I’m curious to know more about the ethnic make-up of this board. I get the patchwork-y impression that:
a) most of the members are from the USA.
b) a sizeable minority are from Canada.
c) another sizeable minority are from the UK and Eire.
d) a few are Australian and New Zealanders.
e) a few are from many other countries.
I also get the impression, for various reasons, that most members self-identify, or would be identified by their compatriots, as “white”, “Anglo”, etc. Some, I gather, are of different ethnic backgrounds.
Would this be correct?
So, what do you identify yourself as?
Me: I don’t know what I’d be identified as in the US, but one of my parents is from India, the other from England (anglo-saxon). I just say I’m “Anglo-Indian” if anyone is particularly curious as to what my background is.* I frequently am mistaken for being Italian, Greek, Armenian, Persian, and Spanish. A few times I’ve been mistaken for having Aboriginal ancestry (I live in Sydney). I think the last bastion of “otherness” in this country is being Aboriginal.
*Literally true, but technically Anglo-Indians are those inhabitants of India who are descended from both Indians and the Europeans who lived there from the 1600s to, well, 1947.
Chinese people in Hong Kong (or mainland China, for that matter) see me as an expat, which I don’t mind. Expats in Hong Kong don’t - ditto. As for fellow whites, perceptions of me are most affected by the fact I have a double-barrelled surname, which additionally is impossible to pronounce. This drove my father and my brother to drop the impossible bit when they worked in Toronto and London respectively. I like it, look upon it proudly as part of my heritage and have never considered simplifying it.
I do in fact appear in one of these peerage books, Burke’s, I think, and when they send me the offprints to check/update periodically, I feel a frisson of pleasure. However, it is in fact through my mother’s side (Scots, some of whom emigrated to New Zealand, where my mother was born) that I qualify for this ridiculous honour. Not through the side that everybody thinks is dead posh and makes me some kind of upper-class twit. (Twit - yes; upper-class - sadly not).
So, I think of myself as English (just to get back at all those professional Welshmen and dreadfully boring Scots we get here who dress up in a kilt at the slightest excuse and regale anyone in the vicinity with their stories, which always seem to come back to John Logie Baird).
I enjoyed your comment about Abos being the last bastion of otherness. It’s the death knell for a people (how I abhor the word ‘race’!) when menopausal white women, or white men with more money than sense (who believe in “equality”, but only so long as they stay on the right side of the scales) and a heady mix of jealousy, guilt and greed, turn their need for vicarious suffering on them.
God! I feel better for that. Now what was the question?
I’m Dutch, and my ethnic background is pretty much that. There’s a hint of Spanish blood somewhere in the line of my father’s grandmother that still somehow managed to make me look a little more Mediterranean than you’d expect, but then I’m sure the 80 year Spanish War raging in our country some centuries ago left a sizeable mark in our collective DNA.
(For the record, Dutch isn’t the same as Deutsch. The Dutch are from the Netherlands, the Deutsch are Germans, as in from Germany. - stating this without smugness as it is genuinely easy to mix up.)
And in the US, the Pennsylvania Dutch are (largely) Amish who are Deutsch descendants – many of whom still speak a form of Plattdeutsch, which isn’t entirely dissimilar to Dutch. Added just to throw another wrench into the works.
As for me, I self-identify as white, with mostly German ancestry, if anyone asks specifically. I don’t look like anything else, either.
I am from Canada and I am white with freckles and rosy cheeks. People say I look Irish, and indeed, my last name is of Irish origin.
My paternal grandmother’s maiden name was French, my maternal grandmother’s last name appears to be Scottish after a quick Googling, and my mother’s maiden name is Nearing, which seems to have a different origin on every webpage I read. (Incidentally, that link I pasted is all about my home, Cape Breton.)
I just say I’m Canadian and that my name is Irish.
Your average person looking at me would call me white. I’m of Scottish, German, English, Korean, and Bohemian descent. I usually identify as Canadian, and I list the main components if pressed to do so.
Australian here - if you go far back enough, I have origins in all manner of European countries. Mostly French, Irish, and English, I think… maybe. In other words, I’m pretty white.
As an aside, I’m betting that there will be a disproportionately large amount of non-Americans and non-whites responding to this thread, since being in the largest catagory is less likely to contribute an interesting contribution in and of itself. I’m not getting at anything here - I’m just saying that responses might be a little skewed.
I guess I just consider myself American with British (Scottish, Irish, English) ancestry. My ancestors took the long road to America, though, coming by way of Australia, where my parents were born and raised.
So long as you stay in Scotland, you guys are okay. It’s when you leave, and discover that a little extra Scottishness (kilt, Rabbie Burns poetry sessions, John Logie Baird stories) goes a long way that the problems start.
I notice that you made no mention of the John Logie Baird stories, which can be disseminated by email these days. It’s not just the story (Scottish…genius…cold winters…modest), it’s the knowledge that there’s going to be an aftermath (best education system…best legal system…did I mention?..best engineers…Macadam…Macadder