Travel

A Guide to Appreciating the Diverse Cultures of the South                                   

The Southern United States is a melting pot of many cultures, though there is one thing the folks down there can agree on: the pace of life is a relaxed one.

There are sandy beaches to enjoy, incredible cuisine from a variety of culinary backgrounds, great weather year-round, and an array of things to do. What’s not to love?

As you travel through the states, keep an eye open for the many ways of life that contribute to the rich cultural lifestyle.

Creole and Cajun Styles

New Orleans houses for sale sit among the Creole and Cajun realm in terms of culture. Cajun culture is born of the tradition of the Acadians who settled in southern Louisiana after their expulsion from Nova Scotia in 1755. The term Creole refers to “born in the colony,” a combination of French culture with Spanish, Africa, or Caribbean descendants.

These cultures are best known for their colorful nature, incredible music, and delicious cuisines. Creole music embodies African-derived syncopated rhythms, cajun music centers around an infectious beat and a lot of forward drive with the accordion at the center, and zydeco is a music that evolved from both and combines rhythm and blues.

Jambalaya, crawfish, alligator, and king cakes are the most prevalent culinary fare in the south that represents this incredible culture.

A Mix of Dialect

You can often tell where a person comes from by the way they speak. Southern dialects make up the largest accent group in the US and can be divided into sub-dialects.

Speech can differ from that of the Appalachian region to the coastal “low country” around Charleston, South Carolina.

Some claim that Tangier Island, Virginia, as well as the Outer Banks North Carolina, preserve a unique English dialect from the colonial period. The New Orleans or “Yat” dialect is similar to Northeastern port city accents, and many are familiar with the French-based Cajun French spoken in southern Louisiana.

Hispanic and Latino Scene

Florida is most often attributed as the place with a prevalent Hispanic and Latino culture. Though this connection dates back to even before the founding of the country, its Latin ties can be traced to modern migrations by Cubans, Venezuelans, Nicaraguans, Colombians, and Puerto Ricans fleeing disasters, both natural and manmade.

Florida is home to the third largest Latino population in the country.

Religious Differences

There are many types of religions woven throughout the Southern US, thanks in much part to the way immigrants dispersed throughout the years.

Part of the area is known as the Bible Belt because of the prevalence of evangelical Protestantism.

South Florida has a large Jewish community that migrated from New York, as well as some pockets of immigrants from Southeast Asia and South Asia that have brought Buddhism and Hinduism.

You will find Roman Catholic populations in areas like Atlanta, Georgia, and Raleigh, North Carolina.

In general, the inland regions of the Deep South and Upper South, such as Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama, have stronger concentrations of Baptists, Methodists, Churches of Christ, and other Protestant or non-Catholic fellowships.

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