What makes someone a Minnesotan?

The American skier Lindsey Vonn won a gold medal yesterday in the women’s downhill in Vancouver. Minnesotans claim her as one of their own because she was born in St. Paul. But Vonn’s Team USA profile does not mention Minnesota, saying only that her family moved to Vail when she was 12. Today’s Question: What makes someone a Minnesotan?

  • John

    I think you are what you call yourself, and Vonn says she’s from Vail, not Minnesota.

  • John

    I think you are what you call yourself.

    Vonn calls herself a Coloradan, so that’s what she is.

    Minnesota needs to find reflected glory somewhere else.

  • Steven

    The title of “Honorary Minnesotan” should be given to people from other states who contribute to MPR. Maybe a t-shirt with those words should be offered during the pledge drives. 🙂

  • garyf

    Better question yet…….

    “Why do Minnesotans or the Minnesota media try to find a local angle, no matter how obscure, or far fetched?”

    If I were to be in the Olympics, which is a snowballs chance in heck, would the Montana media claim me to be “a local boy”, because I was born in Montana and spent my first year there and the rest of my 45 in Minnesota?

  • Zebulun

    Being from northern Minnesota as a fairly new transplant to the Metro I see differences between Minnesotans depending on where they’re brought up. The sensationalized Minnesotan Garrison Keilor sells only seems to exist somewhere other than the Metro. Culturally, there are vast differences between the rural and urban way of life so the meaning of being a Minnesotan also differs.

    Even with many differences one ideal does seem to tie the two together. The “outdoors.” I have found that people who have lived in the Metro their entire lives still have the same affinity as northerners to this institution. Above all else I believe this acquisition is the one qualifying factor that binds all Minnesotans.

  • James

    Thin blood for the cold, and quick reflexes for the mosquitoes:-)


  • Jessica Sundheim

    Having live in the South I have experienced the cultural differences, some distinct others more subtle, between Minnesotans, Tennesseans, Virginians, and Georgians. You betch ya’ Minnesotans have their own culture and expectations of society that differentiate them from the rest of the country. A tireless work ethic, expectations of excellence in all they endeavor (Governor Pawlenty exempted), and stellar action in community set them apart. In my opinion they can be a little aloof and introspective, but they are still THE BEST!

  • Gerald Myking

    You have to learn how to talk kinda funny and coming of age you have to eat a Norwegian burrito (Lutefisk wrapped in Lefsa).

  • Craig

    To echo John below, anyone worried about a lack of attribution to Minnesota should ask themselves why they are worried about it. They may be doing themselves general harm by constructing a false sense of satisfaction through the accomplishments of others, and running the risk of its collapse upon sober reflection.

    With the exception of parents, teachers, and coaches, basking in reflected glory is never healthy.

  • Khatti

    This is an interesting question because I think Minnesotans are not psychologically predisposed to wonder just who they are.

    I’m forever pointing out to Minnesotans things about Minnesota (For example, Minnesota sits in the same latitudes as France, consequently the light patterns the sun throws are the same here as they are in France. If you want to paint the exterior of your house something different from white, but you are at a loss to know what color to use, google french houses and check out the images: you might see something that your neighbor wouldn’t think of!).

    When I point out to my fellow Minnesotans something like the France thing, they’re genuinley befuddled as to why anyone would care about this sort of thing.

    I think Minnesota Nice has, as a working component, Minnesota Anonymous.

  • Emily

    Ironic – so I moved here from Eastern Wisconsin 24 years ago (as a young adult). When I travel and people ask me where I’m from – I tell people I was born and raised in Wis, but transplanted to MN. Must be some sort of “mental-block” – then again I’m finally getting free of calling drinking fountains, bubblers.

  • Lawrence

    What makes Minnesota is being born and raised in a small town that is proud to be from Minnesota. Most of the outside world beyond Iowa, Wisconsin, and North Dakota seems foreign to you if you are a true Minnesotan. You love your teams, the Vikjngs, Wolves, Wild, Gophers, and Twins, but you don’t want too big of a sports media market here. You like the Twin Cities, but secretly you hope it doesn’t get too big and have all those bigger problems cities like Chicago, Detroit, New York, and Los Angeles have. You don’t want a slow pace, but the pace shouldn’t be too fast either. You embrace cabins and lakes and the sun. Wildlife is for shooting at because protecting agriculture and safe neighborhoods are the most important thing.

  • Jack Goldman

    Easy. Being born and still living in Minnesota makes you a Minnesotan. Another definition of a class two Minnesotan is someone who went to K-12 school in Minnesota, preferably college too. A class three Minnesotan is simply someone who moves here.

    People ARE where they went to K-12 school. That is the programming people carry around that they can never get out of their minds.

    People from Nigeria who move to Minnesota are not Minnesotans or Americans. They are Minnesota citizens or American citizens. There is a difference.