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southernphilly

Cultural Diversity in the Upstate

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This topic was moved from another thread. Please understand that this thread has a few extre rules.

I think this will be an interesting topic to explore- so long as it is understood that intelligent and respectful replies are mandatory, and that the sensitive nature of this issue might get touchy to some people. If you are one of these people, then I recommend staying out of this topic.

Skyliner and I will not tolerate any sort of 'slugfest.' Any posts that we feel could be misconstrued as such will be deleted.

My apologies to southernphilly for hijacking his post to make my comments. It's the only way to do what needs to be done.

Hi all, new to the site. By way of introduction, am moving back to the upstate (grew up in S'burg) from Philadelphia and have been thrilled to find this site! Really appreciate the development news.

We are an interracial couple, and the last few posts have made me a bit nervous? Does it really feel that conservative?

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I don't really think Bob Jones has much of an impact on things anymore. They're here, but nobody really listens to them. I'm not sure Greenville would inhibit a wine bar from coming downtown just because it's a wine bar. Downtown is predominantly made up of bars and restaraunts. That's pretty much all it is right now. It may have something to do with a disproportionate amount of similar establishments in the area.

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Hi all, new to the site. By way of introduction, am moving back to the upstate (grew up in S'burg) from Philadelphia and have been thrilled to find this site! Really appreciate the development news.

We are an interracial couple, and the last few posts have made me a bit nervous? Does it really feel that conservative?

I have pretty much dated interacially all of my life and married interacially. It is conservative but it is overated coming from some people. I have never had a problem and there are plenty of interacial couples here. Conservative doesn't necessarily mean racist. I have friend who is very conservative and has no problem with this. He is just overly religious.

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I have pretty much dated interacially all of my life and married interacially. It is conservative but it is overated coming from some people. I have never had a problem and there are plenty of interacial couples here. Conservative doesn't necessarily mean racist. I have friend who is very conservative and has no problem with this. He is just overly religious.

I have a friends who are in an interacial relationship. They are both very religious, good Christian people. I hardly think that has anything to do with it. But anyway, I've heard them feeling uncomfortable in the Upstate with their situation.

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We are an interracial couple, and the last few posts have made me a bit nervous? Does it really feel that conservative?

I don't think you'll notice people glaring at you or anything. I have no problem with interracial relationships, myself. I'm very open minded and think that people are people. Good people are good people. Educated people are educated people. Backwards people are backwards people. Thugs are thugs. It doesn't matter to me what their background, society status, religion, or race are. It's how they carry themselves as men and women that matter.

Maybe I'm too optimistic, but I'd like to believe that everybody feels the same way.

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BJU doesn't have near the visible impact on Greenville that many outsiders think and say. Everyone I know has found this place a welcome home to people of all viewpoints. Most of the new developments are drifting far from the straight and narrow mindset of the extreme conservative group and toward a far more globally diverse appeal. The community is made up of so many different cultures that nobody should ever feel completely out of place. That is one thing which makes Greenville so special. :)

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I have a friends who are in an interacial relationship. They are both very religious, good Christian people. I hardly think that has anything to do with it. But anyway, I've heard them feeling uncomfortable in the Upstate with their situation.

EDIT! I've NEVER heard of them feeling uncomfortable anywhere in the Upstate with their situation.

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I realize that we are usually nothing more than a username on a message board, but I want to share a personal story, because I think it's relevant here.

I was in an interracial relationship this past spring and summer. I am Caucasian, she is Indian, and we're both Christians. We would frequently go out in Greenville, especially downtown, and absolutely NEVER had a problem with anyone saying a negative word or looking at us differently. In fact, we frequently had people smile at us in a very genuine way, or make comments like, "you two are a beautiful couple." At first, I was surprised that these comments came from adults (even elderly people on several occasions) and not young adults or teenagers. Yes, those things happened on a regular basis (just about every time we would go somewhere) in "ultra-conservative and boring Greenville."

I shared this story because I think people are often surprised at just how different (in a good way) Greenville is from what they have perhaps heard about it. Maybe that's why so many people visit the city and eventually decide to relocate permanently.

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I realize that we are usually nothing more than a username on a message board, but I want to share a personal story, because I think it's relevant here.

I was in an interracial relationship this past spring and summer. I am Caucasian, she is Indian, and we're both Christians. We would frequently go out in Greenville, especially downtown, and absolutely NEVER had a problem with anyone saying a negative word or looking at us differently. In fact, we frequently had people smile at us in a very genuine way, or make comments like, "you two are a beautiful couple." At first, I was surprised that these comments came from adults (even elderly people on several occasions) and not young adults or teenagers. Yes, those things happened on a regular basis (just about every time we would go somewhere) in "ultra-conservative and boring Greenville."

I shared this story because I think people are often surprised at just how different (in a good way) Greenville is from what they have perhaps heard about it. Maybe that's why so many people visit the city and eventually decide to relocate permanently.

Thanks to everyone who responded. The warm sentiments and personal stories really made our day!!! I certainly remember the upstate as a friendly and open place, and have found this to be true on my visits back. I agree with RestedTraveler "Good people are good people. Educated people are educated people. Backwards people are backwards people." We have been excited to read about the new developments in Greenville/Spartanburg, and are really looking forward to leaving the craziness of the northeast. (which certainly has its own issues with intolerance.)

I have been reading some about the NorthEnd (article in the Greenville paper today, and friends of ours own The Bohemian). Any news/opinion about the development of this area?

Does anyone think there would be interest on this site for a thread on cultural diversity in the upstate as a form of "new development?"

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Does anyone think there would be interest on this site for a thread on cultural diversity in the upstate as a form of "new development?"

Absolutely! Welcome to the forum, southernphilly! I totally understand your desire to move from the Philly area. Most of my family is from central PA, and I've been there several times. Not the greatest place in the World by any means.

My only hesitation would be that a topic on Upstate cultural diversity will most likely end up being another "slugfest" with members from the midlands. I think it is a necessity though. This region has the highest per capita of international investment in the entire World, and you can't walk up or down Main Street in Greenville without hearing other languages. Our efforts to attract new businesses from overseas are well documented and clearly efficient. Need I say more? If someone would like top start this topic, I'll be glad to support it. :thumbsup:

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My only hesitation would be that a topic on Upstate cultural diversity will most likely end up being another "slugfest" with members from the midlands. I think it is a necessity though. This region has the highest per capita of international investment in the entire World, and you can't walk up or down Main Street in Greenville without hearing other languages. Our efforts to attract new businesses from overseas are well documented and clearly efficient. Need I say more? If someone would like top start this topic, I'll be glad to support it. :thumbsup:

We can try it. I think it would be an interesting topic to explore- so long as it is understood that intelligent and respectful replies are mandatory, and that the sensitive nature of this issue might get touchy to some people. If you are one of these people, then I recommend staying out of this topic.

Skyliner and I will not tolerate any sort of 'slugfest.' Any posts that we feel could be misconstrued as such will be deleted.

To start it up I will move these posts to a new thread.

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We can try it. I think it would be an interesting topic to explore- so long as it is understood that intelligent and respectful replies are mandatory, and that the sensitive nature of this issue might get touchy to some people. If you are one of these people, then I recommend staying out of this topic.

Skyliner and I will not tolerate any sort of 'slugfest.' Any posts that we feel could be misconstrued as such will be deleted.

To start it up I will move these posts to a new thread.

Thanks to Spartan and Skyliner for starting this thread! (Minor correction-southernphilly is a she). Maybe we could start with compiling a list of nations represented in upstate international companies/businesses. And how about international restaurants in the area. These are fairly noncontroversial topics to start.

Does Greenville have anything like the Spartanburg International Festival?

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Does Greenville have anything like the Spartanburg International Festival?

I'm not sure what the SIF is, but Greenville started a festival called "Artishpere" last year. It features artists and art of various types from all over the country and internationally too. There were singers, I believe, from an African nation last year. I think it was a very successful innaugural year.

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Spartanburg County has the highest international investment per capita in the nation. It is home to more than 100 other international firms representing 16 countries.

BMW, Michelin, Siemens are some of the more prominent companies.

This plays into the International Festival as well as the Upstate's cultural diversity.

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I have pretty much dated interacially all of my life and married interacially. It is conservative but it is overated coming from some people. I have never had a problem and there are plenty of interacial couples here. Conservative doesn't necessarily mean racist. I have friend who is very conservative and has no problem with this. He is just overly religious.

Overly religious? Says who? According to you? I could just as easily say that you are overly interracial. Because you dated and married outside of your race do think you deserve some sort of medal?

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mcashlv, that is the exact kind of post that I was talkgin about. There will be no more of that. If you can't at least respect monton's opinions then just be quiet.

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Well, when we start tossing around terms like "Conservative" & "overly religious", what do you expect? The poster levied those terms as possibly derrogatory (inferred by their usage).

IMO, this topic has zip to do with development, and has great potential to become a flame war.

I'll go duck over here --------->

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This is a very important subject relating to the Upstate's economic growth. If we didn't have the 220+ countries represented from around the World, we would be struggling to find part-time, minimum wage jobs instead of trying to find enough workers to fill the well-paying business, manufacturing, engineering, and technical jobs that are available. ;)

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This forum is not constrained to development issues alone. Culture is a huge part of what attracts people to urban areas. The thread does have the potential to become heated, but that is expected. If people will choose to be mature and use some constructive criticism rather than blatant insults and general idiocy it could be an interesting discussion. It really is that simple, and I believe that it can be done.

I can't speak for monton, but his 'overly religious' comment was probably more of an observation than an insult. But thats all bsaed on your perspective on it.

Its probably a fair to assume that based on mcashlv's response, he is fairly religious.

The Upstate is labeled as a very religious area in general too. Just look at the Christian Exodus and all of their extreme ideas. That group picked SC for a reason.

Religion aside, we have had discussions before about the relative lack of minorities in the Upstate. All of that plays into this cultural diversity thing...

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One thing I think people need to be careful about is assuming that just because an area doesn't have something (i.e., a ton of cultural diversity), it isn't tolerant of it.

There will always be people (in ANY area, including New York City) who resist change, either due to a lack of exposure or the fact that their comfort level is being tested. But I am confident that those people will come around, especially if they are from the upstate. I can say that because I believe that the people in our area are, for the most part, genuinely good people. Most people living in a city of Greenville's size have probably experienced enough life to understand that a homogenous society is a boring one. These people either enthusiastically embrace the added diversity, or at the very least, they don't consciously oppose it.

I am optimistic that the next 10-15 years, which will be a time of high growth and prosperity for Greenville, will prove my suppositions to be correct. :)

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One thing I think people need to be careful about is assuming that just because an area doesn't have something (i.e., a ton of cultural diversity), it isn't tolerant of it.

There will always be people (in ANY area, including New York City) who resist change, either due to a lack of exposure or the fact that their comfort level is being tested. But I am confident that those people will come around, especially if they are from the upstate. I can say that because I believe that the people in our area are, for the most part, genuinely good people. Most people living in a city of Greenville's size have probably experienced enough life to understand that a homogenous society is a boring one. These people either enthusiastically embrace the added diversity, or at the very least, they don't consciously oppose it.

I am optimistic that the next 10-15 years, which will be a time of high growth and prosperity for Greenville, will prove my suppositions to be correct. :)

Interesting last couple of posts here. What we hope and expect to find in moving to Greenville from Philly is the following:

Friendly open-minded people who believe in the shared values of nearly all organized religions, namely: Compassion, respect, fairness, and the golden rule "do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

Cultural, religious, ethnic, linguistic diversity adds to the complexity of any area. This can sometimes bring conflict and disharmony, but if all people are respected it brings a richness, warmth, interest, and vibrancy that makes life truly wonderful. I believe these topics are crucial to a discussion of development. Development isn't simply bricks and mortar. Successful development needs creative energy and diverse ideas to thrive and grow.

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Most people living in a city of Greenville's size have probably experienced enough life to understand that a homogenous society is a boring one. These people either enthusiastically embrace the added diversity, or at the very least, they don't consciously oppose it.

^ Greenville worded that perfectly! :thumbsup:

I think Greenville's position as a major business center brings in enough new residents each year from other parts of the country, to keep the area open minded. I've said it before, I'm a gay WASP partnered with a gay Jew. Never have we felt uncomfortable. We LOVE the place and the people!

If you want to truely live and have an impact on life, a positive attitude and a bright outlook, Greenvillians will embrace that, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, etc. It's a very positive bunch. :D

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There's nothing additional I can add to what's already been said here. Maybe it's just the holiday spirit, but all I can say is ... I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!! I'm proud to be associated with such a grouping of intelligent, insightful, open-minded, and articulate people of all backgrounds .... :shades: and ... I suspect Greenville and the Upstate are proud to be the type of city and region that all of us can happily call home.

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