Minnesota Nice, explained
A lot of it hit close to home for me (even though I grew up & live across the border in Wisconsin, so I guess I’m not technically “Minnesota nice”), like the following:
In a nutshell, the state’s settlers from northern or central Europe — primarily Germany and Scandinavia — had a profound impact on how the social culture here developed, McKnight contends.
“The traditional culture of Norway/Sweden was for centuries based on the concept of One People, One Language, One Religion,” McKnight writes. “Swedes’ lifelong friends were chosen from among people they went to school with and their kinship group. An individual made friends slowly, but they were friends for life — in the true sense of the term ‘for life.'”
Anyone who has lived in Scandinavia, as McKnight did for years, knows that “it’s somewhat hard to get an ‘in’ there,” he said. But once the friendship is established, “all barriers to communication break down and there results a torrent of friendship, expressions of sincerity, and even personal confidences.”
The article’s part of an MPR series which you can read over here.