being respectful...means I have adopted the phrase's "yes maam" and "yes sir". I find that very respectful indeed! I DO try to say that I'm from western NY in the Fingerlakes region, but as someone said, the movies and T.V depict NY as one big chunk of cement .... The racism is very apparent. I overlook the comments but have not stood up them as of yet simply because I've been "observing" I suppose to see what offends anyone..period. Hope that makes sense.
Vicksburg is a nice little town full of history. It's too bad that there isn't much to do, more the younger kids ( I'm 49 ). No movie's, Recreation centers that I've seen anyway etc...
Everyday is a new learning experience and I have not verbally compared "NY" to MS to anyone. It is a culture shock to a certain degree. But, I consider myself open minded and listen well before speaking. The old adage, when in Rome.....
Again, thank you for the replies.
Dan
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Old 11-15-2007, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Alvarado, TX
2,914 posts, read 4,419,749 times
Reputation: 800
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlg062358 View Post
Thank you all for your input. I'll clarify a couple points. Dan
Good show, neighbor. Enjoy your trip. Just think of all the stories you'll have to pass on to your friends back home.

I moved to Colorado, to Pueblo when I reenlisted in the Navy. I'd just left Mississippi, and my Southern drawl really got everyone's attention. It was a little bit hectic to have to repeat myself, but it was the drawl they wanted to hear, as they heard and understood what I'd said. Goes with the territory.
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Old 11-15-2007, 06:55 PM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
5,981 posts, read 17,041,237 times
Reputation: 7659
dlg...

Here's what worked for me, a white woman among West Indies people in the Virgin Islands...man, I didn't understand a word that was said to me for a year...! But the best thing I found is to say, "I am SO sorry but I am really having problems with the language - can you repeat that a little slower?" Said with a big wide open grin and a little bit of humility, it goes a long way.

I also agree with Delta Planter, who said identify yourself with a city and state if asked where you are from...the fingerlakes region means NOTHING to a lot of folks (me included...)

I know it must be difficult to catch the rhythm of the speech...but wait until you get to Georgia!
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Old 11-17-2007, 12:33 PM
 
91 posts, read 281,413 times
Reputation: 75
dlg....
My husband and I will be relocating to Northern Mississippi next month. Cordova, Southaven, Hernando or Olive Branch. We are from Chicago and our roots are in southern and northern Mississippi. Relocating anywhere is an adjustment. Just stay positive and take the high road in any situation. I'm sure we will be put in situations like yours and I'll keep you posted on the outcome. But overall, stay positive and good luck.
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Old 11-21-2007, 12:19 AM
 
1,351 posts, read 3,780,226 times
Reputation: 1273
dlg.... Your comments are about the norm. Look at the New York forum and check the threads about moving south. Talk about culture shock! When one moves to be with a friend rather than choose a place that suits their particular likes and dislikes e.g. small town, big city, sports, no sports, dining, no dining, hunting, no hunting....then you start out with a bigger adjustment. I am from the north originally also. I ask you in that sense of camaraderie--what difference does it possibly make if people at first think you are from NYC? Use that as a conversation starter. Your ears should get better and the listening problem will most likely improve. Learn to focus on people you like. If someone seems to have a lousy attitude, it doesn't mean every individual in the town is like that. Don't join in the behavior and people will get the message where you stand. Remember you are in a totally different culture and there will be differences and you are different. You might feel like a sore thumb for a while. That should change as you find your own level. It takes time. A lot of time. In a small town with gentrification in place you may never find things as you want totally. You may have to learn to live with folks with whom you don't see eye to eye on politics or social justice. If you decide that it is going to irritate you or it is your personal obligation to straighten out wrong thinking, you will have a tough time. Be an example and a model of the behavior you espouse. Then go and enjoy the best that your new home has to offer.
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Old 04-10-2008, 11:16 AM
 
35 posts, read 159,480 times
Reputation: 24
Some locals here still have a very narrow atittude toward some of you northeners. Personally I don't. U see this town hasn't really progressed into the modern age. It has real high negatives if u talk to anyone who used to lived here. One thing that irks me is the local radio show Live from Klondyke hosted by David and some local co-host. Like for example Jake Kilroy expressed the fact that he's tired of us locals complaining. Well he's never lived here for the complaints are deep seeded and justifyed. Kilroy and Dey put down and belittle Natchez and one of the hotels in Natchez made the Conde Naste Traveler list. And Vicksburg hasn't made no lists whatsoever. Now who wants live in town run by arrogant cliques and doesn't have a movie cinema still. But not all of us are predjuice just some of these narrow minded families who are losing thier power to the central part of the state. And the real weakness of this town is the fact the local powers get jealous over someone else when they do better than they do. By this real estate market here is overvalued.
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