What do you think about national identity?
National Identity is defined as “a sense of a nation as a cohesive whole, as represented by distinctive traditions, culture, and language.”
Which is interesting to me because if a sense of unity within a ‘nation’ is established by a distinctive language, tradition or culture, what then does that make the two dominant western nations, i.e. America and the UK?
The English language is a global language. This was a process begun, of course, by imperialism and invasion, not always seen a moral process. Nevertheless, it has resulted in a new dawn for culture and language. English is the predominant language of the Internet, because while webpages can be viewed in other languages, their addresses are in English. Computer codes are in English. A large number of countries around the world use English alongside their indigenous languages for administrative and governmental uses. English is often associated with economic affluence, education and prestige in many societies around the world. This could be because high end jobs require a knowledge of the English language, in this modern, advanced technological, interconnected world.
The result of globalisation, of course, is the globalisation of English, and with it the Western culture. ‘McDonaldisation’, ‘coca-colonisation’, and ‘Disneyisation’ are just a few terms thrown out there by sociolinguists who claim this creation of a monoculture has resulted in the killing (linguicide) of other languages, and cultures.
I personally think that it is a grave misconception to assume the western culture is the globalised culture, because while that may be predominantly true, indigenous cultures will always exist, alone or alongside the global monoculture. There are also thousands, even millions of cultures and civilisations around the world which remain untouched by the modern online community. That is a beautiful thought, to know that in some places, beauty and nature coincide to create wondrous populations of life and tradition that we know nothing about and have never heard of but can be related to through sheer humanity.
So what do you think? Is this true? Does this also mean that traditional cultures in the UK and US are also being killed, replaced by the globalised idea that western culture is multicultural cuisine (e.g. falafel, curries), universal fashion and a nomenclature of ideals which co-exist?
What do you think about national identity? Do you think your country has a distinct national identity, or is it so intermixed with the global monoculture that you feel as though your nationality is not much different from much of the world today? Or, alternatively (or , do you think the world is a diverse place and there is so much more out there?