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The Movers.com Blog » Blog Archive » Is There Any Truth to These Regional Stereotypes?

Is There Any Truth to These Regional Stereotypes?

If you move a lot, you’re bound to come in contact with a lot of different types of people. If you move out of the country, you are sure to encounter drastically different cultures. Many regions have certain cultural reputations, but are they really warranted? What regional trends are real expressions of local culture and which are nothing but exaggerated stereotypes?

New JerseyRu-camden-campus

Few states are as controversial as New Jersey. There are a variety of cultural stereotypes associated with the Garden State, and none of them are too favorable. As a native of NJ, I can easily address the common NJ generalizations so you can get a better idea if you would ever want to move there.

  • Do they have a weird accent and pronounce it “Joisey”? No. Nobody from New Jersey will ever say “Joisey”. We do put a little “aw” sound in words like “water” and “coffee”, but no “Joisey”.
  • Are they all like the cast of “Jersey Shore”? Nope. Only one of the cast members is actually from New Jersey. Nobody’s like that in real life. The only thing that is accurate is that there is a relatively high number of Italian Americans.
  • Is the Mafia rampant there? Nope. I blame “Sopranos” for this stereotype. Some areas of New Jersey are practically devoid of crime.
  • Do they say “down the shore” instead of “down to the shore”? This one is true. Forget grammar, this is ingrained in the region’s lexicon. “I’m going down the shore next week,” is just how it’s said.
  • Is it very urban and dirty? This is probably the most inaccurate myth about New Jersey. Although the parts near New York City are quite urban and not the prettiest places, at least 50% of New Jersey is farms and forests.

Now for some places where I don’t live. Here are some quick facts to address common stereotypes for each region.

The Mid-west

  • They do say “pop” instead of “soda”.
  • The “Fargo” accent does exist, although it rarely is as pronounced as it is in the movie.
  • They are not primarily Mormon, Protestantism is the most common religion.
  • They really can deal with the cold pretty well.

West Texas Scenery

The South

  • There are cowboys, but not everywhere. There are also cars and cities.
  • Christianity is king, but there are other religions.
  • Although mostly conservative, there are liberal Southerners. They are consistently “Red States” when it comes time for elections, however.
  • The southern drawl differs throughout the south. Georgia sounds a little different than Texas.
  • Guns are more commonly owned in this area and concealed weapon laws are much less strict than they are in northern states.

International stereotypes:

India

  • Cows are not worshiped in India, contrary to popular belief. They are respected and even revered for the most part, but they are not treated as deities. There are some regions of Indian that even permit their slaughter and consumption, but they are in the minority.
  • English is widely spoken in India, in addition to Hindi.
  • The Hindu religion is prevalent and that does include a belief in karma and reincarnation. But not all Indians are Hindu, it’s only roughly 80% of the population.
  • You’re misunderstanding karma in the Hindu sense when you say that you will be blessed later in life if you’re nice now. Reincarnation is central to the true belief of karma meaning that if you take your lumps in this life, you will be reincarnated in a better life. Karma doesn’t kick in until you die.

Canada:

  • Canadians do not really say “eh” (pronounced “ay”) all that much. If it is used, it is just a substitution for saying “yeah?” at the end of a sentence to illicit a response.
  • There is a pretty pronounced Canadian accent. For example, they do sometimes say “aboot” as opposed to “about.”
  • Canadians spell things differently than Americans but they don’t always follow the British spelling. They borrow American “z”s like in “realize” but keep British “ou” in “colour”.
  • They really do love their hockey, this is no stereotype.
  • The universal healthcare isn’t really free and it also isn’t bad. A Canadian’s life expectancy is longer than American’s, but they must pay a hefty tax for the healthcare.

FranceTour Eiffel 3c02660

  • French hygiene is in line with most other developed countries. They do shower, use deodorant, and groom themselves.
  • They do not hate foreigners, although they will be annoyed if you are impolite to them in their country.
  • They do not wear berets all the time– at least not now.
  • They don’t hate America, but  many French, including politicians,  did have some issues with the George W. Bush-era American government.
  • Snobbery is subjective, so it is difficult to say if the myth that the French tend to be snobby is true. There certainly is an appreciation for fine food, manners, film, and art in France, so perhaps you could classify that as snobbery.

Hopefully I’ve busted some stereotypical myths about these regions. There may be a grain of truth to some of them, but for the most part you should visit an area and get to know the culture yourself before assuming anything about a particular place. Once you know how things really are, you can decide if you want to move there.

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