Dear Europeans, are you from Europe?

Oct 25, 2017
666
Sweden
I see myself as a Swede who is very happy to be part of the EU. But our country have alot more common with North Americans than Spanish, Italian and Bosnia so no I don't identify myself as a European.
 
I also feel British & European, I guess I expected that to be less common than it is in this thread. Pro-remain of course as well.
I'm also half-American so i identify as that as well and I have an Eastern-European sounding name so I grew up being nicknamed "russian girl" even though I have no connection to my slavic (or germanic?) roots, so that's complicated. I feel a strange mix of being a foreigner but also not, in my own country.
More than half my family and extended family live outside of the UK across Europe and the USA. And uh.. my partner is from outside Europe as well. Mongrels just seem to attract eachother I guess!
 
Oct 25, 2017
877
I've always considered myself European first and German second, and that belief was only reinforced when I relocated to Austria. Sure, Germany and Austria aren't that different all in all, but they are different countries, and it's nice that it's really not that complicated to live and work here. That said, of course I will engage in some friendly ribbing of my European neighbours (and Germany has the most of them, after all!) and my new home country from time to time.

I do think it's a bit sad that the EU and all its achievements so often are undervalued and people only focus on the negatives. Brexit, ironically, probably helped a bit with that, but I still have the feeling that all of that is seen as "kind of nice" at best and not a great achievement worth celebrating. I freely admit that I'm a bit of a radical, though, as I'm very fond of the idea of a federalised Europe of the Regions with a diminished role for the current nation states. I'll probably never see it, but one can dream...

Oh but during the Euro or World cup the national knives come out. This is a common European tradition.
This, of course, would be a big disadvantage of my proposed idea. My sister said when she studied in Aachen, without fail a few Dutch people would show up whenever Germany lost a football match and she assumed the same thing happened whenever the Dutch lost (or failed to qualify for a tournament... again). It would be really sad to no longer have that.

(No, I don't mean that entirely seriously).
 
Oct 28, 2017
435
I was born and live in Germany, while my parents are from two different European countries. So yes, I've always identified with a European identity more than with a particular country.

There are still cultural differences, but there are also differences between regions inside a country, I'd say moving from Berlin to Bavaria could be more of a culture shock than moving betwen some countries

There definitely is an Erasmus generation right now, and I'm glad more and more people can experience what was always natural for me through my family

But I feel like there's also kind of a class divide happening in regard to a European identity, and that's a problem. A lot of young people who go to university will do an Erasmus semester, the ones who don't will still meet a lot of international students. People who go to trade school or do an apprenticeship don't have the same opportunities and I think that can foster the resentment of the EU as an 'elite' project we see emerging in many places now.
 
Oct 28, 2017
238
I'm British, I would never describe myself European. If someone else in the UK asks me what I identify as, or who I am, I'll say I'm a Northerner. Anyone outside of the UK, then I'm British.

Honestly, there's so many different cultures and ways of life in Europe that "European" just doesn't make any sense to me. Mediterranean people are so, so different to Scandinavians for example. I do love European people, I have a great Spanish family I love to see quite often and I aim to see as much of Europe as I can in my lifetime, but I don't identify as a European.

To answer the title then yes I am from Europe, that's the continent I came into this world on. And also to answer one of the points in the OP, I think it may be an islander thing with us British. "European" to me always feels like people talking about the mainland, us not included.
 
Oct 28, 2017
3,155
I'm Croatian but been living in Britain all my life so hell yeah I feel British and European. I can't imagine a world where I didn't have my British sense of humour and awkward passive aggressiveness nor a world where I have the exquisite taste and pretentiousness of a European.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,828
Spain
I feel less European than Mediterranean in a way. Food is a very culturally important to me, and Moroccan, Spanish, Algerian, southern French, Italian, and everything up to Turkey ring some very personal notes to me that other specialties don't. Must be the olive oil. Or the Roman Empire roots.
I'd say my identity is French=Mediterranean>European.
European identity is also something I feel, but it's as an attachment to a political project I believe is paramount for the survival of the other identities.
I have to say this. Lately, I feel very disenchanted with Northern Europe and how it has been neglecting the European project and abusing the south since the 2008 recession. I still have hope, but lately it's not the same feeling as it used to be.
 
Oct 27, 2017
6,014
I definitely identify as European, there's a heritage to it that's inescapable, especially the bad parts. I was born after my country entered the EU so there's that too. One of my best friends is from Kazakhstan (i will one day know how to write that without spell checking i promise) and she also feels like a citizen of the EU now living here, strangely enough, but from within i really couldn't tell you about whether there's a generalized sense of belonging or not. It's just there. Rarely do i see people with strong opinions either way.
 
Yes both. I identify as pan-European, because we all share a set of common beliefs and cultural elements unique to us, but I still strongly associate with my own culture (German), because all our cultures and languages are distinctly unique from one another. In Germany alone we have dialects where we can't even understand each other, but if anyone is educated they can switch to standard German to speak to someone that doesn't understand (because you learn it in school), but day-to-day life, if you down in Schwäbisch land like me or lower Bayern, you will have to learn and struggle for a while with the dialekts if you are not natively from these regions (I mean in Schwäbisch regions they even tell the time differently...), same applies to north and all other parts of Germany - and of course cultures and all that includes like food, pre Christian and Christian traditions, music, traditional wear, etc, in all these regions are unique within one country. It is bizarre, when both of you born and grew up your whole lives in same country, but you cannot understand one another unless you both speak in the common tongue of standard German, if we speak our German dialekts to each other - very difficult. And this is something that is a big challenge people new to living in Germany do not anticipate, that they learn standard German, but land up day-to-day life in regions where if you in the work place or social gathering, people are talking in the local dialekt!

Any way, I am pro pan-European in general, but this is also resulting in problems because of how it affects enforcement of standardised language - erasure of many native minority languages in European countries, in countries like France and Germany we are seeing native languages disappear, like Saterfriesisch (or in general the Frisian languages), Breton, Alemmanisch (I still hear it where I am currently), Niederrheinisch, Limburgish etc.
 
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For your Benelux question, I don't know if i would call it a strong cultural bond but there is this sort of mutual bond between The Netherlands and (Flemish) Belgium in that we enjoy taking the piss out of eachother.

As for the rest, I don't feel European but i very much recognize the value the EU adds to the continent.
THIS!
I’m Dutch but EU is very good for us.
 
Oct 28, 2017
112
Portuguese, and both european and not. I feel like the countries in the northern part of europe, look to us southerners as less than them.

But the free mobility that comes with schengen might just be the best thing ever implemented.
 
Oct 30, 2017
9
Luxembourg
I'm french, very attached to the original concept of the Europeran union, but I don't believe in a European identity.

That being said, I cross borders on a weekly basis, going from my home country to the 2 or 3 other countries that are just 15 minutes away from my place, and I'm really glad something like the Schengen area exists!
Still a strong and separate identity in each country of course, but no border control, same currency everywhere... it's beautiful and convenient.

Also I'm a Erasmus student (amazing experience, of course) and it was free for me, I don't get the few other posters who said otherwise.
 
Oct 25, 2017
877
Any way, I am pro pan-European in general, but this is also resulting in problems because of how it affects enforcement of standardised language - erasure of many native minority languages in European countries, in countries like France and Germany we are seeing native languages disappear, like Saterfriesisch, Breton, Alemmanisch, etc.
You're right, but in general, the EU is a force of good here as well. They're doing far more to recognise and support small languages than at least some national governments would do on their own. Support by institutions and governments is only one thing of course, people also need to actually (and actively) speak these languages.

I remember talking to an Irishman who absolutely hated that he had to learn Irish in school. He thought it was completely useless and his time was better suited doing other things. He really was a great guy otherwise and we got along pretty well, but I couldn't even begin to understand his stance on languages. We met in Toulouse, which uses Occitan in some places, and his opinion on that wasn't much better. I do think it's actually a bit better with younger generations, though, so hopefully these languages will survive not only as a academic project but in daily use.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,950
Brexit has ironically made me feel even more strongly about the idea I'm a European, where before it was more of a passive deal. Thing is, my background, and the general state of my family, makes me something of a mongrel. I've English, Irish, Polish, and German ancestry (with a few question marks on Scottish I need to double check), while I have an aunt who's lived in Italy so long she struggles more with English, even though it's her birth tongue. Nothing quite resolves that like simply being 'European', and I took for granted the fact that was such was all resolved in my EU citizenship.

And while I think there is an increasingly common sense of 'being European', what it means to be European is currently a matter of intense debate, if not an ideological battle. Whether it is - or should be - as simple a matter of one's citizenship, or if it reflects cultural values, or if it should be rooted in our supposed ethnic commonality vs the Other (jesus christ no); these are things very much at play in the general political sphere at the moment. I would hope we would rise from this better than before, but well... The far right have made more than a few concerning strides in their efforts to drag the bar to the fucking floor.
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,432
As a Swede, I feel:
  1. Swedish
  2. Scandinavian (Sweden, Norway, Denmark)
  3. Nordic (Scandinavia + Finland and Iceland)
  4. European
So no, I don't primarily identify as European. There are very big cultural differences between different parts of Europe.
 

Ogs

Member
Oct 27, 2017
922
Maybe for those countries outside of Schengen is difficult to understand. But trust me, when you start meeting people from all over Europe and traveling with no hassles and barely any border checks on a regular basis you definitely start to see yourself as European.
Think that's basically what it boils down to, if your involved with people from across Europe and move around frequently, its easy to feel European.

Do you feel British? I imagine it feels like that.

I'm was born and live in England and I don't feel English (or British), which is good as most people in England are scum.


You aint wrong. Hell, that makes you more British than most.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,117
I feel Irish and European, and happily so.

If there's more reluctance to identify as 'European' in Britain, I think it's less an islander thing, more a post-WW2/post-British-Empire hangover thing.
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,440
I love all the Scandinavians who want to distance themselves from the weird gross "Europe". It's like no country in Eastern Europe wanting to be recognized as such.
 
Oct 28, 2017
355
Dublin
With other Europeans, I’m Irish. To the international community I’m Irish and then European.

With regards to the British, it is not an islander thing, it’s an Empire thing. The imperial British supremacy attitude has really come out a lot lately with the Brexit vote. It’s predominantly the English, I’d say a lot of Scottish feel European.

I definitely think with all the integration that has gone on there is a pan-European identity formed. If you think about it internationally, many of the EU states are all aligned on a plethora of issues and don’t even seem like different countries sometimes in a policy or diplomatic context. Certainly to foreigners it seems that they group Europeans as one group, usually meaning someone from the EU.
 
Jun 25, 2018
328
I definitely see myself as Slovenian and European(have friends/family from Germany, Austria,Italy and travel a lot), but never as a part of Balkan. We lived together for so long but couldn't be more different. It always suprise me when people start "acting/talking/looking" like Balkans do(apparently).
But then again my country was always under an other lands regime so feeling divided and "switching it up" is nothing new. I love that Croatia is in EU tho, Zagreb is awesome.
 
OP
OP
Taki
Oct 25, 2017
4,718
I definitely see myself as Slovenian and European(have friends/family from Germany, Austria,Italy and travel a lot), but never as a part of Balkan. We lived together for so long but couldn't be more different. It always suprise me when people start "acting/talking/looking" like Balkans do(apparently).
But then again my country was always under an other lands regime so feeling divided and "switching it up" is nothing new. I love that Croatia is in EU tho, Zagreb is awesome.
I went to Slovenia for a few days and everyone was so friendly to outsiders there.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,244
Netherlands
It's not like I would introduce myself as Dutch and European. Rather, European matters are intrinsically related to Europe and as such the Netherlands as well. So we always have to think on a global scale.

At the moment I don't have the desire to go to another European country. Maybe those that have moved countries will have stronger feelings about being an European.

While I think it's healthy to criticize the EU (see how we handled Greece), going as far as a brexit is absolutely bonkers.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,338
Interesting question. The open borders certainly have contributed to a general feeling of connectivity, and when I've traveled outside the EU I've certainly felt "european" to some extent. At the same time, Europe is very diverse and there is absolutely cultural differences between countries that in many ways makes it harder for us to identify with the nations that differ the most from our own within the union.

Also, as a swede, I identify even more as scandinavian, meaning that I in many ways feel culturally closer to Norway than most countries that are actually in the union (though of course it is a european country, just not in the EU). It must all be very confusing, looking in from the outside.
 
Oct 28, 2017
3,135
To be honest i never thought about it.

I live 20 minutes away from the netherlands in west germany and i live closer to belgium or france than i live to my hometown in northern germany.
My wife is british (recently aquired german citizenship due to brexit) and i have some friends in spain and italy i visit quite often.

As there are no border checks it's basically like moving from one german state to another. There is some information near the autobahn but otherwise theres not that much of a difference.

So i guess even tho i never thought of myself as a nationality i guess i'm european.

I travel so much across europe for work i feel like nations are something of the past and i think feeling better or worse because the floor you've been on is ridiculous.

Oh but during the Euro or World cup the national knives come out. This is a common European tradition.
ESC and Football is where european wars are fought in the 21st century.
 
Nov 4, 2017
40
Definitely and as mentioned above, the Erasmus programme was mostly to do with this. Getting to study for free in Berlin for a year was the best year of my life so far and I’ve friends from all across the continent because of this.
 
Oct 25, 2017
932
Poland
I think of myself as Polish first, but reading this forum which is mostly populated by Americans has fostered an European identity within me. There are so many things ubiquitous throughout Europe like universal healthcare, free higher education and strict firearms control that makes me so glad to have been born and live where I do.

I'm guessing you come from somewhere East of Germany. I also wonder if there's a noticeable difference in Euro sentiment between those in Hungary & Poland, versus, say those in Belgium.
In my experience Poles are very much pro-EU, often much more than people in Western Europe. There is a strong feeling of safety that comes from being part of European Union and NATO, and we often look at Ukraine as a warning of what could have happened to us. Now this doesn't mean fear of Russian invasion, but more of corruption and outside meddling. This might appear paradoxical given our current right wing government, but even they wouldn't dare to pull something like Brexit. There is just too much money flowing into our country thanks to EU funds - improving infrastructure, quality of life, ease of travel. The benefit to our country is just too big.
 

Pet

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,581
SoCal
Not European, but to me as an American, yeah... Europeans are just Europeans. Like, you can tell when someone is a new European immigrant / visitor to the US, because they dress differently. It's also pretty apparent even when I'm traveling abroad because Europeans have an accent when they speak English (but are almost always willing to speak English to us, which is super cool).

I doubt I'd be able to tell the immediate difference between someone who is Dutch or German, or from Finland or Norway, unless they made it explicit. I'm sure if you're European you can tell among the various European countries, though, and I suspect it's like being Asian in Asia-- there's not really a huge pan Asian identity.
 
Oct 28, 2017
417
I don't know what I am.

I was born a Brit and that is what I generally tell people I am, but I have lived in Sweden since 1999. The UK feels like a foreign country these days, people don't think or act like me and I just don't feel like I fit in. I have Swedish citizenship but I just don't feel particularly Swedish, I was forced into it by Brexit.

So I don't feel like either of my nationalities.

Europe is something I am part of but isn't part of my identity. I am angry about Brexit but not because I feel it is affecting my identity, but because I just think it is bad for the country and the continent.
 
Oct 29, 2017
506
Dutch first maybe European second, I don't think there is a European culture to be proud off yet or even something willing to die for.

A European culture might come but I don't expect it to happen in the next few decades. I think I have more US culture in me then European culture given US media projection. Hell people are more interested in the US election than the EU election, that should say more then enough.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,650
NZ
I moved to NZ as a teen before I really got to take advantage of it (as a kid I went on a couple holidays in other countries with the family and we'd often drive just across the border to go to amusement parks in Germany, but I was too young to interact with the locals which is the important part)... But even then, I really like the idea of free movement and the EU. If I ever go back (on top of applying in my current country, I'll also apply for jobs there after graduation), I'll definitely make use of it.
 
Oct 26, 2017
712
Since the Brexit referendum I've started to identify as more European than British, I just can't relate to this country anymore.
 
Oct 27, 2017
728
UK
Since the Brexit referendum I've started to identify as more European than British, I just can't relate to this country anymore.
Am feeling the same, am going for polish citizenship as both sets of GP's cane to the UK after the War.

Despite doing the whole English prep school and only visiting Poland for the first time on my 40th, I identify myself as European and I don't feel the same as these Englishmen who want out because of immigration.

The EU is a real mess but you have to be in it IMO.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,138
Columbus, OH
Taki, why does your fascination only seem to extend to Europe. You need to change up your questioning.

Here are some thread ideas:

"Do people in Southeast Asia tip clerks at department stores?"

"Do Australians carry wallets like Americans?"

"What do Russian ATMs look like? Do they take US bank cards?"

"Which side is the salad fork on in Chile?"

"Do the Japanese take off their shoes when they get on the train?"
 
Oct 25, 2017
429
Yurop
Hah, I've actually thought about this a lot. The more I've worked around Europe and made personal connections with people around the continent I've been feeling more European than a Finn many times, with Nordic identity rearing its head every now and then.
 
Oct 27, 2017
379
Midlands
I identify as British, specifically English. Europe as a continent is too vast and full of different languages and cultures for me to identify as European. I'm European as far as the fact I reside in Europe.
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,116
Finland
I'm European, but don't really identify as one. I identify more as a Scandinavian, even though were not considered as such (I'm Finnish and it hurts a bit that we are left out). So I idenfity as Nordic at best. But first and foremost, I'm a Finn. Definitely not European, most European cultures feel quite foreign to me. Europe is something big that largely doesn't concern me I feel.
Hah, I've actually thought about this a lot. The more I've worked around Europe and made personal connections with people around the continent I've been feeling more European than a Finn many times, with Nordic identity rearing its head every now and then.
Hehe I was actually thinking about you while reading this topic, I remember you bringing this up in the Suomi OT =P
 
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