I always thought it interesting in other countries how even the language could change dramatically even from one village to the next. What has made me sad about computers, mass media, and chain stores and restaurants is that they seem to be homogenizing our American society. Like a modern glass skyscraper it is the same from top to bottom, from left to right. There is no wondering what it might be like “in that interesting part of the building,” save for maybe how high the top floor is.
But local flavor is not completely dead. Even within the Diocese of Cleveland there are defiantly differences between north of Rte 303 and south of it. (It is often joked that one needs passport to cross the imaginary boarder.
There are some obvious differences. Only up here in Akron (see how I did that? Akros Greek for top most) is SUMMIT county, we refer to the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street the devil strip. Now so down north. When we say “downtown” we mean the district area of the city we are in; Akron, Barberton, Cuyahoga Falls, etc. Down north they mean Cleveland.
A priest, when someone wants to show great respect, is often referred to as “sir” south of the 303 as in, “Good morning sir!” North of 303 you might (and I have seen it) get you a cold stare and a lecture about, “I am Father, NOT sir.”
The Slovenians in the north sang a slightly different tune to my favorite Slovenian song, “Maria Pomagaj” than we did in the south. We didn’t like their tune and they didn’t like ours.
It seems to me, and this is very general, that in communal penance, in the north priests are more likely to wear albs. In the south it is not as common an occurrence.
If you want White Russian dressing on your salad, you will have to visit a ma and pa restaurant south of 303.
These are just a few of the things that I could think of. Can you think of any more? I would love to hear it.