Do you feel any strong cultural attachment to a country that isn't your own or where you were born?

Feb 2019
845
Pennsylvania, US
Be forewarned ... that the following is rather long and ridiculous! (But applicable to the topic.)

I have inordinate attachment issues to a country that a) I've never been to, b) have no ancestry from and c) only experienced through art, media, cuisine and a sort of second-hand, overall gestalt.

About 10 years ago, I had a very dear friend leave the U.S. to study abroad in Glasgow. The separation was so painful, and I realized that the less I thought about it, the better off I would be - it felt as if my life had packed up everything, hired a cab and left me, 'all alone' in the United States. Initially my friend was planning to get her Masters in English... and then she stayed on to get her PhD... meanwhile I worked a full-time job alone in my office and then alone in my art studio in the evenings. I would listen to Classic FM through in internet player, and we could comment via messenger about the different pieces, the funny requests that would go on the air ("hello, just cleaning the cooker in Derby and I wanted to hear Borodin's 'In the Steppes of Central Asia'...") and rate the announcers on their vocal prowess. In the evening, I would turn on BBC and watch episodes of 'F Word' and 'Midsomer Murders'. At some point - I'm not sure when - I was regularly hunting out copies of U.K. Country Living (very different than the gaudy American magazine I knew by the same name) and English Home... I was "window" shopping at Joules and Cordings... I also made it a goal to read all of Dickens' longer novels (starting with all the ones over 1000 pages)...

Now, the key piece to this strange story is that I have no ties to England that I know of - my family was predominantly German, some dating back to just before the Revolutionary war... there was nothing to really cause this sort of attachment. My family still is very German in their traditions: we get the Bellsnickle visiting us every Christmas Eve, have a taste for soured, vinegary things... like pig odds and ends ground into a sort of cake (pannhaas or scrapple). England would have been the last place on my list of places to travel... I have *never even been* to England!

It was as if I reached some critical mass of Anglophilia and my entire vantage point began to skew. The Americans that surrounded me were just a little too loud, a little too crass, a little too abrupt in their manner. I would leave work and listen to Bowie, Clash and Muse, deciding what to make for dinner - my comfort food shifted to hot tea (year-round), Yorkshire pudding, crumpets with gooseberry jam.... toast. I would want to pick up a pot of yogurt for lunch and realise, I was in luck, there was an offer at Waitrose for one and five! I started thinking of butter and idiots in terms of 'nobs' - and "hampers" suddenly encapsulated a sense of contentment, as they were now possibly full of pleasant things, instead of dirty laundry. I began to feel a "chuffed" sensation at times. I was suddenly aware of the existence of fortnights. I would misspeak and call the local's currency 'quid'. I would remark with subdued, chiding tones to the report on SKYY news, that 'Nick Clegg needed to get with the programme!' I watched 'Battle of Britain' (for the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain) and as tears of pride and exhilaration welled in my eyes at hearing that fighter pilot theme in the soundtrack, I nibbled a slice of simnel cake and washed it down with elderflower presse... Those bloody Krauts. They can't keep us down!

It was the strangest thing... years have past, and some of the vehemence of my Anglophilism has subsided... perhaps it really was just an inescapably American vision of Britishness anyway ... but I am rather concerned that if I were to go to say, Whitby or Tintagel or pretty much anywhere rural... I probably would never want to go home and never feel 'at home' at home again.
 
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David Vagamundo

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
4,439
Atlanta, Georgia USA
between defending your country , defending your people and defending your kin
it's all a matter of circumstances ,
will you fight for the democratic right of the sharia to become the law of the land ?
I’d fight against it. But sharia law will not come democratically (or otherwise) to the US. Democracy is not what the jihadis are about; they hate it.
 

David Vagamundo

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
4,439
Atlanta, Georgia USA
No. Peru is due to my Peruvuan friends and my visits there, and Italy is due to my Sicilian-American wife and our many visits there.
I’d add Mexico. Been there a number of times, although not lately, and loved every trip. Just thinking about the DF (Mexico City) makes me want to go.
 
Jan 2017
1,308
Durham
England.

Virtually all my ancestors came from the continent, mostly Germany and Sweden, so I don't have a blood connection to the UK. If anything my few drops of Irish blood might imply hostility to the British, but I think of myself as an American, and England is the mother country. Our common law, the principle of property rights, our political culture; all evolved from their antecedents in England. Most of the things I love most about the US are, at best, slight improvements on what "we" inherited from the mother country.
I've always thought that on the surface we are very different to the people of the United States, but scratch the surface and, politically, we are very similar.

The only difference being we're a crowded island and as a result are compelled to be more liberal (we live on top of one another, so more concessions are necessary in order to live in some sort of harmony).

I think you do your country a disservice, though. The foundations of the United States are English and Scottish, and Dutch and Flemish too (politically, I'm not talking about migration), but the United States herself added to those foundations in a way that you underestimate. What you're talking about are more than slight improvements.
 
Jan 2019
130
USA
Fun thread. I would say England for me. For no reason other than their history with my own country, USA.
 

M9Powell

Ad Honorem
Oct 2014
4,448
appalacian Mtns
I hear Australia is a place where REAL men use sandpaper to polish their balls.
They will if a guy with a gun tells them too. Like Clint Eastwood said " In this world there are 2 kinds of men, those with guns & those who dig, you dig. ". Real men don't surrender their arms.
 
Nov 2014
1,654
Birmingham, UK
They will if a guy with a gun tells them too. Like Clint Eastwood said " In this world there are 2 kinds of men, those with guns & those who dig, you dig. ". Real men don't surrender their arms.
What about men who never had arms in the first place?