What value do you place on your national identity?

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
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Toby
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What value do you place on your national identity?

Postby Toby » 23 Nov 2018, 13:35

How "American" or "Australian" or "British" or "English" do you feel?

How important to you is it? What facets of the national identity that you've been assigned or chosen do you like and what do you find problematic?



I'm English, British and for now I guess I'm also European, as I'm currently residing in a country that is still part of the European Union for at least a little while longer. I support England with football and cricket, and I cheer Great Britain on at the Olympics. I don't "love my country" as in I would blindly serve my country's interests, particularly when our recent foreign policy has been a little reckless at times. I do however cherish my country's history, as wonderfully complicated and difficult as it is. I recognise our follies and terrible mistakes, but also think that we have a past that very few countries can match in terms of its sheer depth in terms of narrative and how we have influenced the globe.

I think the English are perceived as a total conundrum, admired and reviled at the same time. Our arrogance and sheer sense of entitlement I imagine to be mildly infuriating to many, but to others our confidence and sense of place in the world I think is often cherished, particularly with notions such as justice and fair play. When, however, I see mindless blottoed idiots on holiday in the Mediterranean being overwhelmingly English, I have to admit that the irony of what we've bequeathed and contributed to culture over the past 500 years is not lost on me and in a certain way I find it quite amusing. That the caricature of the Royal Family is contrasted so heavily with drunk lobsters eating fish and chips in Spain must be absolutely puzzling to many. A few months ago I was in a second hand bookshop and got chatting to a French woman, who was over on holiday in Kent. She found British people to be utterly different to the rest of Europe - that we were cultured, idiotic, profound, stupid and ultimately individual. It was, she sensed, why we had voted to leave, because she perceived that we didn't want to be the same as everyone else.

A few years I decided, having not been taught much in the way of English history or literature at school or by my parents, that I would devote myself to both subjects for the forseeable future, starting with prehistoric times and Beowulf for literature. It will take the rest of my life, but it is incredible to think that there is so much of both. Nowadays I'm far more interested in the geography and places of Britain than I am of continental Europe. That's not to say that I don't love the latter, but I have a sense of obligation to know the rest of the country I live in. Because it is a fine, marvellous place.

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Re: What value do you place on your national identity?

Postby Goat Boy » 23 Nov 2018, 13:37

I look forward to the thoughts of Griff and the Masked Man!
Griff wrote:The notion that Jeremy Corbyn, a lifelong vocal proponent of antisemitism, would stand in front of an antisemitic mural and commend it is utterly preposterous.


Copehead wrote:we have lost touch with anything normal

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Re: What value do you place on your national identity?

Postby Diamond Dog » 23 Nov 2018, 13:39

Bit early for the UKIP Election Broadcast, isn't it?
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Re: What value do you place on your national identity?

Postby Goat Boy » 23 Nov 2018, 13:42

Diamond Dog wrote:Everyone else hates us.

Fuck you all.

We won.



En-ger-land! *hic*
Griff wrote:The notion that Jeremy Corbyn, a lifelong vocal proponent of antisemitism, would stand in front of an antisemitic mural and commend it is utterly preposterous.


Copehead wrote:we have lost touch with anything normal

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Re: What value do you place on your national identity?

Postby Diamond Dog » 23 Nov 2018, 13:43

Goat Boy wrote:
Diamond Dog wrote:Everyone else hates us.

Fuck you all.

We won.



En-ger-land! *hic*



:lol: :lol: :lol:

The files have been resurrected!
“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”
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Re: What value do you place on your national identity?

Postby Goat Boy » 23 Nov 2018, 13:53

What the fuck you looking at you caaaant?!

En-ger-laaaaaand!
Griff wrote:The notion that Jeremy Corbyn, a lifelong vocal proponent of antisemitism, would stand in front of an antisemitic mural and commend it is utterly preposterous.


Copehead wrote:we have lost touch with anything normal

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Re: What value do you place on your national identity?

Postby Toby » 23 Nov 2018, 13:54

Goat Boy wrote:I look forward to the thoughts of Griff and the Masked Man!


Oh god

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Re: What value do you place on your national identity?

Postby the masked man » 23 Nov 2018, 14:08

You want my thoughts? Well, actually I agreed with quite a bit of the OP. But I'm coming at it from a different angle, as I can never feel truly English due to my Scottish upbringing (and the fact I've lived in Wales). England's never felt like home to me. I find many aspects of modern England deeply disappointing, in that there's a really conservative streak in English culture that fetishises a fantasy past. The rest of Europe's moved on and we're stuck in a Downton Abbey mindset. But I still support the national football team and can identify a number of plus points - much of the best pop music is English (and heavy metal was invented in Birmingham!) and the place has an admirable literary culture.

I don't feel at home here, and never will, but I'm trying to make my peace with the place.

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Re: What value do you place on your national identity?

Postby Darkness_Fish » 23 Nov 2018, 14:09

It's a difficult question to answer, really. I don't really wrap myself up in a particular national identity, but I certainly see myself as being "Northern". I guess that's as much to do with the London-centric nature of politics, government, and media, I see less connection between myself and the South than I would with Wales, Scotland, or even Northern Ireland. I don't really like the idea of identity forged by arbitrary location due to birth, but there's a bit of that in everyone. I mean, I feel incredibly privileged that I've been born in England, rather than in extreme poverty in a third-world country, for example, but I can't feel proud of my location, it was an act of chance. But there's no doubting that there's a kind of inbuilt deep-down spiritual connection with this place when I'm out in the rolling green hills, in the pissing rain or sunshine, it's a beautiful land where we've not dug it up and scorched the earth.

When it comes to sport, I do support the English teams (cricket and football, particularly), but that feels like a purer form of the sport these days, money can only skew the competition so far in terms of facilities and coaching, whereas club football is just a rich man's toy. When it comes to the Olympics, tennis, individual sports, it always seems bizarre to me to support the English competitor. No-one's really 'doing it for England' when it comes to individual sports, they're doing it for themselves (which isn't meant in a derogatory way), so I support the principal of 'may the best person win'.
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Re: What value do you place on your national identity?

Postby Jimbo » 23 Nov 2018, 14:16

I've been reading articles about Brexit - alternatively biased ones - and I was wondering if "remainers" would feel the same if Europe federated, became the unites states of Europe. England/UK/Britain would always have its history, its traditions and all its Britishness but it wouldn't have its sovereignty. Is sovereignty important to you?

I'm embarrassed these days to be American. I'm always asked by Japanese where I'm from and I say America, of course, but not proudly. They always respond politely and positively - despite the fire bombing and nukes - and invariably say something like their daughter went to college in Seattle or they worked in New York for a time. But they're just average people who don't dive into the same rabbit holes where I play and don't know - or choose to ignore - the dark stuff. God bless them for their blind spots. Whatever, America is an exciting place to read about and remains the center of attention and that's better than being from Uruguay, I guess. How many Japanese daughters went to college in Montevideo?
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Re: What value do you place on your national identity?

Postby the masked man » 23 Nov 2018, 14:19


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Re: What value do you place on your national identity?

Postby Toby » 23 Nov 2018, 14:20

the masked man wrote: The rest of Europe's moved on and we're stuck in a Downton Abbey mindset.


I would take issue with the fact that "Europe has moved on". From what exactly? The scars of what happened in the 20th century run very deep in many countries and I think, to a certain extent, the British are lucky that we have never had to come to terms with things like collaboration or occupation. These are huge things. France for example, is still trying to process Vichy and the rounding up and expulsion of its Jewish population at Drancy. It has most definitely not "moved on" entirely. Perhaps, in some ways, Germany has because defeat was so total there. Eastern Europe is a whole different ball game. Even places like Switzerland and Sweden have issues over their neutrality.

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Re: What value do you place on your national identity?

Postby Toby » 23 Nov 2018, 14:24

Darkness_Fish wrote: But there's no doubting that there's a kind of inbuilt deep-down spiritual connection with this place when I'm out in the rolling green hills, in the pissing rain or sunshine, it's a beautiful land where we've not dug it up and scorched the earth.


Image

That's it really. I live in the Weald, which is a subtly beautiful landscape. It is not picture-postcard and certainly not dramatic like the Lake District or say, Cornwall. It is lived in, and has been for centuries.

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Re: What value do you place on your national identity?

Postby Jimbo » 23 Nov 2018, 14:28

the masked man wrote:Jimbo, Wikipedia is your friend:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_Uruguayans


Hmm. I asked my wife if she knew of an Uruguay-Japan connection and she vaguely knew something but it wasn't a thing. I read the Wiki you linked and see what you mean, there are quite a number of Japanese there, immigrants. But I just pulled Uruguay from the air as a joke but how did you know?
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Re: What value do you place on your national identity?

Postby the masked man » 23 Nov 2018, 14:34

I was bored and Googled ‘Japanese in Uruguay’!

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Re: What value do you place on your national identity?

Postby Toby » 23 Nov 2018, 14:39

Sao Paolo has the largest number of Japanese immigrants in the world and Peru had a President with Japanese heritage so it's not surprising.

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Re: What value do you place on your national identity?

Postby Belle Lettre » 23 Nov 2018, 14:54

I'm a hybrid. It's complicated.
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Re: What value do you place on your national identity?

Postby Toby » 23 Nov 2018, 14:55

Belle Lettre wrote:I'm a hybrid. It's complicated.


I bet!

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Re: What value do you place on your national identity?

Postby Jeemo » 23 Nov 2018, 16:11

I happen to have been born in Scotland, as were my parents, whose parents were born in Ireland. I dont particularly place any value on being Scottish/British. I've never worn a kilt, I'm not a nationalist of any kind Scottish or British and really struggle with why some people show grovelling respect to the Royal Family.

I do love the scenery and wildness of Scotland which I've seen more of in the past 10 years than the previous 40.
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Re: What value do you place on your national identity?

Postby Dor-Relip Hotels and Bathings » 23 Nov 2018, 16:30

I've lived in many different countries in Europe and whenever I come home I think 'England is the best'
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