Have you ever wondered what the term “Southern Hospitality” means or when it was coined? Well, most understand Southern Hospitality to mean the warm, friendly, and generous attitude of most residents of the American South , which covers the southeastern and south central part of the US. It encompasses sixteen states and is sometimes also called “Dixie”. According to a US Census in 2006, 36% of the US population lives in the South, making it the most populous region in the United States. And it is no wonder! So many people visit this wonderful area, and decide to make it their home!
“The origin of the term is attributed to Jacob Abbott, author of the children’s series of books, The Rollo Series. Abbott traveled throughout the South in the early 19th century and wrote a book, New England and Her Institutions. In the book, Abbott described the Southerners’ willingness to provide a stranger food, shelter and entrance to the home as part of the ‘character of southern hospitality.’”
While those who are not as familiar with the South may think that this character is fake, theatrical, or stereotypical, you will find that once you get to know the native people of the real South, it is as authentic as the warm and balmy air on a sultry summer evening on the porch. Southerners love people and this is what makes the South so hospitable.
Southern hospitality focuses much on food and the role it plays in daily life. It is customary to bring food to the home of a new neighbor, the ill, and the bereaved. Even if a visitor arrives without food to share, they are welcomed and included in the gathering and offered food to eat as desired. There is a wonderful sense of community in the South.
Southerners are also trained in respectful behavior from a young age. The titles“Ma’am” and “Sir” are widely used. A younger person, or even an older person with whom one is more familiar, may be addressed “Miss” or “Mr” before their first name. Men and boys are taught to open doors for women and women for those who are older or infirm. Men and boys pull out the chair for a woman to be seated and they rise when she arrives at or leaves the table, or the room. Men remove their hats when greeting a woman, or going indoors. People invite newcomers to social events and to religious services. Older folks are respected for their wisdom.
People in the South also take great joy in the beauty around them. People take pride in those special touches that make a house a home. Historic sites are protected and cared for. Gardening is a favorite hobby of many and Savannah is well known for its beautiful gardens and homes.
So, these are some of the things you can expect when you visit lovely Savannah. You can expect people to be polite and respectful. You can expect people to smile at you when they pass by and maybe to greet you, even though they don’t know you. If you ask someone for help, you are quite likely to get it and with a friendly attitude as well. You may find that strangers speak to you in the stores or in the park. And don’t be surprised when you have a warm feeling thinking about your trip to Savannah. You may find yourself wanting to stay!!
And speaking of staying, Southern Hospitality is one of the best reasons for staying in a bed and breakfast instead of a chain hotel. Presidents’ Quarters Inn is an excellent example of Southern Hospitality at its finest! You will be treated like the special guest you are from the time you arrive until the time you bid farewell. Click here to check availability today!!