It's best not to overgeneralize and expect that the behavior of several Minnesotans represents the people as a whole. We have a lot of diversity (typically more in the twin cities area), which means a lot of different personalities. I've lived here my whole life and have encountered both rudeness and kindness--just like with any other place on the planet, I presume. We don't talk like they did on the movie 'Fargo', unless we're making fun of ourselves. I would say that if you are visiting Minnesota, just be as kind and open as you would be visiting anywhere else in the world, and typically you will be met with an equal share of politeness. In the event that you come in contact with a grouchy Minnesotan, please take it with a grain of salt and don't let it ruin your perception of the people as a whole. What may come off as being rude, might just be shyness...some people are slow to warm up, but once they do, you may find a true friend. It is unfortunate that so many people on this forum have had bad experiences with Minnesotans, but just know that every place has their fair share of jerks, and it does not mean that is all we have to offer. So be patient, and know that there are genuinely nice people here, if you take the time to look.
Minnesotans have a reputation for being super nice. This is true - to an extent. Minnesotans are extremely friendly to your face - it's behind your back that they can be quite nasty :>
In any case - because the locals are big on friendliness, it's best to be as nice as possible when asking for directions or ordering at a restaurant. Being nice will get you much better service than if you are short or rude.
The typical "New Yorker" abrasiveness scares Minnesotans - and the way Minnesotans show that they are upset is by going and telling on you to a higher up. Avoid trouble here by simply being nice and smiling a lot.
1--First off"Minnesota Nice" is more accurately "Minnesota Polite" at best. At worst it's "Minnesota/ Ice and/or Passive Aggression." And the farther west and northwest you go into our state, the more weirdly cliquish and covertly hostile they get. The demarcation linfe for this starts just west of the Mississippi in St. Cloud, MN--arguably the most boring city relative to its size in the state if not the country.
2--Therefore, *BEWARE*: Don't ever mistake "Minnesota Nice/Polite" for a potential friendship. Sure, they'll gladly give you directions if you're lost, call 911 on your behalf, pull you out of an auto wreck and maybe even give you CPR while the ambulance rushes to the scene. Then they'll even put on the inevitable "aw shucks" performance for the local TV news. But presume any closeness or warmth from your new acquaintance, and trust me, you'll get permanent frostbite from the cold shoulders you'll receive.
3--Bottom line: Unless you're foreign and fascinating, extremely rich, handsome, famous, or already have friends/relatives here who actually like/love you (as if you ever did!) I'd avoid eye contact, deal with ATM's and other non-human conveniences whenver possible, and for God's sake, whatever you do, stay in the right lane(!) unless you really want to find out how "nice" Minnesotans can get on the freeways where the *real* state motto is as follows:
Happiness is a destination, and %#@^% whoever/whatever gets in our way...oh, and praise Jaysus!
Here in MN we smugly like to think we're nicer everyone else.
Well, have *TWO* nice days!
The second one is on us!
That'll learn ya!
I have been many places and Minnesota and especially Minneapolis is filled with rude bigots. Minneapolis is the rudest place I have ever set foot. I mean honestly, just because they have sub-zero every day and have no culture doesnt make them better from people from other states.
People in Minnesota will often come off as cold, and distant. This isn't entirely untrue. Its a product of our environment, and heritage. Its best to just not take offense when someone does not respond as warmly to you as you might have expected, does not want to hug you, and for those from kissing countries, does not want to kiss or be kissed by you. You shake hands, and personal space is 3 feet apart at minimum. We are notorious for not making eye contact, or speaking directly. We've been taught to do this, out of respect, and fear of the other person. I like to think of it as almost showing deference.
So as to not appear too touristy, it is good to become familiar with the local talk and customs, dontchaknow? You betcha. You'll need to know that turning down a casserole could be offensive in some situations and that all offers must be refused several times before reluctantly accepting. Also, it's important to understand the native goodbye rituals, lest you cause yourself to be late for an appointment.
So before you're heading up Nord to do some Walleye ice fishing, pick up this book! I promise you'll laugh a lot... and Minnesotans can't lie.
If you are going to spend ANY time in Minnesota, you must learn how to speak Minnesotan or you run the risk of really upsetting the locals. I must say that I have never personally seen an angry Minnesotan, as they are very slow to anger and wouldn't show you anyways, but I can say I do not want to see one - EVER! Pick up the handy, dandy "How To Talk Minnesotan" Simple Audio Guide put out by the Prairie Home Companion!!!
A blissful end-of-summer day. A girl, her bike, her Dell and the campus wireless network in front of the recreation center.
these are pictures of my daughter and I at the recent Festival of Nations... she's wearing her Gitana dress.