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Dear Europeans, are you from Europe?

Dingens

Banned
Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,858
I would never identify with the place I was born. Not only does nationalism suck, but my former country is an embarrassment.
My Passport says "European Union" on the front, and that's what I'm citizen of, the end.
 
Oct 26, 2017
634
Personally, I feel like there are currently too many economic, political, and cultural divides to really consider myself a European as a sort of identity. In terms of economy and politics, a lot of the time in American political discussions you hear how great "Europe" is, but lumping all of us into a single basket is an easy way to ignore the problems and struggles a lot of European "citizens" have to deal with. The EU has done a (somewhat) good job at trying to solve this, but I feel like it still has a long way to go.

That's not me being anti-EU though, as I do feel like a close political and economic union is the best shot we have of solving these inequalities. But it's just not there yet.

Online, I will just describe myself as European. But that has less to do with a sense of cultural identity and more to do with the fact that I can reasonably assume most people will be able to point out Europe on a map, which isn't really something I can say for Slovenia. And even a lot of the people who have actually heard of the country still seem to have wild misconceptions about it. Things like how it's a post-soviet dystopian hellhole, or that we're actually secretly just Germans.
 
Jun 25, 2018
429
I went to Slovenia for a few days and everyone was so friendly to outsiders there.
Nice to hear! You were probably in Bled and/or Ljubljana. Tourist are generally welcomed anywhere but those two places are pretty popular so I'm not surprised.:)
Personally, I feel like there are currently too many economic, political, and cultural divides to really consider myself a European as a sort of identity. In terms of economy and politics, a lot of the time in American political discussions you hear how great "Europe" is, but lumping all of us into a single basket is an easy way to ignore the problems and struggles a lot of European "citizens" have to deal with. The EU has done a (somewhat) good job at trying to solve this, but I feel like it still has a long way to go.

That's not me being anti-EU though, as I do feel like a close political and economic union is the best shot we have of solving these inequalities. But it's just not there yet.

Online, I will just describe myself as European. But that has less to do with a sense of cultural identity and more to do with the fact that I can reasonably assume most people will be able to point out Europe on a map, which isn't really something I can say for Slovenia. And even a lot of the people who have actually heard of the country still seem to have wild misconceptions about it. Things like how it's a post-soviet dystopian hellhole, or that we're actually secretly just Germans.
We do count like Germans tho.lol
 
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Oct 25, 2017
5,869
Portugal
There is very much a pre-EU and a post-EU mentality across the continent in the various generations of people that lived in one or both time periods.

To many people over 50, from the countries that weren't a part of the initial EU group, the idea that travelling across the continent is now just as convenient as taking a bus or a train to a random city in your own country is mindblowing. I'm part of the generation(s) that already had that by default, so to me the idea that some would willingly backtrack on that (aka Brexit) is mindblowing to me.
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,744
Brittany, France
Depends what your definition of "identity" is really, and what you're talking about, or who you're talking to.
I'm french and I consider myself european, but while there are similiarities between countries in a general sense, we are still very different. Sometimes it'll be more relevant to say I'm french, on other subjects it'll be european. Hell, sometimes it's more relevant to specifically say I'm briton.
I identify with all 3 equally, I guess I just see them on a different scale. I wouldn't say "I'm european, not french" for example.
 
Jan 10, 2019
888
Absolutely. Having parents from two different nationalities and cultures pretty much seals the deal.

I would never consider myself as a person of one nationality, but rather as a European. Thats why I love europe, so varied.

One day I would love to see the EU to transform into one huge nation with different states, kinda like the US but better.
 
Jan 4, 2018
196
For me feeling European is a very strange thing. I feel Swedish (should this be capitalized? Brainfart over here), but since every European country is so different I think it's hard for people living in them to feel some broader sense of belonging.
 
Oct 25, 2017
482
Europe
I'll always be a committed European. Was raised by a father, who had seen the cruelties of war and always preached to me that nationalism was the root for tensions between the countries on our continent.
It's sad to see that more and more people forget about the past and think that national egoism is getting them advantages. These idiots should be dragged to the countless war cemeteries to see where this ends.

Can we improve the EU? Sure. But there is no rational alternative to a common house with common values.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,869
Portugal
For me feeling European is a very strange thing. I feel Swedish (should this be capitalized? Brainfart over here), but since every European country is so different I think it's hard for people living in them to feel some broader sense of belonging.
I don't disagree with this take. First and foremost I feel Portuguese. Feeling European comes more as consequence of that, in this increasingly connected EU, than anything else really.

This will vary wildly depending on country and how each specific person sees the issues of nationality & nationalism
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,521
Guess I'm older than the EU, but not the common market etc. But yeah if I wanted to define myself I'd say Scottish and European.

Unfortunately I don't get to define myself so my nationality is british...
 
Nov 9, 2017
1,218
I guess I'd say that I'm both Swedish and European, but I don't really care about arbitrary borders and shit, so I don't really identify as such internally. More externally, out of practicality, like in situations like this.
 
Nov 2, 2017
1,867
I'm from the UK and I consider myself English, Welsh (parents are Welsh but I grew up in England), British and European and love the EU (yeah, I know, the B word)

I just love the concept of the EU. This collection of beautiful places and cultures working together to trade, live and work with each other, putting an end to decades of war. It's amazing. Bereucratically it's not always perfect but it's the best we've got
 
Dec 9, 2018
278
I from the uk, and i have both uk and Irish passports. I feel European.

There is obviously massive amounts of shared history and culture. Despite many differences there is similarities in terms of wealth, (lack of) religion, education and social outlook.

Having a shared language obviously is important. In Europe i would feel most in common with the irish, the Scandinavians and the Dutch as their levels of English gene to be highest. Scandinavians for example really get British humor.

Outside of Europe i think we are most culturally aligned with new Zealand, Australia, Canada and (white) africa. Followed by the United States and then the former British colonial possessions.
 
Oct 31, 2018
190
Grimsby, GB
From/live in the North East of England, feel more European and certainly identify more with mainland Europe than England, especially these days living in a small ex-fishing town that overwhelmingly voted leave. Hoping to reconnect with my Irish roots from my mother's side(her parents).
 
Oct 27, 2017
66
Am Irish and identify as Irish, not European even though I'm pro-EU.

It's gonna take a hell of a long time to over come hundreds of years of national identities. A common EU language might help but that's never going to happen.
 
Nov 3, 2017
558
Nope. I'm a Greek and while I notice that identity has overlap with S.Italy and Balkan countries, you'll never convince me that I share an identity with a Sweede or a German just because it's politically opportune.
 
Oct 27, 2017
815
I don't think there's such a thing as a "European identity". The EU is a political and economic union. When it comes to the feeling of identifying with a nation or state, people identify with language, culture and history, and these things are not shared experiences between the different countries of this union.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,374
I'm British, from Hong Kong. I voted remain, but I don't particularly identify as European. I wouldn't be treated as one on the continent and I've had my encounters with racism here and there. In Europe I only really feel at home in London. I guess I would identify as British, as that's my passport, but not as English. My appearance would already identify me as Chinese; it was quite surprising when I was in NY when someone identified me as English because of my accent.
 
Oct 27, 2017
6,539
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.
So the same friend i mentioned in my post itt, from Kazakhstan, she speaks both Russian and Kazakh, because of the country's Soviet bloc heritage. Nowadays there's a big push there to move away from Russian, with a recent adoption of latin alphabet for example.

But she has a lot of friends from other countries once part of the Soviet bloc, like Poland, Ukraine, Lituania... and for the most part they all also speak Russian. It's pretty amazing to see, that their shared heritage also includes a shared language that makes it really easy to easily talk with people from completely different countries, but it's also a relic of a colonialist era, a symbol of oppressive cultural deadening. It's a strange thing.
 
Dec 17, 2017
919
London
I’ve lived in London my entire life and I probably identify as European as much as I identify as British, but I think I first and foremost identify as a Londoner. Everyone’s heard of London so I never have to explain further than that.
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,744
Brittany, France
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.
Yeah France is, for better and worse, terrible at recognising regions and their heritage. You're never taught anything about your specific region's history, traditional territory limits have been erased, regional languages and their specificities are being limited, etc.
But to be fair, and to go back to the thread's topic a bit, the erasure of regional identities started a loooooong time before the EU entered the picture, it's been going on for centuries here.
 
Jun 19, 2018
1,295
I feel more Frisian than Dutch, so no I don't really feel European, there are so many differences between the cultures.
Edit.
I am pro EU though.
You guys are stubborn a-holes anyways ;)

Benelux is a special situation, because although nobody knows this, there actually are a number of governmental organisations on Benelux level: inter-ministerial council, a court, and even a parliament.

I think in general people don't have that much of a local identity here anyways, most of it is due to language which we share with the belgians. If suddenly flanders returned to it's place as a dutch province, I doubt anyone would feel differently towards the flemish.

We do have a fringe group that wants the Benelux region to merge into one country again, "Heel-Nederland" or just Flanders: "Groot-Nederland". Then there are fringe groups that want a germanic language reunification.These are all for the most part fascist assholes and aren't really taken seriously.

I don't feel European per sé, but Schengen is only a bit more than 30 years old. There are so many cultural differences. I know people from Eastern Europe, but I can't say that their views represent mine. Same goes for the Greeks.
 
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Nov 17, 2017
2,635
The Catalan Republic
But to be fair, and to go back to the thread's topic a bit, the erasure of regional identities started a loooooong time before the EU entered the picture, it's been going on for centuries here.
European identify is much more about shared values than cultural uniformity.
The EU doesn't want Italians to be less Italian or Swedes less Swede. Diversity as a European is to be celebrated.
Something that culturally centralist countries like France or Spain certainly have been doing wrong for decades.
There was plenty to love from the French during the time I spent there as an Erasmus student (the correct term was already Socrates then and I don't know what it is now) but being a Catalan in Brest, their willingness to erase their regional identities was quite disgusting.
 
OP
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Taki

Taki

Attempt to circumvent a ban with an alt account
Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,308
Thank you all very much for you input. It was very insightful. As far as I can see, there is a wide range in opinion and perspective... Which goes to show how difficult it is to put everyone from such a diverse continent into a category.
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,744
Brittany, France
European identify is much more about shared values than cultural uniformity.
The EU doesn't want Italians to be less Italian or Swedes less Swede. Diversity as a European is to be celebrated.
Something that culturally centralist countries like France or Spain certainly have been doing wrong for decades.
There was plenty to love from the French during the time I spent there as an Erasmus student (the correct term was already Socrates then and I don't know what it is now) but being a Catalan in Best, their willingness to erase their regional identities was quite disgusting.
Yep. Being breton I find it really shameful and sad to see the culture, the knowledge, etc. disappear. Thankfully there are still pieces of the breton identity here and there (though France is still trying to erase them) but if I hadn't been interested and hadn't looked for it myself I would know nothing about Brittany's history. And most of the younger generation is completely ignorant about it.
 
Jan 21, 2018
8,997
I'm in a different situation. I identify mostly as a Frisian, since I am from the northern region of The Netherlands called Friesland. I don't see myself as European first, but it is part of my identity. I value the European project and the amount of people around me (I'm 26) that have studied abroad thanks to the Erasmus program is growing everyday.

I value the European project, but I don't identify as a European. I'm Frisian first, Dutch second and European third.
 
Oct 27, 2017
85
I identify as a Bavarian, all other cultures are inferior by definition.

But seriously though, while I do have a strong sense of a local cultural identity (in this case, Bavarian, and, more specifically, my home town), I also feel both German and European (though how "German" I feel really depends on the occasion - nothing gets the ol' German heart beating more strongly than a bit of footy played by our national team).

I wouldn't say I have a strong, pan-European identity, though - I deeply appreciate the EU and the ideas of peace and unity it represents, but I think we're a long way off from subsuming our national/local identities under a European banner.
 
Oct 27, 2017
848
I'm in a different situation. I identify mostly as a Frisian, since I am from the northern region of The Netherlands called Friesland. I don't see myself as European first, but it is part of my identity. I value the European project and the amount of people around me (I'm 26) that have studied abroad thanks to the Erasmus program is growing everyday.

I value the European project, but I don't identify as a European. I'm Frisian first, Dutch second and European third.
Fryslan boppe!
You guys are stubborn a-holes anyways ;)
.
Hahaha true.
 
Oct 25, 2017
405
I’m a Swede I guess, but nationality has never been a major part of my identity. I don’t refer to myself as a Swede unless necessary for practical reasons. Certainly don’t see myself as an ”European” either, whatever that means.

Honestly, I barely view myself as a son of my parents or grandson of my grandparents. But that might change whenever I get my own children.