Sunday, May 8, 2011

Defending your Homeland

May marks 21 years since I moved (as a child bride) to the USA; my writing partner Mike Harling moved to the UK from the USA ten years ago. We're having a bit of a navel-gazing session over at Pond Parleys about how much we defend our new versus our old countries, and what it means to others.

8 comments:

  1. Interesting viewpoints, both of them. I haven't been in the USA long. But my viewpoints have become more complex since I started coming here and now live here.

    I like some things about the USA and not others. But the same is true for the UK. What's profound is that the USA isn't really a country in the same sense as the UK. The USA is a diverse bunch of people in the same geographic area, but what holds them together, at least in theory, is philosophy, the ideas of the US constitution etc. In the UK, you are British just by being born there and the country exists because of history. As a Brit, you can slag off Britain all you like but you don't get called un-British for it (though you might in some circumstances be called unpatriotic). Okay I've simplified things, but there are fundamental differences.

    Paul
    http://fromsheeptoalligators.blogspot.com

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  2. This is such an interesting topic for me. Although I'm a U.S. citizen, my first memory of 'The States' is at age 10. A childhood in Asia + Canadian mum meant that I didn't spend my formative years in quite the same way as everyone else, and I often feel slightly out of step. I also teach German to American high school students, and feel that one of the most important aspects of my job is simply teaching my students that there are other ways to see things, and that the 'American way' isn't necessarily the right way, it's just the American way, and there could possibly (gasp) be better ways.

    I don't know that many of my students will go on to use their language skills, but I hope that some of the cultural awareness I teach will 'stick.'

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  3. That's great, MsCaroline - a bit of perspective on your own culture and experience of other ways of doing things makes for more rounded, tolerant, interesting people imho

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  4. Very interesting comments. Thanks guys.

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  5. You can love both and defend both as far as I'm concerned...only lived in Britain four years but love her and yes, I defend her! Love my USA and would defend her to the death...yes, you can love and defend both without fear of reprisal...that's what democracy is all about,
    Sandi

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  6. Like Sandi, I love and defend both quite easily. I keep rose tinted glasses in my pocket for when I just want to ignore the bad stuff in which ever country I find myself in, but I never try to argue/defend with that view!

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  7. Will head on over navel gazing is my favourite pastime, you're never in the wrong..

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  8. 21 years? That's a long time. I don't think there is any call for you to defend anything, though.

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