“Americans” is short for citizens – no, let’s say permanent residents – of the United States, of course.
Assuming you have any real idea of where your earliest non-American ancestors lived before immigrating here (forcibly or voluntarily), do you feel any pride, loyalty, or other positive emotional connection to that land? Why or why not?
Answering my own question: not really. I’m sure most of my ancestors came from Africa in chains, but I’ve no idea what specific area. And frankly it doesn’t matter to me in any emotional sense. While I resent the injustice done to them, I identify as an American, no hyphen needed. Angola and the Congo matter no more to me than Ukraine and Thailand.
But that’s just me. Anybody else?
Stop waiting for the poll.
I’m a descendant of a Mayflower passenger and many of my ancestors have been here for hundreds of years. What’s closer to me is the “old country” of my most recent ancestors, who came through Ellis Island. There are some cultural practices that have been retained to the present day in my family, but we have been in the US for so long that my generation has no claim to “old country” citizenship. I don’t feel loyal to that country or have any intent to re-emigrate back there. There are large numbers of people of that ancestry both here in the US and elsewhere.
I, like some 50% of US residents, believe I’m Irish (and not just today). This impression persists despite the fact that I have just as many, if not more, Dutch, English, and Scots ancestors and the most recent immigrant in my ancestry hit the States in the mid-1800’s.
For some reason, I do feel some kind of emotional connection to Ireland, probably because my dad was a romantic and he felt the Irish stories were better than any of the others. Although he also told me stories about being of Hungarian Gypsy extraction, and I wasn’t gullible enough to really believe those ones.
Irish as well. With a “Mc” last name to go with it. My sister did an exhaustive family history search a few years back, and found heavy Irish ancestry on both my fathers and mothers side of the family.
I’ve been to Ireland twice to visit the county that we have most direct linkage to, I love me some Celtic music (love “Celtic Crush” on SiriusXM), and I love me some beer. And not just on St Pattys day, neither.
I even sport a kilt occasionally, but it’s not a traditional kilt, it’s one of these.
I barely feel connectedness to the city where I was born and raised. So no, I don’t feel much of anything for the places where my ancestors hailed from. Every time I try to place myself in a western African country, I’ll remember that the country didn’t exist when my ancestors lived there. And that their ethnicity would have been more important to them anyway…and I no doubt have lots of ethnic groups represented in my African bloodline. I do have a certain appreciation for west African cultures, moreso than, say, south Africa. I do have a certain curiosity. But I don’t know if I am especially sentimental towards the area. If I were going to go to Africa, I’d rather go to the eastside.
With it being St. Paddy’s day, sometimes I remember that hey, I’ve got some Irish ancestry too! I’ll imagine my black ass dancing around in the Irish countryside. But then I remember that my European ancestry is mostly Scots-Irish. So again, ethnicity complicates things.
My paternal grandmother was born in The Netherlands, and that ethnic group is the largest one in the area where I live today. So I do follow events in the old country with interest. I have kept in touch with some relatives there. And traveled to the ancient homestead there near the tiny, tiny village of Mercotijn. And eat salty licorice and worstenbroodjes and snert (ertwensoep).
And at one time I owned 2 functioning windmills.
I do have a pair of wooden shoes. They don’t fit, though.
I wish I spoke more of the language. I can curse in Dutch a bit, but Grandma and Grandpa kept that language between the two of them so they could talk about their kids behind their back in front of them.
Besides these little quirks, I’m thoroughly american. On the other side of my family, my first immigrant ancestor arrived in 1630. Other ancestors fought in King Philip’s war, the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War.
Yeah, it’s pretty ridiculous.
If you take away the drinking, what exactly are people celebrating on St. Patrick’s Day? Other than eating food with green food coloring, and maybe some corned beef? It’s not like they’re reading Yeats, or something.
It’s little more than an excuse to get drunk and put on furniture store sales–while claiming a heritage that is for some reason appealing but otherwise meaningless to most people. (Probably the same people who think Cinco de Mayo Mexican “Independence Day.”) We might as well have a Welsh day, or a German day.
My ancestry is primarily British and Irish with a bit of German in there, too. The immigrant ancestors came to North America before the U.S. existed (at least the Irish and British ones on my dad’s side). To me the fact that these ancestors came from there is merely a curiosity and I have absolutely no emotional attachment to their homelands.
Slightly. My ancestors on both sides immigrated from Canada in the 19th century (some came from other countries too). I do like and respect Canada a lot, I don’t know what role my ancestral history plays in that. FWIW, I don’t feel that same connection to the state(s) my ancestors settled in when they joined the US.
So mostly no.
Yes. My great grandparents were “off the boat” Slovaks so my grandparents all spoke it (or screamed it!) and there are Slovak family recipes and traditions.
I’ve got a German last name, though. That line is from Prussia, which is no more.
I’m mostly Irish and I do have a soft spot for Ireland. I feel no attachment to Germany or England, though, although a lot of my ancestors were from there, too.
Ireland is just cooler
Not in the least.
I’m black and Mexican and have no idea where the “ancestral homeland” is.
My Mexican side is probably a mixture of Spanish and Indian, but we’ve been in the U.S. for over a hundred years, so I’m not even really sure why I’m called Mexican.
On my Black side, well, that one’s obvious. But, to add more confusion, I’m a really, really light-skinned black guy, and I have no idea which European country I stem from.
Not much of a connection. Every four years I will take an interest in Germany’s soccer team in the World Cup, but even that is on a shallow level. That’s mostly so I have someone to cheer for after the United States is out. If the two teams played each other I’d pull for the U.S.
Yes to Ireland and Scotland both. I’m Irish on my father’s side with my great grandparents coming over from Ireland at the end of the 19th century. I am Scottish on my mother’s side. I’m not sure when her mother’s family arrived, but her father’s family were Loyalists and fought for the British in Revolutionary War.
My ancestry is mostly English, Polish, German, and Czech. I identify most strongly with the English part, maybe just because the language and culture is closest to me. But for whatever reason, I am a total Anglophile, to the extent of wishing the USA was still a British colony.
I’ve very interested in my German ancestry as well, and I study the language, but I don’t really think of myself as “German”.
I do feel a certain sense of Polishness, but I knew rather little about it.
And the Czech stuff is a total void.
The only thing my family really identifies with is being Norwegian, even though it’s pretty watered down anyway. My name is Norwegian though. I think Norway is one of the best countries in the world, so I like it, but I can’t take PRIDE in it, that would make no sense to me. If I had the same level of connection to a lame country I don’t think I’d have any special feelings for it at all.
My ancestry is primarily British with a bit of German in there, too. Many of my ancestors came to America before the U.S. was created. I have no particular emotional attachment to those countries because of that, but I do feel a certain loyalty to the U.K. for cultural similarities and the fact that the U.S. and Britain have been allies for a long time. I feel that more strongly towards Canada, though.
My Grandmother was born in Ireland and my mother was raised in an Irish-American dominated part of NYC (was then, anyways, now its schwarma stands a falafel restaurants as far as the eye can see). So I was raised to think of myself as Irish. And we are still in touch with the part of the family still in Ireland, at least in as much as someone usually flies over to attend weddings.
So I have an emotional connection to Ireland, even though I’m only three eighths Irish, and haven’t been there since I went to a wedding in Galway as a kid.
I have some interest in my Scottish and Irish background, but no special loyalty. I’m pretty much an Anglophile, so I image that many of my ancestors are turning wildly in their graves.
My predominant heritage is German, followed by Italian, then Irish. Oddly, I feel the strongest connection to Ireland, followed by Italy, and essentially no connection at all to Germany. If anything, I feel a stronger connection to the Slavic countries (from which I have no known descent t all) than to Germany (my German grandmother picked up some great recipes from the Polish and Ukrainian ladies at her church).
None of those is part of what I celebrate on St. Patrick’s Day. I listen to Irish music, eat boxty, wear my wool sweater, maybe swing my shillelagh, and if I’m feeling adventurous curse the English.