Are you proud to be ... (insert the country of your origin)?
I was never sure what it is I feel when it comes to this topic. I was born in Czech, my mother is German, my father is half Czech and half Italian. I spent many years in Spain and now I live in Canada. Maybe this is why I feel indifferent to any kind of nationalism.
I was born and have lived my entire life in the United States so, according to your suggestion, George, I might be prone to Jingoism. However, I’m neither proud nor not proud of the United States. I feel that the founders of the U.S. did a very good job of writing a Constitution defining the society. Some of the failings have been corrected by the amendments, although there are a few additional changes I’d like to see. I cannot stand our present administration because I feel they have subverted the stated goals of the country, but I am neither proud of nor ashamed of them because I don’t take responsibility for their actions. I worked against their election and voted against them and continue to work toward a change of administration. I can, however, understand the distress most of the rest of the world feels, and, while they should blame the administration, not the country, it’s a common failing of people to generalize unjustifiedly.
Well, sometimes I am proud of what “we” as a collective do (moon landing, progress on civil rights, that sort of thing). More often, I’m angry and ashamed of what “we” do (pretty much anything since Bush got elected). I guess I see the country as home in some sense, and as a social experiment with great promise, so in that sense I feel like a part of something, and responsible for contributing to it and defending it. But I wouldn’t exactly call that patriotism. The flag mostly means right-wing rednecks to me.
I also have a lot of interest in my ethnic heritage (Irish and Scottish, mostly). I go the events, listen to music and such related to this identity, and again it makes me feel a part of something. I guess that’s a kind of pride as well, though I don’t suppose there’s anything better about my group than any other, and I find lots of interest in other people’s heritage and culture too.
The idea that one should be proud of where one was born seems strange to me. I think pride is a feeling that should be earned. For example, I feel proud when I get a good grade in a class. I feel proud when I work hard to accomplish a goal, or when I do something to help people. I didn’t do anything to become an American. It just sort of happened that this is where my parents lived. Some days I feel like I’m lucky to be an American. Some days I’m embarrassed by the things that my government and fellow Americans do. I don’t think pride ever really enters into the equation.
It’s a complicated issue for me. I was born into the nationalist/republican tradition in northern Ireland. My parents are both southern Irish. I love My family in Ireland and I think there are great things about the society in that country. I think people make a place and the Irish people make Ireland a fantastic place. I am nationalist with regards to Ireland.
However, I have lived in England for most of my life. The people here are very different from the Irish, but generally they are very nice, just in a different way. I’m also very proud of the tolerant and egalitarian society we have over here. It’s not perfect, I grant you, but it is a very nice society. So I’m nationalist about this place too.
In England, there are a group of people (a political party, in fact) called the British Nationalist Party. They are the British equivalent of a political wing of the Ku Klux Klan. They don’t really represent a good image of Britain abroad. And when most British people think of them, it doesn’t make them proud to feel Birtish or English, which puts a bit of a downer on the whole country. So, in my opinion, they ought to drop the word “nationalist” from their name.
As lot of people here, my grandfathers were born in Spain and Italy. My grandmather never talked spanish, she only talk galego, the language from the northern spanish. So I don’t have strongly developed a sense of proud for being of one nationality.
I don’t tend to be proud of the things that didn’t require my effort, and birth here or there is something outside my merits. Of course, there are things in my country I really like, and a couple of things in the past that I really love to see them now (as a wonderfull educative system and a great university, destroyed in the 60s by a right winged, catholic dictator), and things that I deeply regret (as loosing this educ. system, or the bloody dictatorship in the 70s).
On the other hand, I remember how dangerous patriotism could be. We had in the 80s a bloody dictatorship which, in the fall of its popularity (yes, one of the most nasty dictatorship was popular here) started the criminal, stupid, dangerous and useless Falkland’s war. Almost everybody (from the left winged, who were kicknaped, torturated and killed by the goverment, to the right winged) were willing to forget the goverment crimes and support it in its ‘patriotic act’ to recover the malvinas (falklands) islands against a ‘outside evil’. From the right to the left, almost all backed the goverment because of the patriotism. For this reason I am not very enthusiastic about the patriotism. I guess it’s a wonderfull mean to let a uncompentent goverment to manipulate us.
I recently returned to the town where I was born for my 30th High School reunion. This was the 1st time I attended one of these events.
During the same visit, I went with my mother and sister to the town where she grew up.
I am from a village outside of Buffalo, New York. My parents both grew up near the Erie Canal, near the shores of Lake Ontario.
Much of what I may have taken pride in, that once existed in these places, has been destroyed by a fluctuating economy, franchise businesses replacing Mom and Pop shops, and decay of historical landmarks.
Like others have said, I still believe in much of what our Founders had in mind when they crafted our Constitution, and Bill of Rights.
But “we” have done a piss-poor job of managing what we inherited. I cannot be proud of the selfish, boorish behavior that has resulted in the demise of my Parents and my own home towns.
The same has been the case where I live today. I now live in the San Francisco Bay Area. The only saving grace is that the citizens of the Bay Area are staunch defenders of tradition, the ecology and other aspects of the culture and lifestyles that have made the Bay Area such a wonderful place to live.
The same selfish, boorish behavior, that is bringing decay to our society here in the US, is responsible for foreign policy that demonstrates the worst of what we have to offer to the rest of the world.
I am proud of what “we” built, I am not proud of what we have done to demean it.
I would have to say that I am not a nationalist. My parents were born in Mexico and came to the U.S. when they were children. In my lifetime I have: traveled the world, been an exchange student, and have met very significant people. I believe having countries limits the potential of the human race. As for patriotism, even if the reference to God was taken out of the Pledge of Allegiance I still wouldn’t say it. My rationale, for both nationalism and patriotism, is why have a reason for war.
i have no particular fondness of borders. separating ourselves with fences and then uses these manmade constructs to perpetuate malignancies like patriotism and jingoism are nothing to be proud of. the things we have achieved in our society have nothing to do with borders and everything to do with peoples movements. the constitution was written up, approved for and by white men (mostly rich ones who didnt want to pay taxes to the King of England, but had no problem exploiting the poorer among them). when these things were attempted to be altered - the end of slavery, labor rights, womens rights, etc - the government opposed till it became quite obvious that it wouldnt be tolerated. any student of history should not miss that most important observational pattern.
...I think pride is a feeling that should be earned. *snippitysnip*
i could not have said this better myself.
i’m not proud of something that happened by chance. some days i feel fortunate that i live where i live, and other days i’m appalled that the “leader of the free world” is setting this world back a few decades every day. pride (nor shame) ever enters into it. i often say that the leaders of my country should be ashamed of THEMSELVES.
i suppose i am ashamed of our leaders quite often, and if shame is the opposite of pride, then i completely and totally lack any sense of nationalism. but i’m still not convinced i can logically be proud of how the luck worked out when i was born.
One might be right to assume that a reasonable amount of exposure to foreign cultures can directly contribute to a better comprehension and acceptance of such, as well as tolerance and understanding of what is considered foreign. On the other hand, lack of that sort of experience and/or just ignorance of it can easily lead to xenophobia, which unfortunately can sometimes walk hand in hand with extreme patriotism, which is way too close to nationalism to me.
I never thought of myself as a patriot while living in my country of origin, especially because 1) I was born under a military dictatorship that I obviously could not identify with it and 2) for many decades the government has been buried in corruption and deceit, which only gave me reasons to feel ashamed of it. But I have to say that, after spending half of my life living in a different continent, I started to understand it’s situation with a more analytical point of view, more as an observer. All I know is that if tomorrow my country is invaded, I would probably run to defend it. Maybe I could be called a patriot in that sense, but I am far from being nationalist.