I read an article this morning by Colin Woodward which breaks down the US/Canada/Mexico into 11 different nations and examines their views on violence, education, religion, government, etc. Having spent my whole life in the region Woodward calls “Yankeedom,” I found his thesis fascinating.
One of the things we are asked a lot is about how we find life in Dublin after spending our whole lives in NY (Liz did have her first 5 in San Francisco). And the fact is, while there has been some cultural adjustment, we have felt right at home from the start.
In fact, I’m quite convinced that we would have had a much more difficult transition had we moved to the deep south or Appalachia.
When we were pastoring the church in Ithaca, I had a person want to interview me about “southern-style” evangelicalism that was thriving in the Northeast. I wrote back to inform him that while we were thriving, we were not in any way southern-style…we were likely a bit more “left-coast” than anything else.
A lot to think about…
I’d love to hear what you think after reading Woodward’s article.
Do you fit in the “nation” where you currently live? Where would be the best fit for you?
I’m not sure about the boundaries in the Woodward piece; for example I grew up in the part of Ohio he marks as in Yankeedom; I went to college in Ohio somewhere on the border of Appalachia but it felt exactly the same to me as where I grew up. Post graduate school in Texas I think he has me marked in Appalachia, but Austin never felt like that. The other interesting, maybe wrong, think about Woodward’s map is that it doesn’t seem to have any relationship with where money travels: http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2013/04/16/177512687/a-whom-do-you-hang-with-map-of-america
I would argue that the sharp blue borders of where money travels are just as likely to indicate socio-political boundaries, in that people would mix less across those lines. Though it’s true, at least in Washinton, there is a big difference (I hear) between Washintonians west of the Cascade mountains and those east, which is reflected in Woodward’s map.
I wasn’t old enough or independent enough to say how I fit in Ohio or New York, but I felt at home in Austin and in San Francisco Bay Area; I survived but didn’t feel quite at home in Seattle, Left Coast similarity or not.
Great thoughts. Made me wonder about the impact of universities on communities within those nations…Ithaca & Austin both are known for being a bit different from the surrounding area. When we were in Albany, vast majority of students at University were from NYC, so how does that impact?