By Jorden Allen, Ariel Daniels and Isabelle Schmidt
God. Family. Football. For Dewayne Stewart, life consists of these three Southern principles.
Born and raised in the South, Stewart possesses a thick country twang in his voice that most people associate with being Southern.
“We’re very religious people. We’re very family-oriented people and we talk about football every day of the year.” Stewart said. Being a Georgia native, he thinks these values are some that most, if not all, Southerners uphold.
A major component of most Southern stereotypes is Southern hospitality. Stewart said that he tries to embody this characteristic anywhere and everywhere that he goes. He thinks it’s just another big element that goes along with a long list of traits that makes someone Southern.
“People ask me why we wave at everyone. From where they’re from, it’s just not a normal thing. We hardly ever meet a stranger. We’re very hospitable people,” Stewart said. He believes that as long as newcomers to the South understand the mentality, they will easily adjust to life in the South.
“I think that’s just the values of the people in the South. We hold true to ourselves. We love the traditions that we have, the culture. It’s very unique. Most people here are very hard working, self-reliable. It’s just been that way since I’ve been born,” he said.
Stewart believes that being a Southerner is something to be proud of, he said. “I still believe this is one of the best places in the country to live, in the South. It’s great scenery, great people, and hospitality. You name it, it’s down here.”
Although Stewart hasn’t travelled very far, he believes that the South is where he belongs. He feels a connection to the people and culture there.