For whatever reason I was thinking of the Ryder Cup today. It’s a golf competition between the US and the European Union. That’s always struck me as odd; it’s easy to see people becoming emotional for their own country but I’m having a hard time seeing people become emotional for the European Union. So to our European dopers, do either the Union or Europe itself instill any pride or emotional attachment in you or people you know? For that matter, to dopers living in the Commonwealth does that entity mean anything to you?
I suppose I think of the Commonwealth as an association of countries with a shared British heritage. It’s possibly useful internationally, but doesn’t mean a great deal to me on a personal level. Those who are interested in sport can at least get some satisfaction out of the Commonwealth games every four years. I’m not one of them though.
I’m in the EU and yeah it has a vague sense of unity for me. We’re all in the shit together basically. It’s funny though because most Irish and British people consider “European” to mean continental Europe and not our islands.
Commonwealth, yeah, kinda nice to know “Hey! I’m part of that!”
Of course, the Commonwealth doesn’t actually do anything… that’s the beauty of it.
What I can’t give a shit about is golf, but the EU is “that thing which means I can work in all these countries much more easily than before Spain was in it, and that all these countries have enough common regulations that moving between them means a lower level of cultural shock / learning new procedures than moving somewhere else. Oh, and Erasmus fellowships too!”
OEI means a forum to exchange ideas on education and advancement; OTI means mostly the song festival, which doesn’t even exist any more. And the Commonwealth is this association of the UK and a lot of her ex-colonies.
Not for me (UK). It’s a convenient (and at times inconvenient) arrangement, but it’s purely a pragmatic thing. I don’t identify myself as “European”, I don’t feel any more connection to the French or Belgians than I do to the Japanese or the USA - maybe less so than the latter, because the USA shares our language.
I pretty much only think of the Commonwealth as a group of countries that have summer olympic-style games every 4 years without any Americans around. Like vacationing in Cuba, things are just slightly different without that influence.
I don’t become emotional for the European Union but I like the idea of it.
I think for the most people it’s a political and economical thing and that’s it. We don’t share one language and every country minded its own business for too long.
I’m pretty attached to the EU (Brit here). It’s given us peace and prosperity for over half a century, and a way of extending that peace and prosperity to other countries too. I feel I have a greater affinity for Europeans than Americans, the language is less of a barrier than the culture.
I’m also digging the fact that when I come to emmigrate sometime fairly soon it will be very easy, no need for visas or crap like that.
Just to clarify, the Ryder Cup is a contest between the US and Europe, not the European Union. The EU is a political/economic organisation, like a grander version of NAFTA, and as such does not have representative sports teams. A Swiss or Norwegian person, neither of them EU citizens, could represent Europe in the Ryder Cup.
It is hard to feel emotional attachment to a political construct like the EU, but as for Europe as a whole, in my case I would go along with Candyman74’s feelings - I feel affinity with “Western” countries in general, particularly those of the Anglosphere, but not other European countries particulary, because inevitably we have more cultural overlap with countries that speak the same language. I always think it’s remarkable how little the British and French, for example, know of each other’s popular culture, considering that the two countries are only twenty miles apart.
Till they let in Mozambique and Rwanda.
(Brit) I would say that I definitely feel attachment to the EU. What it represents is important to me.
Plus as my girlfriend is Danish and some of my best friends Austrian and French it makes life a hell of a lot easier!
This, in a nutshell. The EU means that it doesn’t matter where in Europe my first job was – getting to it was as easy as getting on a train, having the interview, signing a contract and moving. As if I had a job in the UK. It means that even now, I don’t see France, Germany, Spain, and the rest of Europe as far flung places – its “eh, just somewhere in Europe” which makes logistics and planning very useful. And finally, with the SO being German, the EU makes our lives a lot easier!
Now, as for the Commonwealth, I have some affection there for it – its the reason my family was able to move to the UK after all (after all that bs in Uganda).