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Old 11-10-2012, 12:47 PM
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Default Question about heritage/ethnicity

These, are, to me, pretty different.

A friend's boyfriend today told me he's Australian. I said "Like Aboriginal?" and he said "no, my great grandfather and his family lived in Sydney, I don't know how they got there." I said "that doesn't make you Australian!"

He said it does, and even if he moved to another country to have children, they would still be American because that's where he, his parents, and grandparents were born.

I would not consider my children American, in that case. Yes, America is part of their heritage, but THEY aren't American. Like my ex's family moved from Russia to Canada, and then to America. He considered himself Russian, not Russian-Canadian! If friend's bf was born in Australia, maybe I could see that calling himself Australian, but he wasn't.

So, if your ancestors, born of a certain ethnicity, moved to X country, and then somewhere new, would you consider X as part of your heritage or ethnicity?
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:54 PM
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My grandpa was Piikani Blackfoot. He was born in New Brunswick and a bunch of our cousins live on the reserve in Alberta. But I've never considered myself Canadian or thought of it was being part of my ethnicity even though my ancestors were aboriginal Canadian. Just Blackfoot.

It's funny though, because my other grandpa is Greek and we identify, culturally, really heavily with that family. There's a ton of clan pride and everything, and most of us consider ourselves "Greek" even if we've never been there. I think a big part of that is the clan thing though. We have cousins in Greece and are a pretty close knit bunch for being halfway around the world from each other.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:59 PM
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Yes, but you ARE Greek and Blackfoot. Lol. Lets say your grandparents, who were Greek, moved to France for a while before moving to America.

Would you say you're "Blackfoot, Greek, and French"? Or still just Blackfoot and Greek?
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:03 PM
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I'm not sure what you mean by to you they are different, as they are different by definition.

The place where you were born, be it Canada, the US, Australia, whatever.. Determines your heritage. For example, I'm Canadian.

Your ethnicity has to do more with your culture and language. For example, my mom is French Canadian.

Your heritage has to do with where your ancestors are from. For example, I have ancestors from Ireland and Scotland mainly.
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:04 PM
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Both of my parents were born in Guyana, South America. My dad moved directly from Guyana to Canada and my mom moved from Guyana to England, where she lived for a few years then immigrated to Canada.

My parents are Guyanese. I was born in Canada and consider myself Canadian of Guyanese descent, not Guyanese as I wasn't born in Guyana. Now in everyday conversation, people will ask what my background is and I say that my parents are Guyanese but I was born in Canada. If I'm in another country (like the US) and people ask I say that I'm Canadian.

I don't consider my mom as being British since she lived in England and I don't consider it part of my heritage or ethnicity.
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JessLough View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by to you they are different, as they are different by definition.
I mean I don't use them interchangeably, which apparently most of my FB friends do...

So if your heritage is "where your ancestors are from" is it your ancestor's ethnicity (which I consider to be not only about culture but also about genetics), or is it acceptable to consider any place your ancestors lived your heritage?

When speaking about heritage, I'd say something like "I am from" or "my family came from" or "my ancestors lived XYZ". I would not say "I am ____" because to me, that implies ethnicity.
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:15 PM
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Well, my family is not native to Texas but my family has lived there for many generations. They were one of the first European people to settle there and have lived there while TX was part of Mexico and while it was it's own country.

It's obviously not an ethnicity or anything like that. But the people that have moved away still keep a lot of the Texan culture as far as cuisine and traditions and things like that go.

Anyways, that's a small example compared to different nationalities, but I think if a family moves and stays in one place for generations then it can become part of your family 'heritage'.
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JessLough View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by to you they are different, as they are different by definition.

The place where you were born, be it Canada, the US, Australia, whatever.. Determines your heritage. For example, I'm Canadian.

Your ethnicity has to do more with your culture and language. For example, my mom is French Canadian.

Your heritage has to do with where your ancestors are from. For example, I have ancestors from Ireland and Scotland mainly.


I agree with that. Having lived in Europe I realize that although I have french reletives, German relatives and other European relatives, I am American. I am of German and French decent, but I am all American. The cultures you are raised in really affect who you are.
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:00 PM
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I'd say ethnicity follows genetic heritage; nationality or sometimes even culture where you grew up or were born?
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renee750il View Post
I'd say ethnicity follows genetic heritage; nationality or sometimes even culture where you grew up or were born?
This.

For me, ethnicity is more of an ancestor "mother-land" kind of thing. Nationality and culture is where you are from.

Example: My little cousin is adopted from the Philippines. That is her ethnicity. but her nationality and culture are both American (it's where her family lives, where she grew up, etc..etc..)

Hell, some of my little adopted cousins even consider Haiti to be a part of their nationality/culture..since that's our ethnicity lol I think it works.
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