Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Nation

One of my new classes this semester is Identity and Culture. On our last class we watched fragments of a BBC documentary called 100% English, where people who considered themselves 100% English explained what they think about their national identity and allowed their DNA to be tested for traces of other races.

It was interesting to watch, since I always considered myself 100% Polish, but in a much different way. The people we saw cared greatly about their purity, to the extent that they didn't seem to be too happy about scientists finding traces of other races in their genome. Which was mostly seen by their sentence build. I on the other hand, would find it cool to have some "impurities".

Then we went to the subject of integration and what is the difference between emigrant and immigrant. It's been said that the difference is that the latter tries to adjust themselves to the culture they immigrated to. What's interesting, I think of myself as an immigrant, but according to others' point of view I am an emigrant due to the fact that I don't change the way I act depending on the environment I find myself in. Then again, I don't think this is the case. As I don't suddenly start to bitch, whine and moan on everything that is English specifically because it is English. I even do that when I'm in Poland. I like some parts of one country over the other, and that doesn't change with the place I am in.

However, this specific lecture made me think about whether I really want to stay in England for good. I like it here, but I don't want to be seen as a foreign invader. I know that people want to have a distinct feel to their communities and cultures. For some reason, although I am an individualist, I like to learn about customs and traditions of others, yet, I see cultural integration as a means to enhance a culture instead of destroying it.

I still think myself a Pole, but I'd rather see European under my nationality on the passport. Just because I don't believe nationality can be described as the place of birth. Lets take this hypothetical question: If a Spanish and Ukrainian pair has a child in Scotland and moves to Lithuania after 3 years, and moves countries of residence approximately every 3 years. What is the child's nationality? Since it was raised by members of different nations and in various nations, the easiest answer would be Scottish... but can such a child be truly described as British?

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