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Thread: Scandinavians and the "Germanic" Nomenclature

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    Senior Member Sybren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrioten View Post
    The word for Germanic in Swedish, Germansk, I would guess has a racist/nazi ring to it to most Swedes (those who first of all know or think that they know what it means), it's not a word that many people use except for maybe occationally in discussions about languages in differentiating between Germanic and Slavic languages etc. I've only heard it being used a few times outside of history classes where Hitler and the Third Reich were discussed.
    It's the same around here.

    Dutch 'Germaans' and Frisian 'Germaansk' are definitely "filthy" words here. When you say them, shame on you for bringing up the issue of superiority of certain races (:S).

    Indeed in certain linguistical context, you can get away with using this awful evil word.


    Also, the understanding is that Germanic tribes used to live here. All of a sudden they just vanished Never mind that there is practically no ancestry of non-Germanics around here, the Germanics are still mystical tribes of the past and we somehow appeared from thin air
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dagna View Post
    Do Scandinavians look down on the term "Germanic"?
    There's very little understanding of the term 'Germanic (Germansk)' in Scandinavia. Most people just take it to mean 'White' or 'Aryan', and automatically associate it exclusively with Hitler, the Third Reich and 'racism'.

    As for Scandinavian Nationalists, who usually have a much better understanding of such terminology, most seem to prefer to see themselves as 'Northern/Nordic' and 'Scandinavian' before 'Germanic'.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Žoreišar View Post
    As for Scandinavian Nationalists, who usually have a much better understanding of such terminology, most seem to prefer to see themselves as 'Northern/Nordic' and 'Scandinavian' before 'Germanic'.
    I agree with that. Although my organization uses the word 'germansk' sometimes, most don't. We're simply first and foremost Scandinavians, or Nordic. The word Germanic isn't as important in comparsion it seems. But I've seen a few Scandinavian nationalists describe themselves as "North Germanic" on internet forums.

    I also think many Scandinavians feel a quite close bond to the Finns (not as close as with other Scandinavians), I don't think there's much general knowledge about the word Germanic and who is actually Germanic or not. We've been so close to the Finns in different ways throughout history so they're sort of a part of ''us'' as a people today, the Nordic people. I think Scandinavians in general might see it like that.

    I'm not so sure the ''typical'' Scandinavian feels a special bond to other Germanic people though. Are we even a part of Europe? Sometimes I wonder.

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    Senior Member Sigyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ylva View Post
    I agree with that. Although my organization uses the word 'germansk' sometimes, most don't. We're simply first and foremost Scandinavians, or Nordic.
    This is also how I see it. It's a clear political position, and it easily answers the question of "who's racially in and who's out". Most Swedish nationalists just view themselves as "Nordic" people.

    The word "Germanic" is much less common in Scandinavia, and mainly associated with linguistic studies or with history classes in school.

    I also think many Scandinavians feel a quite close bond to the Finns (not as close as with other Scandinavians), I don't think there's much general knowledge about the word Germanic and who is actually Germanic or not. We've been so close to the Finns in different ways throughout history so they're sort of a part of ''us'' as a people today, the Nordic people.
    Finnish people are counted as Nordic, but not as Scandinavian or Germanic or even Indo-European. However, most Swedes do feel a close bond to the Finns due to our closeness and long history together. Although they're much more distant than Danes or Norwegians, we definitely see them as a part of "Norden".

    There is a much clearer "us and them" feeling towards the others on the east side of the Baltic sea (such as Balts and Russians), mainly because we don't have this shared history that we've had with Finland.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sybren View Post
    Also, the understanding is that Germanic tribes used to live here. All of a sudden they just vanished Never mind that there is practically no ancestry of non-Germanics around here, the Germanics are still mystical tribes of the past and we somehow appeared from thin air
    Exactly, and here in the south of the Netherlands there's also the fact that we Germanics came to live here more recently after the Romans. People tend to put a lot more emphasis on the Roman part of our history, as if the Great Migrations never took place.

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    I don't know why the term Germanic should have any negative connotation in Scandinavia. Danes, Norwegians, and Swedes are quite clearly Germanic peoples. I would follow the simple historical and linguistic distinction of counting Germanic Scandinavians as North Germanic and Germans, Frisians, Dutch, English, etc. as West Germanic. This is a pretty straightforward and clear distinction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Žoreišar View Post
    There's very little understanding of the term 'Germanic (Germansk)' in Scandinavia. Most people just take it to mean 'White' or 'Aryan', and automatically associate it exclusively with Hitler, the Third Reich and 'racism'.
    If Im not right the term "German" is of Roman origin. I don't think the Romans were making distinctions among Germanic Tribes. And for sure I don't think they felt they were a "Superior Race".

    LOL in fact it was more like they felt they are inferior barbarians, without any form of civilization. And they were somewhat inferior to Rome in the area of technology.

    Same sort of issue when White Europeans arrived in America.

    Quote Originally Posted by Žoreišar View Post
    As for Scandinavian Nationalists, who usually have a much better understanding of such terminology, most seem to prefer to see themselves as 'Northern/Nordic' and 'Scandinavian' before 'Germanic'.
    That is probably more correct in as the fact that Nordics/Scandinavians are a sub ethnic group of a larger group of Germanic populations.

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    Senior Member Olavssųnn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ingvaeonic View Post
    I don't know why the term Germanic should have any negative connotation in Scandinavia.
    It's because those demonic NAZIS used the word...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ingvaeonic View Post
    Danes, Norwegians, and Swedes are quite clearly Germanic peoples.
    Yes, Scandinavians are clearly to be counted as Germanic. Our language is Germanic, and our ancient deities were largely the same as those worshipped by other Germanic peoples (Odhinn among the Norse, Woden among the Anglo-Saxons etc.) Genetically speaking, Scandinavians are closest to other Germanic-speaking nations.

    All this is true, but it doesn't change the fact that mainstream Scandinavians do not think of themselves as belonging to a Germanic meta-ethnicity. I think even that most of us would rather identify as Europeans than Germanics, although the national (and the Nordic) identity comes first. This is mainly due to the fact that the term "Germanic" is seldom used, while one often talk about Europe...

    I see myself as Norwegian-Scandinavian first, and then Germanic and European.
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    I learned about the term Germanic mostly from books, history articles, etc. Otherwise, in everyday life in the US people of Norwegian, Swedish or Danish ancestry identify as Scandinavian Americans. Germanic Americans, if used, is associated with Americans of German or Austrian descent. On the other hand, we Americans of Scandinavian descent feel closer to German Americans, Dutch Americans, Anglo-Americans than we do to non-Germanic Americans, even if we don't specifically call it that. So there is some sort of overall Germanic consciousness, but it doesn't really have a name.

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    The term "skandinavian" should not be used anymore. The folks should be called North Germanics, because this is what they are.

    I think that the epithet "North" is already distinction and honorification enough. They can be proud to be the northernmost of all Germanics.

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