When does one become "a local"?

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DarkOne
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When does one become "a local"?

Post by DarkOne » Thu Apr 26, 10:45 2018

Ok, peoples who have moved around and lived in different places... After how long do you consider yourself "a local"? Never? After certain amount of years? After a certain percentage of your lifespan? After you stop having to google references to local stuffs? After you forget your previous address? After you can pass for a true, legit, home-grown local? Does it depend on context?

I can't nail down a good answer for this...
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Re: When does one become "a local"?

Post by rowan » Thu Apr 26, 11:06 2018

Hmm. I would say I'm local but not from here, if that makes sense. Like I know a lot of things but I don't remember the "Great Blizzard of '91" or whatever year that was or other local history things that other people know having grown up here. But also I don't live in a Small Town which can have its own ... challenges ... with being considered local. Like generations of "they're not from around here" baloney.

If I'm eating the last donut I can be unapologetic for not cutting it into small slices by claiming I'm not from here. :P
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Re: When does one become "a local"?

Post by Sonic# » Thu Apr 26, 12:20 2018

I view being a local as all about social credibility. It's not about being in a place for an absolute period of time, being born there, or knowing the difference between Space Kroger, Sketch Kroger, and Murder Kroger. All of those are qualifications people use to pass as local. So I'd say if you can pass as local, that is, other people see you as local, you're local. I'm doing the same thing any local is doing: being recognized as local.

That does mean I'm considered local in my current place (~10 years) by some people but not by others. To the person who I just told (without looking it up) how to get to a specific place? Local. To someone who came here 3 years ago and doesn't remember when the bookstore wasn't owned by Barnes and Noble? Local. To the person whose great-grandparents are buried in a local cemetery? I'm local enough until they get to talking about Neighboring Street Coffee from the early 1990s.

Similarly, if I went back to where I grew up, I would be local to some people (esp. people who grew up there) but maybe not to more recent transplants, since I wouldn't have as much knowledge of recent history, current places to get the best donuts, and stuff like that.

In other words, "local" is a kind of relative status to me. It describes a kind of deep knowledge that comes from living in a place, but there's no absolute moment when someone gets enough of that knowledge to be local.

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Re: When does one become "a local"?

Post by geldofc » Sun Apr 29, 17:14 2018

I feel like a local is someone who’s been around the area for years and interacts with the town or city a lot. idk.
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Re: When does one become "a local"?

Post by rowan » Mon Apr 30, 14:50 2018

Met a dude who moved here in 1985 but still likes the football team back home so doesn't qualify as local lol (neither do I on that count)
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Re: When does one become "a local"?

Post by DarkOne » Mon Apr 30, 17:54 2018

Huh. Now that you mention that, I've heard people use that as a standard before. I once had a colleague tell me "Oh no, I'm becoming a local." I asked why and he said "I was rooting for the [local Major League Baseball team] last night. He's originally from like 3 states away.
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Re: When does one become "a local"?

Post by Aum » Wed May 2, 2:52 2018

I have honestly never felt at home anywhere, so I'm not sure how to really answer. I'm assuming a local is someone who has spent a lot of time and energy getting to know a place, relating to its culture, and knowing a lot of its ins and outs fluently. But when I examine what I just said, it doesn't really define me... I have lived in the same place for 12 years now and I still don't feel a strong connection to the place. I don't quite relate to the people, I don't quite feel like I fit in with anyone or any scene. I'm pretty much a loner who has a few really good friends. I'm referring to Vancouver, Canada btw.

It may just be simpler to say that you have to be born there to be a local. I've lived in many places and honestly it seems like foreigners never fully integrate in that relaxed way that locally born people do. There is always an alienness to them, and I say that as someone who has been the foreigner / immigrant. The integration is never complete. You will never truly be "one of them", but that may just be my own alienated self talking.
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Re: When does one become "a local"?

Post by rowan » Wed May 2, 6:56 2018

Aum wrote:
Wed May 2, 2:52 2018
It may just be simpler to say that you have to be born there to be a local.
Hmm. I don't feel like a local there, anymore, really. Too many things have changed back there, even though I was there a long time.

I suppose a lot of people don't feel local anywhere anymore.
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Re: When does one become "a local"?

Post by Aum » Wed May 2, 12:11 2018

rowan wrote:
Wed May 2, 6:56 2018
Aum wrote:
Wed May 2, 2:52 2018
It may just be simpler to say that you have to be born there to be a local.
Hmm. I don't feel like a local there, anymore, really. Too many things have changed back there, even though I was there a long time.

I suppose a lot of people don't feel local anywhere anymore.
In Vancouver?

Hard to feel like you belong to a place that has no cultural identity.
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Re: When does one become "a local"?

Post by Enigma » Thu May 3, 16:55 2018

/\ I assumed Rowan meant in their home town?

This is an interesting question. I've lived in the same city my whole life but in a few different neighbourhoods. I'd say that the only neighbourhood I really feel like a local in is the one I grew up in. Which is interesting because when I lived there I was always in a huge hurry to leave because I felt like I didn't really fit in there. Now I go and the energy there feels like home. There if you point to a random house I either know who lives there or who used to. I can give directions without thinking twice and feel like I can insult the area but you can't. I wouldn't really want to live there anymore though.

In my new neighbourhood where I've been for a year I don't really feel like a local and if you ask me where im from I'll say the old neighbourhood. But the other day I felt a bit local when I was walking and saw a woman accidentally hit a sidewalk deadend that I had successfully missed. So I guess it's all relative? As long as you know an area more than the person next to you you're the local.
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Re: When does one become "a local"?

Post by octarineoboe » Sun May 6, 8:29 2018

I like Sonic's point about relative locality. I definitely feel more like a local in my current city than I do now in my hometown. Yesterday I went to an event and ran into several people I knew, and that made me feel very at home. Same when I went to a neighborhood bar before it closed and a bartender from a different neighborhood bar said hi. I'm not sure if he actually recognized me or was just being friendly but either way - I guess like, being recognized as someone who lives or belongs in a place makes me feel local?

I'm also having a lot of feelings about this because I'm moving in about a month, probably to a different neighborhood which is technically a different municipality even though it's just a few miles away. Does that make me suddenly not a local, to either the new place OR the old place? I dunno; it's still in the same metro area, though, and if I go anywhere else I'd still identify with the larger city. So it's a complicated question.

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Re: When does one become "a local"?

Post by melsbells » Sun May 6, 10:36 2018

Being recognized feels so good sometimes. One of the people we bought our house from came into the place where I work last week and said "hello" to me. She's certainly a local and it felt validating that she knows who I am and seems to be happy to have me in the town.

But to answer the question, I'd say never. Maybe it would be different if I never left the U.S. and just changed towns or even states. As is, I've accepted my fate as a perpetual outsider.

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Re: When does one become "a local"?

Post by rowan » Mon May 7, 21:57 2018

Enigma wrote:
Thu May 3, 16:55 2018
/\ I assumed Rowan meant in their home town?
yes, I meant where I was born (or more technically where I lived after being born, since there was not a hospital in the town I lived in, but I think that probably doesn't really count).
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