Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Are you proud of your country?

While walking across the town I go to university, I can often see people with German flags or caps with the German flag on it, especially during summer time. Seeing these signs, you can be sure they are tourists. Germans don’t wear such things, except during the time of the World Cup. Actually, while the German football team plays, you can see flags everywhere, especially on cars, but these flags disappear as soon as the event is over.

I also observe the American elections. By doing this, and by studying and reading in general, I noticed that patriotism seems to play an important role in America and also in Great Britain. In fact, I think it is specifically important for Americans and, in contrary to Germany, it is considered as something absolutely positive and indespensable.
This is very different in Germany. Due to our past, we became extremely careful with things like national pride. Although these times are gone and most people who were living that time are dead, this has not changed. Most people don’t feel proud when they think of Germany and patriotic statements are always handled very critically. At the same time, there are people who say that this is all exaggerated and that Germany should start to feel something like national pride again, as long as it doesn’t convert into nationalism.
I am not really sure about what to think of all these discussions. On the one hand, our generation is not responsible for what happened during the National Socialism. On the other hand, it is definitely a good thing to be sensitive regarding these topics. It seems that Germany knows only extremes.

Should Germans develop patriotism again?

My personal point of view is the following. I don’t really feel proud of my country. It’s not that I don’t like it though. Nowadays, there are definitely a lot of positive things here. I mentioned that there are a lot of tourists in my university town and I must admit that it is a quite beautiful town, especially during summer. But I don’t really understand that concept of national pride.
In my opinion, to be proud of something, you have to achieve something or you must have had some influence on the thing you are proud of.  What exactly are people proud of when it comes to Germany?
Moreover, there have already been so many problems in this world because people somehow think their country is superior to others.  I do not understand why people keep thinking this. After all, they didn't even choose to be born in that country.
Maybe it is not bad to support the country you are living in by being proud of it, as long as this doesn't include debasing other countries.

So, although I like that town, I am not proud of it because there hasn’t been any contribution on my side. However, somehow it doesn't seem to be inappropriate when other people are proud of their country, it seems to be natural for other nations.
What do you think of patriotism?
Are you proud of your country? If so, why?
I would love to hear some other opinions and I am willing to change my mind, so please feel free to share your view.


  1. The country I am from, Moldova and Germany are two very different countries, from all existing point views, therefore it's different not being proud of being a german and not being proud of being a moldovan. If I had to move to Germany I think I'd be proud of it, I like to believe that in Germany people are paying respect to one another, if something goes wrong they try to fix it, if they have some misunderstandings they solve and if necessary they apologize, I wanna believe that public transport is well set and you don't have to sit in public transport like fish in a can. So you can figure what is happening in Moldova by the examples I've given you.

    And also you'll get that I'm not proud of my country, here very few laws are working, and the one that never fails to work is the jungle law, an eye for an eye law. You push me I'll push you even harder, if I am guilty of breaking some laws I'll make you feel ten times worth of guilty I should have felt. Compared to Germany what is happening in my country is basically horror.

    So, feel proud of Germany, even for a little :)

    P.S. Hey people, don't forget to share this amazing post and support this amazing and extraordinary :) blogger. Plus, don't forget to click like on Kleopatra's facebook fan page here

    See ya :)

    1. Oh, people here definitely try to fix things that go wrong. I don't know how many stereotypes of Germany you know, but some of them are true to a certain extent, for instance that they (or should I say we) are very orderly and like security, there are laws for everything, there's a lot of bureaucracy. This has of course many positive effects, although it is absolutely excessive sometimes.

      I definitely think Germany is a good country to live in, although it is not perfect of course and if I could choose I would choose another country.

      It's just that I don't really feel proud of it, as I did neither choose to be born here nor am I responsible for the good things in Germany.

      Thank you for commenting. :)

  2. Yes, I'm very proud to be British on a good day. I love the food, culture, atmosphere in London. I love the fact we have a royal family and all the traditions and customs that go with it. Compared to a lot of other countries we have a good National Health Service, job opportunities and state benefits for those who are unemployed and I say all of this on a good day.
    When things go wrong, I too criticise my own country just as much as the next person. The transport system can be overcrowded and very expensive, the cost of housing and food is rising, jobs can be hard to come by and low paid, and you have to sometimes wait a long time to see a specialist doctor if you are ill.

    Sometimes it looks like the grass is greener on the other side until you actually live there on a daily basis. I've not lived in another country so to be honest I can't say whether or not any other place on earth is better than my own.

    1. It's true that sometimes the grass looks greener on the other side, although it actually isn't.

      However, I love Great Britain and I can't wait to visit London. :) I haven't been there yet, but from everything I know (and I try to know a lot, my studies also deal with it a little bit) I would love to live there. So I do understand that you are proud of it.

      Thank you for your comment!

  3. There is a common legend told by minstrels where we find that one old Stork, very near its retirement was commissioned to bring a last offspring toward the West, but as soon as it was airborne, Paris was hit by the Mistral, that cold and wild Mediterranean wind, with such violence that could not follow the expected flight plan and found itself in the middle of the sea.

    Being old and tired it has to land on the first rock it found which was Gozo Island in Malta. As it was impossible to alter this situation the Stork decided to leave its charge to a couple living occasionally in this place, and went to enjoy its free time on the place where old storks go, which is not in my knowledge.

    So I started as Maltese by a windy cause, after several years, there was a major earthquake in the family and I was transferred to Isle of Man, where I could add to my citizenship that of Manx by an earthly cause. After a short period I was deposited by a ferry on the UK where I got another coat of arms to my short history of life, this time for a watery cause, finally I ended in USA aboard a jet, so it was a fire cause, where I was decorated with a little pledge.

    From then on I was in almost every country on Earth, and each time I supplemented my citizenship with a new addendum.

    Finally, and in an attempt to make easy the identification, and erase all those letters after my name, the International Court in Le Havre decided to make me a citizen of the Universe, the World, and its outskirts, banlieues, and similar places.

    Under these circumstances I am not in possession of the authority to be proud of anything except the Whole Big Bang, with the mention of the fact that I had nothing to do with it!

    I am sorry not to have an opinion about patriotism, since not having ONE country of my own, I do not know how to manage the situation. I may mention that the abolition of borders and countries boundaries human beings would be doing a real wonderful thing.

    And about pride, I may be proud, but it would be so big an adjectival motion that it would lose its meaning, since it refers to the Universe, etc. etc.

    I do hope I answered your questions!

  4. Wow, that is a fascinating and unusual story. You already mentioned some of the places you lived and I knew you have travelled a lot, but seeing this combined makes me really feel amazed. Compared to that, my life must be very boring. :)

    I agree, it would be a wonderful thing. I like the idea of being a citizen of the world.

    You did, thank you!

  5. Now this is an interesting topic Kleo...i am originally from Cameroon but i'm now in south africa. Being away from my home country has grown my *Patriotic spirit* probably cause i feel the need to think positively of it cause it is home. But when we go back to visit it all drops down when i see that things have gone worse instead of better! It's a truly beautiful country with amazing people but the rulers are supressing it's growth..its quite sad tho.

    1. I see what you mean about feeling the need to think positively of it as it is your home. Unfortunately, I do not know much about Cameroon, but what you mention is really quite sad and I hope that the situation will change!
      Thank you for your comment!

  6. hmhm... a candid post. hmhm... Yes, I can understand the historical perspective that is inherited by you to a certain extent. It quite nauseating when I see your country and its history being repeatedly bashed in the media- novels, movies, games etc.

    Like you have said- Times have changed. whatever has happened and whoever has been responsible for it.... I think its time people realize that isn't Germany anymore.

    I think patriotism is being proud of your heritage. Nothing much and nothing more. International politics nowadays is too muddled to be caught up in that when looking for opinions about the people of the country itself.

    No country is perfect. and that's more or less the truth everywhere. The same sun and the same stars that you see over there -- I see over here. Yes, I can understand your question of how can you be proud when you have contributed nothing to the country as such.

    I think that national pride is more than that. I think that you can be proud of the fact that- your country is supporting free expression of your opinions through your blog. I think that you can be proud that -Germany has the best mechanical engineering colleges worldwide. And so on.

    It just feeling a sense of belonging to the best around us, as a part of whats around us -- does get into us.

    I am from India. We have quite a corrupt government. Our rush hour traffics will make you go bonkers. Our religious practices may even seem outdated to you.

    But, I take pride in the fact that- despite all its pitfalls, India still is moving forward. Now that should account for something right??

    1. Yes, it is especially this part of our country that is being shown in media and so on. On the one hand I think this is important to prevent it from happening again and to inform people, on the other hand I always hope people do not only associate this side with my country and I hope they realize this is not Germany today.

      You mentioned some interesting points here and I agree with you.

      I have never been to India, but as you said, no country is perfect and of course its moving forward is something you can be proud of.

      Thanks a lot for sharing your views!