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  #11  
Old 11-10-2012, 04:25 PM
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It drives me crazy when people tell me they are German when they were born on the States, don't speak German, have never been (well, or lived) there and just label themselves German instead of American. My family originally comes from France. I don't consider myself French, I'm German (was born and raised there).

Not sure if it's just me, but I meet a lot of people who will say "I'm 20% British, 10% French, 25% Russian" ... Etc.
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  #12  
Old 11-10-2012, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milos_mommy View Post
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?
So wait. Let me get this straight, I'm not South African because white people don't come from here? Or am I understanding you incorrectly?
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  #13  
Old 11-10-2012, 04:38 PM
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I dunno, I mean my family immigrated to the U.S. six generations ago and literally did the whole trudging through the forested swamps of the area and cleared an area and built a town there. My brother now lives in the house that my great-great-great-great grandfather and his wife built after helping to found the town.

And my family would still consider themselves Germanic. Not German per se...there's no mistaking that...but our traditions and cultural heritage and that of the area where I grew up is very Germanic. Low country Germanic, to be specific. I don't speak low German nor do my parents, but my grandparents and most of their local generation still do. During WWII, speaking any form of German was frowned upon so there is a sudden and rather distinct linguistic generational gap.
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  #14  
Old 11-10-2012, 04:40 PM
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I'll say that I'm Greek, French, etc. even though I have never been to those places. But my ancestors are from there.

I would not say "I am from Greece" or "I am from France".

Fran - as far as having step/adopted family, I'll say "my family is from Ireland" or "my family is from Italy", the cultures and languages are really relevant to my life and upbringing, but I don't say "I'm Irish" or "I'm Italian" because I'm not.
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  #15  
Old 11-10-2012, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by puppydog View Post
So wait. Let me get this straight, I'm not South African because white people don't come from here? Or am I understanding you incorrectly?
Do you live or were you born in South Africa? Then you're South African. But, I'm assuming your parents/grandparents/some ancestors relocated TO South Africa from somewhere else.

In that case, let's say, for example, your ancestors, however far down the line, moved to South Africa from England. They, of English descent, gave birth to your parents, also of English descent. Then, your parents move to another country, say, France.

In that case, you wouldn't claim to be South American, because you would not have been born there, ever have lived there, or had any ancestors who were, by ethnicity, South American.


ETA: my complaint is a friend I have, who has never been to Australia, who was not born in Australia, and who's ancestors are in no way ethnically Australian, is claiming "I am australian" because his grandfather's family lived there at one point.
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  #16  
Old 11-10-2012, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milos_mommy View Post
Do you live or were you born in South Africa? Then you're South African. But, I'm assuming your parents/grandparents/some ancestors relocated TO South Africa from somewhere else.

In that case, let's say, for example, your ancestors, however far down the line, moved to South Africa from England. They, of English descent, gave birth to your parents, also of English descent. Then, your parents move to another country, say, France.

In that case, you wouldn't claim to be South American, because you would not have been born there, ever have lived there, or had any ancestors who were, by ethnicity, South American.


ETA: my complaint is a friend I have, who has never been to Australia, who was not born in Australia, and who's ancestors are in no way ethnically Australian, is claiming "I am australian" because his grandfather's family lived there at one point.
Ok. Yes. I get you. And yes, it drives me nuts too. I'm South African, not English, Irish or French.
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  #17  
Old 11-10-2012, 05:12 PM
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I'm so confused LOL. I'm not sure what the correct term is for everything either, so it doesn't help. I consider myself 50% French and 50% Belgian, even though I've never lived in Belgium (I've visited a lot), and I've lived in the US 1/3 of my life (man. It feels so odd when I think about it this way). That's where my parents are from. But if you ask my nationality, I'm French. In 2 years, I'll be French/American (I'm taking the citizenship test next year). But that doesn't have anything to do with my heritage/ethnicity or whatever you want to call it.

I think it just really depends on the context.
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  #18  
Old 11-10-2012, 05:21 PM
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Yeah, I guess technically I'm American of French/Greek/Iroquois/Czech/Irish/English background....but when talking about ethnicity, I do say "I'm French/Greek/Iroquois/Czech/Irish/English". I doubt I'd say that in another country, though. Americans just like to brag about what mutts they are, apparently to the point of throwing in every country anyone related to you has ever even lived in...
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  #19  
Old 11-10-2012, 05:24 PM
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It seems to get really sticky where the name of a cultural group is also the name of a country that you can be born in and have the same label put on you by virtue of citizenship.

Greeks are a good example of this. They're a people with a pretty old culture, and they still have a county. Someone can be ethnically Greek without being born there, and someone can be born there and still be Greek when they're a different ethnicity.

It's clearer when it's an ethnicity that doesn't have its own nation. Like Basques. There was a Basque family next door to us growing up. They spoke Basque and their dad lived in the mountains working as a shepherd. The parents were from Europe, but the mom wasn't even sure if she was technically born in France or Spain. In that case someone could be born in France or Spain and be French or Spanish, but they wouldn't be Basque because that is a separate ethnic group. If they had their own country that'd be a bit different though.

Jewish is another one with funky definitions. It's a religion, but also an ethnicity. I have Jewish ancestors and will identify as being part Jewish even though I don't subscribe to the Judaism as a religion. A lot of my friends identify as Jewish even though they're, in practice, agnostic or even atheist.
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  #20  
Old 11-10-2012, 05:30 PM
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Yeah, my ex was Jewish and identified as Russian Jewish, and one time I said something about how he was a perfect example of a stereotypical Jew...our friend was like "he's not even Jewish really..." and I was like "uhh what?"

Our friend said "ethnically maybe, but not religiously." I was like "yeah that's why we just finished fasting for Yom Kippur???" But we do have other friends who practice Judaism who aren't ethnically Jewish at all, grew up in whatever Irish/Italian catholic families, converted at a later age, and now call themselves "Jewish" which I'm sure some people question because they certainly don't look like they're ethnically from any country where Judaism is prominent.
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