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Author Topic: Whats Yo Nationality/Ethnicity/Background?  (Read 15624 times)

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Haushinka

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Re: Whats Yo Nationality/Ethnicity/Background?
« Reply #45 on: September 22, 2008, 08:56:05 PM »

But I'm proud of being Scottish. It's not my ethnicity, I live here, I'm the majority, but wherever I go I'm proud to tell people I'm Scottish. I think that's important for everyone.
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Andy Pants

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Re: Whats Yo Nationality/Ethnicity/Background?
« Reply #46 on: September 22, 2008, 09:02:08 PM »

People keep telling me I live in a country called Australia
With these imaginary borders that I've never seen
I try to tell them I actually live in a house and that the house is named Berrel
But when I say I come from Berrel they don't know what I mean
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Haushinka

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Re: Whats Yo Nationality/Ethnicity/Background?
« Reply #47 on: September 22, 2008, 09:07:47 PM »

Okay, it's simple to look at the world as one big group of people.

But the minute you're stuck in a Polish football riot, in a plane queue with arabs, singing karaoke in a bar in Tokyo or celebrating St Patricks day in Dublin, all that falls down and you have to categorise by country.

I don't think there's anything wrong with it. Every country has their good and bads, and every country has people who are proud of and will die in their country. Like me.
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Andy Pants

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Re: Whats Yo Nationality/Ethnicity/Background?
« Reply #48 on: September 22, 2008, 11:08:24 PM »

Hey don't question my patriotism.

I am proud to have been born in room 213 of the Nepean hospital Penrith. That is my nation and that is my country and the people born within it my people. I am proud to be a two-thirteenian. And if you're not a two-thirteenian then you wouldn't understand why. Sometimes people ask me 'what's so special about being born in room 213 anyway'? And I tell them 'that's a very un-two-thirteenian thing to say'. We even have a celebratory day every year called two-thirteenian day when we celebrate exactly what it means to be a two-thirteenian. It's on the 13th of February. (Think about it). And if I have to explain to you what it means, then you're obviously not a two-thirteenian. 

It's not all fun and games though. There are afterall good characteristics and bad characteristics WHICH EVERY SINGLE two-thirteenian has. For example none of us wear sunblock, we all have lupus and we never trust men in hats. But on the plus side we all have great hand-eye co-ordination. I haven't been back to room 213 since I was born and to tell you the truth I can't even remember anything about it, but I still feel like I have a special connection to that place for some reason. I hope to die in that room one day. And you can't take my pride about the random space that I happened to be born in away from me, no matter how irrational it is!
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Musings

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Re: Whats Yo Nationality/Ethnicity/Background?
« Reply #49 on: September 22, 2008, 11:13:17 PM »

Edit: I read some of your stuff above.

Let me ask you something.
How do you organize without categories?
How do gay people get a voice?  By identifying as gay and working together to be heard.
Categorizing can be empowering in some cases.

People should not be constrained by the categories they create, but they are useful.  I can meet someone, and because of our shared culture, we automatically have things in common that we can relate to, that we can talk about, that we understand. 
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Musings

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Re: Whats Yo Nationality/Ethnicity/Background?
« Reply #50 on: September 22, 2008, 11:15:01 PM »

in a plane queue with arabs.

Umm, what?
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Re: Whats Yo Nationality/Ethnicity/Background?
« Reply #51 on: September 23, 2008, 12:20:15 AM »

Mr. Pants,

Reacting against every element of identification beyond the specifics of an individual, because some people use those identifying properties to discriminate, is ridiculously heavy-handed and narrow minded. My German ancestry doesn;t define who I am. I grew up in Washington DC, and that personal history plays a huge role in who I am. That doesn't mean I can't think it's neat to think about the ancestral path from which I sprung. That's all that's happening here. This isn't nationalism or racism or labeling at all. It's just discussion of something that's neat to think about. Nobody's buying the righteous nose punching rhetoric around here. In meatspace, I don't suppose you'd be well advised to act on such words either.

G'day.
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Andy Pants

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Re: Whats Yo Nationality/Ethnicity/Background?
« Reply #52 on: September 23, 2008, 12:31:37 AM »

Edit: I read some of your stuff above.

Let me ask you something.
How do you organize without categories?
How do gay people get a voice?  By identifying as gay and working together to be heard.
Categorizing can be empowering in some cases.

People should not be constrained by the categories they create, but they are useful.  I can meet someone, and because of our shared culture, we automatically have things in common that we can relate to, that we can talk about, that we understand. 


The label 'gay' is also flawed and frequently an over-simplification in terms. Do bisexuals feel empowered by being refered to as gay? I certainly don't. I feel like I'm being put in a box. But then does that mean I'm not represented by the label? That would depend on individual interpretation. All of these labels are generalisations. But 'gay' deals with an actual tangible state of being. It relates to the actual actions/practices of a person. So I think it ought to be looked at in a different context.

The labels I'm talking about however are carry a number of different isuues as they are imagined distinctions. If you get to talking to people about these things you soon realise that a flag is just a symbol. And it symbolises something different to every person who looks at it. I personally refuse to be defined by something that's meaning can be manipulated so quickly and simply. My problem is not with labels but with untangible symbols with imagined meanings like 'race' and 'ethnicity' and yes even to some extent 'nationality'. What of it? I understand cultural or ideaological labels to some extent but these things are usually completely different. The ideas that these cultural or ideaological labels represent are have nothing to do with whatever nation you happen to live in or 'race or ethnicity' you supposedly belong to.

Anyway I think I've made my point.
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Re: Whats Yo Nationality/Ethnicity/Background?
« Reply #53 on: September 23, 2008, 12:38:36 AM »

All categories of people are oversimplifications as people are individuals.  But the point is labeling people into a group gives the community in which to be heard at times.  Gay is too broad, I agree (and should not have used as an example), but even the label LGBQT can feel constricting for some.  But a lot of good has come out of that categorization (no pun intended).

Ethnicity and nationality are two very important parts of identity for most people.  You might be able to deny it, but I would not be the same person if I was born and lived in a different nation or if I came from a different ethnic group.  I would not do the same things either, going back to your "gay" example.  Again, constraining yourself to one label or one group is not a good thing, but ignoring those differences is very dangerous.

And to say that culture and ideology don't come from nation or ethnic group?  Come on.
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Andy Pants

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Re: Whats Yo Nationality/Ethnicity/Background?
« Reply #54 on: September 23, 2008, 01:08:47 AM »

Mr. Pants,

Reacting against every element of identification beyond the specifics of an individual, because some people use those identifying properties to discriminate, is ridiculously heavy-handed and narrow minded. My German ancestry doesn't define who I am. I grew up in Washington DC, and that personal history plays a huge role in who I am. That doesn't mean I can't think it's neat to think about the ancestral path from which I sprung. That's all that's happening here. This isn't nationalism or racism or labeling at all. It's just discussion of something that's neat to think about. Nobody's buying the righteous nose punching rhetoric around here. In meatspace, I don't suppose you'd be well advised to act on such words either.

G'day.

I think this conversation is actually a combination of all four of those things you mentioned. I also think it's more narrow-minded to label people rather than talk about specific concepts and ideas but you're entitled to your opinion. My opinion is simply that I would rather remain unlabelled or at least wear a series on contradicting labels instead. Asking this question therefore is akin to saying 'How should I generalise you'?

I don't mind people talking about what they think their heritage means to them personally. But this whole 'let's do a roll-call of the different races of people here' thing seems a little bit more nazi death-camp procedure than enlightened discussion. And I'm not kidding I probably really would punch anyone who had the nerve to ask me this question right in the face. Granted they weren't to much bigger than me. In which case I'd probably just make some snide comment and walk (run?) away. C'mon it's pretty unseemly. Can you imagine this as a real-world conversation starter? How about the weather today? Where did you get thet jacket? What race are you?

If you don't think there's something wrong with that, there's probably something wrong with you.

I think this thread only just became interesting. If you don't want to join in the discussion then have every right to just ignore it.

PS. I think it's neat to think about the ancestral path from which I sprung too. At some point I was realted to an amphibious fish that threw itself out of some slime onto a riverbank. No wonder I like swimming so much!

All categories of people are oversimplifications as people are individuals.  But the point is labeling people into a group gives the community in which to be heard at times.  Gay is too broad, I agree (and should not have used as an example), but even the label LGBQT can feel constricting for some.  But a lot of good has come out of that categorization (no pun intended).

Ethnicity and nationality are two very important parts of identity for most people.  You might be able to deny it, but I would not be the same person if I was born and lived in a different nation or if I came from a different ethnic group.  I would not do the same things either, going back to your "gay" example.  Again, constraining yourself to one label or one group is not a good thing, but ignoring those differences is very dangerous.

And to say that culture and ideology don't come from nation or ethnic group?  Come on.

I see your point. And I do agree that some cultural and ideaological ideas are related to nationality. But we live in a  world which is becomming increasingly globalised these national boundaries are starting to break down more and more rapidly. And sometimes now there is even greater diversity within nations than there is between them. I don't however believe that these ideas are at all related to ethincity and I maintain that.
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Re: Whats Yo Nationality/Ethnicity/Background?
« Reply #55 on: September 23, 2008, 06:33:13 AM »

I am an amateur genealogist; I think searching for answers and talking with long-lost cousins is exciting and interesting.  Acquiring a photograph of a great great grandmother and looking at the facial features that have been passed down is a very surreal experience;  I don't believe that the answers I uncover are truly important to who I am as a person but it gives me a strong sense of identity to see where my ancestors came from and learn about why I am where I am; the reasons I came to be, etc.

I'm sure many people here would say that it was not important to who I am as a person and I would have agreed and to an extent I still do; I now have a much greater appreciation for this sort of information, though.

Above all, I am a Euro-American, and a direct descendant of Mary Chilton who was the first woman to step foot off of the Mayflower. (Yes, a pushy bastard.) I am fifty percent Portuguese to my knowledge, and 50% et cetera.
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Haushinka

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Re: Whats Yo Nationality/Ethnicity/Background?
« Reply #56 on: September 23, 2008, 07:18:03 AM »

in a plane queue with arabs.

Umm, what?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5z6wTdeMbqA

ANd if you want to know why ethnicity and background are important you should watch the rest of his show, "No Agenda".
He'll put right anybody who believes it's not important.
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Yoshiki Vázquez Baeza.
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Re: Whats Yo Nationality/Ethnicity/Background?
« Reply #57 on: September 23, 2008, 08:14:25 AM »

And I do agree that some cultural and ideaological ideas are related to nationality. I don't however believe that these ideas are at all related to ethincity and I maintain that.


Say I am American, but I also have French ancestors.  Are you saying none of my cultural ideas might come from being part of a larger French group?  In fact, I might identify with being French before I identify with being American.

Edit: Changed Algerian to French, because Algerian is a nationality, not an ethnicity (duh.).
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Re: Whats Yo Nationality/Ethnicity/Background?
« Reply #58 on: September 23, 2008, 10:06:07 AM »

Uhhh... Seven of nine...?
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Andy Pants

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Re: Whats Yo Nationality/Ethnicity/Background?
« Reply #59 on: September 24, 2008, 12:34:59 AM »

And I do agree that some cultural and ideaological ideas are related to nationality. I don't however believe that these ideas are at all related to ethincity and I maintain that.


Say I am American, but I also have French ancestors.  Are you saying none of my cultural ideas might come from being part of a larger French group?  In fact, I might identify with being French before I identify with being American.

Edit: Changed Algerian to French, because Algerian is a nationality, not an ethnicity (duh.).

What logic brought you to that conclusion? Who decides what an ethnicity is and isn't? As I've already said there are no scientific racial definitions and even sociologists who believe in the existence of ethnicity (the minority) fail to come up with definition that makes sense.

Additionally who decides what a French cultural idea is? Why in your mind does it continue to be a French idea when it's been adopted in another country? What if the specific idea your thinking about actually originated somewhere else? Does this mean that the French cultural ideas you've brought to America are now American cultural ideas? Or do they have to be the most popular ideas in a country to be considered ideas of that culture? What if someone born in America holds none of the popular cultural ideas of that country? Does that make him or her any less of an American?

Why are supposed national boundaries considered cultural boundaries? Isn't a bureacrat in Paris likely to have a completely different culture to a farmer in Marseille? Isn't the bureacrat more likely to have more ideas in common with a bureacrat in London?

I think far too much emphasis is based on nationality when talking about cultural differences. That's not to say I don't believe any cultural ideas are more likely to be found in a particular nation-state as oposed to somewhere else. Merely that I don't believe nationality should be considered a defining characteristic. This is a completely different issue to 'etnicity' however.
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Quote from: Henry Rollins
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