Monday, January 21, 2013

minnesota nice.

I don't think I truly understood the term 'Minnesota Nice' until I was away from it for 4 months. I will try to explain my experiences for those who have never been to mn and for those who have never been away from mn long enough to really appreciate it.

Minnesota Nice (according to Wikipedia-This isn't no college paper!!): a stereotypical behavior of people born and raised in Minnesota to be courteous, reserved, and mild-mannered. The cultural characteristics of Minnesota nice include a polite friendliness, an aversion to confrontation, a tendency toward understandment, a disinclination to make a fuss or stand out, emotional restraint, and self-deprecation. Also, can occur in traffic, when a car slows to let a person go infront of them.

Now, I would say this is a pretty accurate definition, and I fit the stereotype pretty well. And maybe some characteristics of mn are not the healthiest or most effective, some people may even despise Minnesotans for this; however, according to NBC and Forbes MN is the 5th best state to live in. Pretty impressive, huh? Anyway, I want to focus on the polite friendliness and courteous.

One day, while I was home, I decided to take a little trip to THEE Albertville Outlet Mall. I was shopping in Banana Republic and decided to try a shirt on. I headed for the dressing room, a women showed me to my room. She asked me where I got my scarf, because she was looking for one for her niece. I told her it is from Poland. She then asked why I was in Poland. And we talked for probably a few minutes more. Yes, maybe at first this lady was being polite to a costumer, but then she was genuinely interested. I decided to purchase the shirt so I headed to the cashier. Because this was only a few days before christmas I had to wait in line. I stood by an women and we began talking. We talked the whole time in line...about christmas, christmas shopping, stocking stuffers. When checking out, I asked the cashier how she was and had a short conversation with her. I walked out of the store with a smile on my face. People are just so nice. I know, granted, I couldn't have much of a conversation with people in Poland, but they do not converse with each other like Minnesotans do.

Another big change for me being here was that you do not say hello or good morning to people walking on the street. You do to the people you know, but not to complete strangers.  Nor do you politely wave to the car who has let you cross the street, although out of habit I still find myself doing so. Compared to in Winona when I would run or walk around the lakes I would say Good Morning to everyone I passed. This is something I do miss. It was refreshing to be around again.

So some can say that minnesota nice is people faking being nice, but I don't agree. I think most minnesotans are genuinely nice and care about you. And yeah, maybe sometimes we don't really care how that person is doing but we ask anyway and to that person it may mean a lot. I'm so very proud to be a Minnesotan, with my accent, politeness, pop (not soda!), and booooooat.

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