Is there actually some science behind being a true Montanan?
I recently authored an article about Made in Montana gifts where I mentioned the pride Montanans have in being from The Big Sky State. The topic of Montanans, and specifically what makes someone from Montana different than others, has been rattling around in my brain ever since. I could not help but notice that people from Montana share some strikingly similar characteristics, and I had to wonder- is there a science behind what makes someone a true Montanan?
In short, the answer is no. There is no objective science that goes into making a person a TRUE Montanan. Having a Montana city on your birth certificate is about the closest to "science" one could consider.
During the election night of 2016 I was talking to an older lady at a results party and mentioned that I moved here in 2000. Prior to mentioning this detail, she had been warm and friendly with me during the entire evening. Immediately after I mentioned this fact however, she abruptly and curtly stated, "Oh you're not from here your so opinion doesn't matter," and walked away from me mid-conversation. This cut deep, because after living here for 16 years I had come to consider myself a Montanan.
Some people will never consider you a real Montanan without being born here. As I mentioned in my previous article, I have been in Montana for over two decades now. I have lived here longer than I lived in South Dakota, where I was born and raised. I still don't know if people would ever consider me a true Montanan, but in these two decades I've come to realize there are a few things that stand out about people born and raised in the state.
So while there might not be any hard science backing this list, the following are things I have learned about the people that make up this great state. I can only hope that I have come to emulate a few of them in the years I have lived here.