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10 Perfectly-Lovely Southern Traditions That I Will Never Understand

Updated on October 18, 2014
Typical rural church building in the south
Typical rural church building in the south
another rural church building in the south
another rural church building in the south

Howdy, ya'll

To an outsider, the southern way of life and traditions are strange. Very strange. I have to agree and I am a southerner and have lived in the south since my birth, Nov. 27, 1953. I have, over the years, saw things change and some things almost change, but at the last moment, choose to stay the same as it always was.

Let me be really honest with you. If you really have a burning-need to understand the southern lifestyle, you have to be born “in” the south to start learning the southern life and traditions from birth up. That is the only sure way that you can gain the valuable knowledge that I think every American deserves. Outsiders find it rough to learn how “we” live and do things down heah!

Cemetery decorations are common in the south
Cemetery decorations are common in the south
Loved ones decorate family and friends' graves at decorations
Loved ones decorate family and friends' graves at decorations

I will love the south 'til the day I pass away

Liberal-minded people, (yes, thank God for their Freedom of Speech), can say what they please about “us” down here in the south, but it will not change me or my mind. I love the south. Odds being what they are, I will die in the south, but to show the southland my respect, I will use one of “our terms,” to describe dying: “Pass away.” That does seem softer and easier to grasp.

I honestly do not know where most of the traditions we southerners enjoy really came from or the date we started observing them. All I know is that my family and I, along with our neighbors, simply “followed the crowds,” on “that” one Sunday in the year: the first Sunday in May, and as it is named: Decoration Day. And that tradition evolved into this fine tradition: The All-Day Singing, Decoration, and Dinner on The Ground. Sounds like an all-day affair and you are right. It is an all-day thing.

I can make an educated guess about where “this” all-day tradition came from. Someone, a southerner, thought to his or herself one day that their family and other families just needed “that” one Sunday out of 52 Sundays to get together with each other, attend worship, then gorge on the best food this side of Heaven, and show their deceased friends and family members the respect they needed by decorating their graves with pretty flowers and homemade floral wreaths.

Non-southerners, please watch

Sacred Harp: Just one of the southern traditions we enjoy

  • Sacred Harp singing is a tradition of sacred choral music that originated in the American South of the United States. The name is derived from The Sacred Harp, a ubiquitous and historically important tunebook printed in shape notes.
  • The tradition has its roots in a distinctive American style of music that developed over the period 1770 to 1820 from roots in New England, with a significant, related development under the influence of "revival" services around the 1840s. This music was included in, and became profoundly associated with, books using the shape note style of notation popular in America in the 18th and early 19th centuries.
  • Sacred Harp music is performed a cappella (voice only, without instruments) and originated as Protestant Christian music.

Source: Wikipedia

All-day singings, decorations, dinner on the ground

And to round-out the day, after lunch, everyone who loved singing would gather back into the church house to have an entire afternoon of class singing or to listen to an up and coming country Gospel singer who would sing the encouraging hymns that had become a standard to most southern families.

By four or five o’clock everyone would be tired-out from the day’s activities, plus their youngsters would be irritable from the heat and not being able to nap, and they would cry to get to go home. All in all considered, it is no wonder that these time-tested traditions were established and are still around in many places today in the southland 2014.

Now as for these traditions, some I do not understand, but that fact will not stop me from sharing them with you.

Books are sold to commemorate the all- day singings
Books are sold to commemorate the all- day singings
Children can sing at the all- day singings
Children can sing at the all- day singings
What a day
What a day
Homemade food
Homemade food
True fellowship
True fellowship
The Florida Boys started out going to all- day singings
The Florida Boys started out going to all- day singings
Decorations, all- day singings, lasted all day
Decorations, all- day singings, lasted all day
Decoration gatherings
Decoration gatherings
Fellowship meals
Fellowship meals
Abandoned rural church house
Abandoned rural church house
Roy Acuff, "Dean of The Grand Ole Opry," paid his dues at many all-day singings and dinners on the ground
Roy Acuff, "Dean of The Grand Ole Opry," paid his dues at many all-day singings and dinners on the ground
Churches today use electrical signs to announce their services
Churches today use electrical signs to announce their services
  1. BRINGING FOOD – to the home of a family where a loved one has passed away. I have always seen things for what they are. Death is death, dark, sad, and reason to shed tears. Food is good to eat and good for you. But us southerners somehow combined the two and there you had it. Bringing food to the family enduring a loss. I understand the Christianity of bringing food to relieve the cooks in the sad family from the burden of cooking for their comforters, but again, I have been in the homes of people grieving for someone who had passed away and they, along with visitors, ate, drank, and you could not tell what was really going on. It was explained to me this way: “Even people dealing with grief, need to eat.” Nuff’ said.

  2. SITTING UP WITH THE DEAD—is another mysterious southern tradition. It is simple of design. Menfolk, mostly, volunteer to sit-up all night with the menfolk of a family suffering the loss of a family member. And that is it. The women would either keep coffee going or maybe offer a finger food or two, but as for the main part, men sat with men. I do not know the reason either. This was in the time when bodies were carried to the homes of their families to lie in state, not the funeral home, but still the question remains: Why sit up? If you look hard enough you can probably find an old wives’ tale or two telling about a body that “appeared to” (I use that phrase strongly), come back to life and it would be too much for the women to deal with, so the men were elected to sit and make sure things were kept in the natural order.

  3. LOVE OFFERINGS—for individuals or singing groups who were asked by churches to sing for their annual all-day singing, decoration and dinner on the ground festivities started, I guess, when churches added singing to the decoration and group-eating. So if the church asked the singers to sing, why didn’t the church give the singers a gesture of love (in that day) such as: a chicken or two, some eggs or maybe a basket of beans. But in the 1950’s onward, the crowd who were inside the church building to hear the singers, were expected to give cash, check or change. And it has been that way ever since.

  4. SCOLDING KIDS—for being kids, so to speak, in the graveyards. I have been there. I was a kid all full of life. And at every decoration I was taken to, I played with, and romped with kids my age and did some loud laughing and yelling as kids do, and suddenly got scolded. With all things being considered, the people in the graves were not complaining and before you get upset, I am just being truthful, but my dad, God bless him, he said what I doing was disrespectful, so I stopped. Then I noticed my mom and her friends standing near the cemetery laughing and talking up a storm, but my dad, well, he knew how to pick his battles.

  5. WARDROBE CONSTRAINTS—were always in effect. Kids, I am talking about me, always had to wear “Sunday” pants, shirt, and shoes. Why? It was very hot in early May in my part of the country: rural northwest Alabama, so why couldn’t I just wear my worn overalls, no shirt, and be barefoot? I guess that because this was only a yearly-event, “I” had to follow my dad in suite by wearing starched pants, shirt and polished shoes. It was still hot.

  6. WATCHING PRETTY GIRLS—was strictly-forbidden at any all-day singing, decoration, and dinner on the ground. I mean really? A guy 16-years of age, not with a girlfriend, could not watch the pretty girls who were also 16-years of age in their pretty decoration dresses walking by knowing that guys like myself were going to go nuts for them, but we males were told to “not lust for the girls, or go to hell.” Did they ever think that “Hell,” although a truism of scripture, is tough for a single 16-year old guy to handle?

  7. DRINKING MEN—who the elders of the church knew for sure that they were “bending their elbows,” earlier that morning up in the graveyard were kept from going inside the church to hear the good Gospel music was a “burr” under my saddle for a long time. Aren’t these people the very ones who Jesus went to? Then, as I saw it, the guys, although never acted-up or showed-out, did take a drink of booze, were doing the Christians in the church a huge favor by “bringing the business to them” by wanting to come inside and listen to the good music. Not many Christians in this time ever saw it my way.

  8. ELDERS EAT FIRST—in the home or at an all-day singing, decoration, and dinner on the ground. I understand this completely. It is about respect for our elders as The Bible teaches, but man, could some of these old folks “shovel it down,” while I watched all of the fried chicken and apple pie slowly disappear.

  9. DECORATION HAIRCUT—was a personal tradition that I grew to hate. No matter if my hair was perfect, my dad, who knew how to cut hair, would demand that I sit down on the Saturday before the next morning decoration event and cut my hair “to the bone,” which to me was no different than my Navy SEAl haircut I wear today which is to the scalp. “Why?” I asked my dad every year. “So you’ll look decent,” he would answer every year. And that was that.

  10. IF CUPID DID HELP ME—catch a few minutes with one of those pretty girls in a pretty summer dress and I was “making points,” why then did my folks always say it was time to head home?

It is a miracle of God that I lived through all of these “Christian” traditions.


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    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Glenna,

      Wow! What a comment coming from a girl who knows her Southern traditions. Your comment truly touched me.

      I want you to always keep in touch with me.

      And I pray that YOU have a Merry CHRISTmas.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Ann . . .

      I appreciate your sweet comment. And your sentiments about the South. I have THE Best followers on HubPages. I mean it.

      Please keep in touch with me.

      And have a Merry CHRISTmas.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Thank you, Dear, dear friend, for your sweet and touching comment.

      South Carolina? I have relatives in Woodruff, S.C. I love the place.

      And thank you for being a southern gal!!!

      Merry CHRISTmas.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      THANK YOU . . .


      I appreciate YOU and your kindness.

      Merry CHRISTmas.

      P.S. I am having to work fast and be short due to my laptop going down.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Sweet Bobbi,

      Thank YOU so much for this comment and all of your sweet comments you have given me. I am going to lay my writing down for a while in a few days and head to your hubs and read until my heart's content.

      May I be bold for a moment? Bobbi, YOU ARE, to me, a modern-day Southern Belle.

      I have never met you in-person, but by your writiing, I know you have class, charm, respect and all of the things that make a true Southern Belle who she is.

      I mean all of this too.

      Be safe and I pray that You have a Merry CHRISTmas.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Thank you kindly for your nice comment. The South is a literal treasure trove of unusual traditions and I learned early-on to always show these ways my respect and keep my trap shut.

      Keep in touch with me and Merry CHRISTmas.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      Hi enjoyed reading this

      I grew up in the South and many of these were new to me. I guess it depended on where you grew up which of these you know.

      Angels are on the way to you ps

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 3 years ago from Florida

      Well, as my Grandmother Knight always said when she didn’t know what to say, “My Word.” My Great- Great-Grandmother and Great-Grandmother were born in Darlington, South Carolina and I suppose that is where my Grandmother inherited some of her Southern ways.

      We are Floridians, and I remember all day singings and dinners at the church, but we never cleaned or decorated the cemetery.

      I remember the men eating first and then the women and children at my grandparent’s farm. And, I remember going to Georgia with my Grandmother to a funeral when I was three years old, and the dead woman was on a table in the library. I had nightmares after that day.

      And, I almost fell down a well in Georgia, but a handsome man save me. I remember him because he carried me around the rest of the day. Southern men are just as sweet as Northern men. He smelled like my Grandfather Knight and I told him, he said it was “Old Spice” how I love that smell.

      Love everything you write about and I am sorry I miss of your hubs, but I read this one.

      A Hub Friend,

      Bobbi Purvis

    • GlennaJones profile image

      Glenna Jones 3 years ago from Orlando, Florida

      I was a Yankee but my Mom was from Camden, SC. I still remember my uncles telling us to, "Slow down, you talk too fast" and to "Mash the light switch, Sugar." I take food to families who have had a death in the family because they usually have more mouths to feed at that time and for Moms with newborns because they need the help. I enjoyed reading your hub!

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 3 years ago from So Cal

      This is a hoot! I am completely Southern California and yet, all of these are familiar. I guess you don't have to be raised in the South to be Southern. My mom was from the South and these are the things we learned. When I got to "Love Gift", I cracked up. I didn't even need you explanation. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I miss my mom (she "passed away" a while back) and her southern traditions, many of which we carry on today.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Well, I am old Southern Gal! I grew up in the hills of South Carolina, and I could certainly relate to your Hub, and especially the photos you chose. I remember well how the deceased was "laid out" in the parlor for three days, and all the friends and relatives came to bring food and talk about the departed person.

      I no longer live in the South, unless you want to call Florida the South, but I still carry food to the family of the bereaved. I just think it's a nice thing to do.

      Voted UP, etc. and shared.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear Margaret,

      Thank you, my dear friend, for your mind being open to hear my opinions and questions about your faith. I would not be comfortable with an "expert," for I like to be on a level playing ground with whomever I am conversing.

      I am going to see how I can get up there to meet you. I would love it.

      The coffee and lunch would be great.

      Thanks again.


    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Kenneth, thank you, dear friend! Although I grew up in New York, I've lived in Boston for the past 20 years or so, and having grown up in a non-practicing household I'm not much of an expert on Judaism. But I'd love to have a chance to meet and chat over coffee and lunch if you're ever in this neck of the woods. Stay well!

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, JamaGenee,

      Just wanted to add that there is a faith just found around my area. I shall not call them by name for fear of them taking this as a dig, which it is not. But in their meetings, they allow people to dip snuff and chew tobacco.

      I think I have said a plenty.

      Thanks for your kind remarks.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dearest Margaret,

      Thank you for your fascinating and deep comment. I agree with your thinking on everything you said. And while I am at it, I have always had a deep respect for your faith as well as the Catholic faith as well.

      Do not fret. I come up short myaself.

      The all-day singing by itself is how it started and this not only expanded God's Kingdom to all people of all faiths in our southern communities, and even the African-Americans in some places. Fact.

      But with the dinner-on-the-ground it was only increased in brotherhood and fellowship.

      When growing up, I attended my share of these events.

      And I would love to come to New York and meet you and listen to you tell me about your Jewish faith.

      I would even buy the coffee and lunch.

      I am totally-sincere.


    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Kenneth, as someone who was brought up in New York City in a not very religious Jewish family, I always find it fascinating to learn about other people's religious and cultural traditions.

      I agree with you wholeheartedly that sinners who want to come to a house of worship or participate in a gathering based on shared religious beliefs should be embraced with both arms.

      I try not to stand in judgment of others (although I don't always succeed 100%) and feel that diversity is what makes the world interesting. At the same time, I also love shared traditions and I miss some that passed away with my parents. One of the things about traditions is that they're better when they're shared with others, and I have introduced some of our family traditions to my husband's family and thereby revived them, which is wonderful.

      The All-Day Singing, Decoration, and Dinner on The Ground sounds like a wonderful idea. I do, however, think that threatening 16-year-old boys that if they lust after pretty girls they'll go to hell is just plain foolish. Were none of them ever 16-year-old boys themselves? ;)

      As others have said already, many of those traditions are common to other geographies, cultures and religions. In the Jewish faith, for example, while the immediate family of the deceased stays home during a formal week-long period of mourning ("shiva"), friends and extended family will come to offer their condolences and sit with them. Visitors often bring traditional Jewish foods to the mourners, coming together as a community to care for and comfort them. Food is a traditional expression of love in Jewish culture, something it has in common with Southern culture.

      Thank you for another wonderful read, my friend.

    • profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago

      Hi, JamaGenee,

      I hear you on the relatives having to "bend their elbow." But honestly. I do not have a lot of relatives. I have two nieces, and some cousins scattered around the USA, but that is is.

      And the friends I went to school with and worked with . . .oh, YOU are invited to attend my, what is called here, my Viewing, which means everyone left can come and see what a great job the undertaker did on me, but the fact is, my mortician is a great pal who graduated with me and he owns two funeral parlors.

      I am always nice to him when I see him in town.

      "Squeaky people get the nice suits."

      Talk to you later, my dear friend. KENNETH :)

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 3 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Darn, Kylyssa already said what I was going to about bringing food to the home of the bereaved and sitting up with the deceased.

      Okay, I do have one thing to add. The term "wake" comes from the last tradition. It's short for "awake" or "awaken", but in certain cultures a wake couldn't (and still can't) be held without copius amounts of alcohol. Which is how the term "wake" evolved to mean "party" or giving the Newly Departed a "good send-off". Really just an excuse for mourners to get drunk and tell stories about the poor soul no longer around to defend himself!

      Note to any relatives I leave behind: I'll be watching when you're having "a few" in my honor, so stick to the FACTS! ;D

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      The Examiner-1,

      Thanks for the comment. I should say the deep comment. Thank you also for your vote.

      I do know that in early China, young people were taught to revere elderly people to the point of not speaking unless the elderly people spoke to them first.

      Although they might have taken respect to the extreme, I did respect it. And the #8 I know was taken from "Honor thy mother and father so your days will be long upon the earth," so with further research, I assume the titles Father and Mother, meant not only natural dads, moms, but grandparents, but any other elderly people in the younger person's presence, and yes, at mealtime, which I was talking about.

      I appreciate your input and opinion.

      Please come back soon.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago


      I was born Christian but I do not understand these - except for #8 but for different reasons than you. I voted it up.


    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear lupine,

      Thank you, dear friend, for your sweet comment.

      I sincrely appreciate you so much and not just for commenting or following me but for being a special friend.

      I do hope you are okay and your days are quiet and peaceful.

      Write to me anytime you like.


    • profile image

      lupine 3 years ago

      You have endless stories, Kenneth. I love reading them. I have never lived in the south, but respect the traditions. All I know about the south is from watching "Heart of Dixie" on Netflix. Take care my friend.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Thank you, good friend, for your warm and sincere comments. You are very appreciated, and I am sorry for not telling you that enough.

      You keep your great hubs a coming also.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      I do so enjoy reading your hubs, Kenneth! Keep it up!

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, teaches12345,

      Well, welcome to you, yioung 'un! I an proud to meet another southerner.

      Well, you are right. We do live slower because we know that whatever we are hurrying to will be there when we arrive.

      That is a poor rural saying, but I tried.

      I appreciate your comment. Have a safe week.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear Ann1Az2,

      Thank you for your warm comment.

      Texas is a great state and has loads of history. I love Texas and as for as Nebraska, Johnny Carson hailed from there. And several stars call Texas home.

      You are there and that makes it a GREAT state.

      Stay safe and stay in touch.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      I've lived in the south for over 25 years now and I can call it home. I have to say that the people here are friendly and know how to live life at a good pace. I enjoyed your article.

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 3 years ago from Orange, Texas

      Sounds like some really good fellowship going on, Kenneth. I love Texas - I moved down here 1973 and never went back to my home state of Nebraska. Life is slower down here and people are just friendlier. I heard that it was because people up north don't have time to stop and talk because of the cold. Who knows? I just know I like the south.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Catherine,

      Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate your comment so much. The south, and yes, I am bragging, does have a lot of things that are far more complex than the ones on this hub.

      I want YOU to write a List Hub about what you know about Southern Traditions if you want.

      Have a Great week.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Thank you kindly for your comment. Now understand that the one about barring (no pun, really), drunks from church stemmed from early Christianity that was near the Puritanism that said Christians are NOT to associate with those who do such things as drink, etc. I disagree with all of my heart, for Jesus, while on earth, broke every self-righteous rule ever written.

      But I have heard of your saying that "things forbidden are the sweetest," I can relate with a southern saying from a preacher speaking about guys stealing watermelons: "The SWEETEST watermelons are those which are stolen."

      But I do not condone this--unless the young guys cut (no pun, really) me in for a share.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Hey, girl. Where have you been for so long? I have missed you. And I sincerely thank you for reading this hub and leaving a sweet comment.

      DO NOT stay away for so long this time.

      Thank you much!

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      I have to agree that (some) of these are from us pilgrims. I wish I could find "the" handbook that someone must have written explaining why to do these things.

      Thanks for your input. It was much-appreciated.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Loved your comment. And appreciated the information too. I feel ashamed of not knowing the why these traditions were established. I need a refresher course at being a southerner.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Thank you, DEAR friend. I appreciate your comment and I never suspected that you were underneath a rock.

      Now I am sure that there are more customs and traditions of the early south. If you can find more, just send them to me.

      And this goes to ALL of the hubbers on this hub.

      My thanks and undying appreciation.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, sheilamyers,

      Yes! You are so right. I had a feeling that there was "that" one early reason why the sitting up with the dead was done--and to respect the survivors too, I would suspect.

      Wow! You are not just a Great Friend, but a "Well of Wisdom."

      God bless you.

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 3 years ago

      I really enjoyed reading these traditions. I may be a yankee, but my mom is from Tennessee and we used to visit there every summer so I got to experience many of them.

      I did some research about funeral customs for one of my hubs and can tell you a little about the "sitting up with the dead". You have to look at it from a viewpoint of "way back when" - before they embalming as we do today. Part of that has to do with a person could be pronounced dead and only be in a deep coma which they pop out of and someone was there in case that happened. The other part is that without the embalming, the odor of decomposition would draw insects and other animals. It was the job of the person sitting there to keep those things away from the deceased.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 3 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Another great list hub. I'm from the North-New York city--but I have lived in the south fro almost 20 years now. Actually, I live in Florida which is not really the South because everyone here is from some where else. Voted up, funny, Intereting.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Please tell me that these traditions are still alive and well. As I recall that which was forbidden was only made sweeter. But keeping drunks out of church is a little over the top for me.

    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 3 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Great Hub. I also love the south and miss the old south in many ways.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 3 years ago from United States

      Yep, that's unique about us pilgrims alright. Thanks for the great memories. whonu

    • Kylyssa profile image

      Kylyssa Shay 3 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      Bringing food to grieving people is likely as old as people. I've seen it in every culture I've seen. It's probably the natural reaction of people who know grief can steal the appetite and that some people who "grieve to death" actually starve to death. And, heck, what else can they do? My momma was a Southerner and she loved people with food all the time. The casserole brigade rolls in like clockwork once a death is announced no matter which side of the Mason-Dixon line you live on.

      Sitting up with the dead is also an ancient tradition practiced in many cultures. Back before the twentieth century, proclaiming someone dead was iffy business and someone in a deep coma or suffering extremely low blood pressure might be mistaken for deceased. If I lived in such a time, I'd want folks to let me get a little stinky before putting me into the ground.

      Scolding kids is also another human thing. People are a lot more alike than they're different.

      Now the bit about elders eating first, I think I can tell you where that comes from. It probably comes from your Native American and African ancestors both. It's common among tribal cultures the world around. It's a lovely tradition to hang onto in this time when elders are not seen as cherished keepers of wisdom much in the US anymore.

      I have no idea about the rest.

    • writinglover profile image

      Jennifer 3 years ago from Lost...In Video Games

      Yep. Sounds like the south that I heard of growing up. I was born in Texas so I've heard of some of these traditions but not all because I grew up under a rock. Love your articles as always!


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