Are you proud to be British (or wherever you're from)

Vashdaman

Za Warudo
So, are you?

I always used to shrug my shoulders when asked this, I always used to tell myself I shouldn't or just didn't, or rather I suppose I used to think it limiting to think along those lines, or rather I suppose I always thought my connection to the country I've lived all my life in was too ambivalent and confused for pride to be a consideration. I don't think I ever really thought it was wrong to feel some sense of pride for one's country though, I remember my friend innocently asking me if it was bad or nationalistic of her to feel national pride (for a different country), and I insisted to her that it wasn't bad at all.

Anyway, not to get all brexit, but as time has gone on I find it harder to deny that I feel some sort of pride in being British and having been raised here. Is gratitude a better word, freer from jingoistic associations? Maybe it is. When you think about it, so much amazing stuff, world beating stuff has come out of this country. When I was younger I just took all this stuff that I was surrounded by for granted, it was all I knew and it was tinged with the misery of my youth too, even the stuff I loved was tainted. But now I feel more appreciative of it all, all the unique cultural products that only this place could produce. All the uniquely creative mentalists this country has birthed. And I do probably feel some special connection to this stuff if I'm honest. I know that all sounds dangerously close to some kind of national existentialist kind of waffle, and I know we're all the same as humans, but you know what I mean.

I used to meet Japanese people who were super into British culture and stuff, and I just used to think they were slightly crazy to be honest, I just used to think "is grey their favourite colour, or do they have a baked bean fetish?", even when they would tell me about The Beatles or The Pet Shop Boys I still just didn't get it. But I do understand now a little bit.

Although I want to stress this isn't some regressive white vision of the UK I'm talking about, multiculturalism has made this country's culture a million times more fascinating. And all I'm going to say is, thank god for black British teenagers, white people are great too, but they just don't have the cool factor, especially the middle class ones. And I say that as a middle class (currently impoverished), half white person. We don't have the ye

Love Paigey Cakey

So, how about all of you?
 
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ayase

State Alchemist
Maybe it's just a question of semantics, but I don't really feel much of a sense of pride in anything I haven't personally had a hand in. I mean I guess, as an individual who makes up 1/66000000 of British society we all bear some level of responsibility for making Britain what it is, but the groundwork was laid thousands of years ago and is an ongoing process which makes my overall contribution to "Britishness" very minuscule indeed. I do feel that connection and identification you talk about, which is kind of a tribal thing and in some ways inevitable I suppose - When you're born and raised in a society you're going to identify more closely with that society than any other, just as people often do with more local communities, religions and ethnic groups. But pride? I don't know. The kind of pride people seem to find in these groups strikes me as somewhat vicarious, like if [person] belongs to [group] I also belong to, then their achievements are somehow also mine? I don't get that. People's achievements are their own - If Mo Farah wins a marathon or James Dyson wins a design award I in no way contributed to that, so I don't feel that sense of pride a lot of people seem to feel when other British people do well.

Despite my constant criticisms of this country and the way it's been headed in modern times though, I do at least feel fortunate to have been born and raised here - We have a lot of opportunities. Our native language is one of the most widely spoken and understood in the world. Our citizenship and passports are pretty powerful. Our education system, while far from perfect, at least is fairly rounded and not as lacking or as biased as in many developed countries. While certainly not remotely economically equal (one of the worst things about Britain, and getting worse) people here are at least largely socially equal regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender or sexuality. And all that feeds into the development of that vibrant culture you describe that British people create and enjoy. Those are all positive things about this country for sure, and worth remembering even when offering reasonable criticism of the worse aspects of our society.
 
I have no time for patriotism or nationalism. It's practically sinful in my eyes, because the display of pride in one's national identity usually degenerates into denigrating someone else. Most national anthems boil down to, we are strong, we will walk over your corpses, we will rule the world.

As a child of immigrants from a former British 'colony', I am well-versed in what British colonialism has done to the world, and my parent's country in particular. I'm also aware of what their country was like before, and since, which is nothing to write home about either.

Now cultural identity, celebrating one's cultural heritage, and uniting in diversity, I can get fully behind.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Now cultural identity, celebrating one's cultural heritage, and uniting in diversity, I can get fully behind.
Nationalism I feel similarly about because it's inherently about superiority over others, but is there really much of a difference between this and patriotism? Either way you're celebrating an identity you had no real hand in creating, other than being born into it.

Edit: Worth noting I don't actually begrudge anyone celebrating their cultural identity (in hindsight I notice it might come across that way) but I don't see a right lot of difference between say, a British Indian person celebrating their Indian culture and that same person also celebrating being British with other British people of different cultural backgrounds.
 
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Nationalism I feel similarly about because it's inherently about superiority over others, but is there really much of a difference between this and patriotism? Either way you're celebrating an identity you had no real hand in creating, other than being born into it.
To me, patriotism is nationalism++. It's when people start talking about fighting for, dying for, and killing for their country, a necessary survival state in the time of war, but at any other time, what's the point?
 

ayase

State Alchemist
To me, patriotism is nationalism++. It's when people start talking about fighting for, dying for, and killing for their country, a necessary survival state in the time of war, but at any other time, what's the point?
Ah, in that case it's more an issue of semantics than actual disagreement between us. As I understand the terms it's completely the other way around, nationalism I see as more a feeling of national superiority, a negative feeling towards other countries and their people. Patriotism I understand as more a positive feeling towards your country and fellow countrymen, without the feelings of negativity towards others inherent in nationalism - To be a nationalist someone has to be a patriot, but someone can be a patriot without being a nationalist.
 
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crashmatt

Death Scythe
In proud to be British and what our country has achieved but there are always exceptions. Blind patriotism can be dangerous but otherwise I see no issue with it.
 
Edit: Worth noting I don't actually begrudge anyone celebrating their cultural identity (in hindsight I notice it might come across that way) but I don't see a right lot of difference between say, a British Indian person celebrating their Indian culture and that same person also celebrating being British with other British people of different cultural backgrounds.
Given that this is a website where we celebrate aspects of Japanese culture, and I suspect few of us are of Japanese heritage, I'd say that it's largely positive with no discernible negatives.
 

thedoctor2016

Baka Ranger
No, I’m not proud. The legacy is built on death and destruction, the media controls the country and parliament is a joke. And patriotism is a big joke as like in America it leads to stupid things like stopping free protest like the NFL kneeling.
 

ActionFaust

Vampire Ninja
I'm far from proud considering Britain's past built on conquest and war. I doubt I'd be proud of my country anyway since it just strikes me as an odd thing to be proud of. I can appreciate the culture sure but I'm not proud of it.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Given that this is a website where we celebrate aspects of Japanese culture, and I suspect few of us are of Japanese heritage, I'd say that it's largely positive with no discernible negatives.
There's nothing wrong with celebrating anything you find enjoyment in as far as I'm concerned, cultural or otherwise. But on Vash's point of pride, I'm not really proud of my culture or any other arbitrary factor of my birth because I don't really see any reason to take pride (or feel shame, for that matter) in stuff other people of my culture/nationality/ethnic group do, or did hundreds or thousands of years before I was even born. I take pride in my own achievements and feel shame if I do something shameful, but I don't see why other peoples' actions should make me feel either of those things because I'm not responsible for them.
 
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Vashdaman

Za Warudo
Yaas replies!

Yeah I pretty much agree with everything everyone here has said. Particularly ayase. But it is an interesting point this thing about the word pride. Personally, I'd use it and say I do feel proud of being British on occasion, even though it isn't something I actually achieved. It's definitely irrational for all the reasons ayase lined out, but despite that it seems pretty natural at times, and when kept in check by a healthy amount of rational it seems pretty harmless too. Like, was my heart and blood pumping during those world cup matches, most definitely, but I don't really give a toss about football and I'm not going punch anyone because of it. But that was probably some form of pride I felt, wasn't it, and it damn sure was 100% vicarious, but it's just a consequence of that connection I have to here and it was hearty fun. Were you pumped for those world cup games, ayase? Nothing wrong at all if you weren't, in fact you'd be a more stolid chap than me for it, but I'm just curious if you did feel pumped but wouldn't describe that as pride? I think it's just a semantics thing to be honest. It's just that feeling of particular joy when someone you feel close to for whatever reason achieves something, tribalism yeah, but people just call that pride.
 
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ayase

State Alchemist
Like, was my heart and blood pumping during those world cup matches, most definitely, but I don't really give a toss about football and I'm not going punch anyone because of it. But that was probably some form of pride I felt, wasn't it, and it damn sure was 100% vicarious, but it's just a consequence of that connection I have to here and it was hearty fun. Were you pumped for those world cup games, ayase? Nothing wrong at all if you weren't, in fact you'd be a more stolid chap than me for it, but I'm just curious if you did feel pumped but wouldn't describe that as pride?
Interesting question! You know, I did enjoy those World Cup games, but I think the thing I enjoyed most was that I got to watch them with others (in one case, on a train on the laptop of the guy sat next to me with about half the people in the train carriage crowded round - it gave up towards the end and we had to resort to someone else's phone, that's the way to experience a football match). It was that sense of immediate camaraderie that made them enjoyable for me rather than genuinely caring too much about the result. I probably wouldn't have given much of a toss if I'd been watching the matches alone at home. If not pride, I think that at least illustrates that I do think it's is nice to feel a sense of togetherness or belonging in something, whether you get that from your country, your culture, your local community or even chatting sh*t with other people on an anime forum.
 

Vashdaman

Za Warudo
Yeah I think that was what I felt too, to be honest. In fact I think that sentiment basically encapsulates the whole feeling I'm trying to describe too. I think for me, it's not even so much what we've made or done, but more the people this country has churned out, I genuinely love the people here, I swear. And it's weird, I've only got like two friends ahaha (and they jumped ship and don't even live here anymore!), but I still just love the people here, I love all accents, all the colours, all the attitude, I seriously love them.

But actually, I've also changed my mind about "pride", that does sound possibly a bit arrogant doesn't it, I think I'll just say I'm grateful to be from here. Yeah that makes more sense than pride, to me.
 
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