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Thread: Should Mixed Tribal or Ethnic Identity Be Avoided?

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    Should Mixed Tribal or Ethnic Identity Be Avoided?

    When I roam on forums such as Skadi I sometimes people that have "double ethnicites". Ie someone puts two nationalities or two meta-ethnicities on their profile. An example I see of this is "Celto-Germanic". Now I don't really understand how someone can be both Celtic and Germanic. Of course, a people can maybe be Celto-Germanic, such as the Scots. And if a Scottish person has no idea where his ancestors came from and he lives a life with both Germanic and Celtic traditions then I think it can be acceptable, but that's an exception.

    If you're from Bavaria or England and have some remote Celtic ancestor that won't make you both Celtic and Germanic. An English person with an Irish grandparent isn't really Celtic if he's lived all his life in England. It's not wrong to recognize your ancestry but ancestry is not the same as ethnicity. As you can see I have Norwegian and Swedish as ancestry but my ethnicity is only Swedish.

    I'm just against double-loyalties, I think a person should not make things complicated and know ones major identity. But that's a problem we get when we have mass-migration, it ruins people's identities

    A reason for this mixing could also e because the media tells people that their own ethnicity is bad, and thus people search for some other identity which the media doesn't say is any wrong.

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    I think it depends a lot on the meaning a person gives to his own heritage, in addition to (as you say) how he was raised and his sense of affinity or "loyalty."

    My mother was born in Bavaria, my dad's parents were born in the Ukraine (Galicia, actually: part of the Austro-Hungarian empire at the time). I was raised celebrating Christmas twice, so that I would be exposed to traditions from both sides of the family. When I was a kid, I learned how to make Pysanki, and I had a cute child-sized pair of Lederhosen.

    And even now, I am fascinated by both cultures, and I wish I knew more about my heritage on both sides.

    Does it make sense for me to have to "pick one"? If I had a much stronger emotional affinity for one than the other, then maybe. I think I do have a slightly stronger affinity for my German roots. But I'm interested in both.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Méldmir View Post
    It's not wrong to recognize your ancestry but ancestry is not the same as ethnicity.
    People are indeed poorly educated as to the difference between ethnicity and ancestry (another manifestation of this is when they simply substitute ethnicity for ancestry, e.g. saying 'German', when they're in fact American - a particularly common example on Skadi).

    Ethnicity is everything we generally assume about race and culture as well as identifying with a certain group, which, in turn, identifies you as one of them. From my point of view it's only in the most exceptional cases possible not to identify with one particular ethnicity, and never correct to claim mixed ethnicity, because not fully belonging to either of two groups does not mean it's more accurate to say you belong to both.

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    I know it can be somewhat problematic for Americans, but if an American has ancestry from multiple nationalities and they are all equally strong, I think she can identify as "American". If she is concerned she will be lumped together with various other races that also claim to the Ameican ethnicity, she can put "Germanic American", "North European American" or just simply "White American".


    I think this kind of mixed-ethnicity is less common on Skadi than on other forums. Here people join because they belong to a certain Germanic ethnicity, but I see it more often on other forums.

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    I personally wouldn't like to be labeled as "American" because then I could be considered to be of any random ancestry. At least saying Celtogermanic gives people an idea of what part of Europe my ancestors came from.

    Genetically I consider myself Celtogermanic, but culturally I guess I would be Western American.

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    Stormraaf says:

    [It is] never correct to claim mixed ethnicity, because not fully belonging to either of two groups does not mean it's more accurate to say you belong to both.
    Then what WOULD be more accurate? Take my case, for example, as I described it in my previous post. I feel a strong affinity for both my father's (Ukrainian/Galician) and mother's (Bavarian) sides of the family, and was brought up with strong exposure to both in terms of traditions and culture.

    I could follow Meldmir's suggestion, and call myself "European American"... but isn't that exactly the kind of "double-loyalty" that the original poster was arguing against?

    So if, to take my own example, claiming mixed ethnicity is not accurate... what WOULD be accurate for me to say, in describing my ethnicity?

    (BTW, since I know tone doesn't convey well on the internet: I'm honestly not being combative; I'm openly curious)

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregStevens View Post
    Stormraaf says:



    Then what WOULD be more accurate? Take my case, for example, as I described it in my previous post. I feel a strong affinity for both my father's (Ukrainian/Galician) and mother's (Bavarian) sides of the family, and was brought up with strong exposure to both in terms of traditions and culture.

    I could follow Meldmir's suggestion, and call myself "European American"... but isn't that exactly the kind of "double-loyalty" that the original poster was arguing against?

    So if, to take my own example, claiming mixed ethnicity is not accurate... what WOULD be accurate for me to say, in describing my ethnicity?

    (BTW, since I know tone doesn't convey well on the internet: I'm honestly not being combative; I'm openly curious)

    By European-American I meant "American of Eurioean ancestry". This person is thus American, but a type of American that is of European descent. This means that this person (in better times maybe) should choose to join the US Army etc, and be loyal to that. Of course in these times few ethnically aware European-Americans understandbly do not want to do that and feel no loyalty to the state. The Americans have lost their own ethnicity in the last decades in various ways. I'm not telling you to choose sides here, but if you lived your whole life in a community of European-descendants thant that term will not be wrong, at the same time as your ancestry is what you said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregStevens View Post
    I feel a strong affinity for both my father's (Ukrainian/Galician) and mother's (Bavarian) sides of the family, and was brought up with strong exposure to both in terms of traditions and culture.
    Affinity and exposure to (f.ex.) German culture does not make up for what's lacking if you cannot introduce yourself in Germany as a fellow German without doubt or disagreement, and this is irrespective of whether your ancestry hails from one region or a multitude.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregStevens View Post
    So if, to take my own example, claiming mixed ethnicity is not accurate... what WOULD be accurate for me to say, in describing my ethnicity?
    If you grew up speaking English (with your contemporaries), it's a fair indicator that you've been assimilated into the white, English-speaking American population, which I know as Anglo-American or simply American. The same would have been the case for first-generation English speakers of purely German or Scandinavian descent, as it would have similarly meant they've been swallowed by the dominant English culture of the region.

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    It's because most of us have no race today. A race involves a trinity: a community (which we are a part of), culture, and genetics.

    People mistake ancestory with race or ethnicity. You can only be part of one group, one culture at a time. You may not be an ideal, average or normal form of that race, but you are that particular race.

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    I think people are naturally attracted to members of their own ethnic group anyway.

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