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Thread: Celebrating Germanic Heritage in the U.S.

  1. #21
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    Being that they are Americans of Norwegian descent, they have every right to fly both the American and Norwegian flag. These people have ethnic, cultural, political and historical ties to both. Their ancestors, for whatever reason, wanted to raise their children in America yet also wanted them to be proud of their Norwegian heritage. They are part of America and Norway in many senses. Those who I conversed with felt this way, and contrary to what you think, the lot of them have a strong identity and shared love for both America and Norway. It seems they're doing a fine job of preserving who they are.

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    Senior Member SwordOfTheVistula's Avatar
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    Yeah, it's like being both English and British, it is not uncommon to see both British and English flags on display at the same time. One is race/ethnicity, the other is the place you live.
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    Funding Member Schmetterling's Avatar
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    I disagree. If you are waving the British flag you are not an English preservationist. Britain is an artificial construct, not a real nation and it includes non-English people like the Northern Irish, Welsh and Scottish. Britain is not only detrimental to their heritage but also to yours as an Englishman. An English preservationist flies only the English flag.

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    Senior Member Soten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nachthimmel View Post
    Why should we keep it positive if some examples are not valid examples of true preservation? If someone is making a wrong point in a thread, it isn't against any rule to correct it. In my opinion, flying the flags of two countries speaks against preservation of one's heritage. If you are Norwegian, you are only patriotic/loyal to Norway.
    For being such a hardcore preservationist I am surprised that you didn't jump out of your mother's womb and cling to German soil.

    Come on, you have to understand some of the complexity of the American situation. I, for one, would rather have a homogenous USA with only "Americans"...that is Celtogermanic Americans who bear allegiance to America. However, multiculturalism has presented a complex situation, we can't just be Americans anymore (supposedly). These people are trying to deal with this fact as best they can. So they say they are Americans by citizenship but wish to keep some sort of preservation to separate themselves from the masses of Blacks, Latinos, etc. You can't simply say you're American without some long drawn out explanation/debate anymore. So I'm happy if the "Norwegian-Americans" are trying to preserve their heritage. They do know some things about being Norwegian, maybe not all but better than "nothing" (ie. white, plain, boring, the norm, cultureless).

    There may be more to be explained there but...eh, that's what I'll offer for now.

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    Funding Member Schmetterling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soten View Post
    For being such a hardcore preservationist I am surprised that you didn't jump out of your mother's womb and cling to German soil.

    Come on, you have to understand some of the complexity of the American situation. I, for one, would rather have a homogenous USA with only "Americans"...that is Celtogermanic Americans who bear allegiance to America. However, multiculturalism has presented a complex situation, we can't just be Americans anymore (supposedly). These people are trying to deal with this fact as best they can. So they say they are Americans by citizenship but wish to keep some sort of preservation to separate themselves from the masses of Blacks, Latinos, etc. You can't simply say you're American without some long drawn out explanation/debate anymore. So I'm happy if the "Norwegian-Americans" are trying to preserve their heritage. They do know some things about being Norwegian, maybe not all but better than "nothing" (ie. white, plain, boring, the norm, cultureless).

    There may be more to be explained there but...eh, that's what I'll offer for now.
    First of all, I never claimed to be a hardcore preservationist. Pointing out things as they are doesn't mean I claim I am superior or any such thing. I am simply acknowledging a sad thing. Preservation is preservation, it is not halfway achieved. As someone said here before, you can't be halfway dead. You are either dead, or you aren't. Second of all, I didn't say preservation has necessarily to do with soil. If a Norwegian can preserve his culture and language well somewhere other than Norway, he continues to be Norwegian, no matter where he is. However, few Americans manage to do this. The USA is an integrating society. I plan to move to Germany permanently because I want to preserve my German heritage and it can't be done properly in the USA. As for saying you're American without debate... do you think in Europe there aren't people who claim to be German, when they're actually Turkish, Kurdish or Jewish? An American is an American, if by default it means a white person, then it is a white person and there's no reason to stop using it/stop being American through and through just because some Blacks/Mexicans disagree. And yes, they're trying to preserve their heritage, good for them, it's surely better than nothing but the fact is, they are not really preserving it. Turn it and twist it however you want, that's how things are.

    And by the way, when I "jumped out of my mother's womb" ("nice" way to put it) it was on German soil indeed. I'm German born and my parents are German.

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    Senior Member Soten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nachthimmel View Post
    First of all, I never claimed to be a hardcore preservationist. Pointing out things as they are doesn't mean I claim I am superior or any such thing. I am simply acknowledging a sad thing. Preservation is preservation, it is not halfway achieved. As someone said here before, you can't be halfway dead. You are either dead, or you aren't. Second of all, I didn't say preservation has necessarily to do with soil. If a Norwegian can preserve his culture and language well somewhere other than Norway, he continues to be Norwegian, no matter where he is. However, few Americans manage to do this. The USA is an integrating society. I plan to move to Germany permanently because I want to preserve my German heritage and it can't be done properly in the USA. As for saying you're American without debate... do you think in Europe there aren't people who claim to be German, when they're actually Turkish, Kurdish or Jewish? An American is an American, if by default it means a white person, then it is a white person and there's no reason to stop using it/stop being American through and through just because some Blacks/Mexicans disagree. And yes, they're trying to preserve their heritage, good for them, it's surely better than nothing but the fact is, they are not really preserving it. Turn it and twist it however you want, that's how things are.

    And by the way, when I "jumped out of my mother's womb" ("nice" way to put it) it was on German soil indeed. I'm German born and my parents are German.
    Haha, I know you were born in Germany.

    OK, I'm gonna play devil's advocate...sorry for the broken hearts in advance.

    The Germans of today are not ethnically the same as the Germans of the Roman times or of 1100 or of 1400 or of 1500 or of 1600. Why you ask? What is it that they have preserved? Everything has changed. Many things have changed dramatically so. Others only in little ways. But even those little ways are like horrendous blemishes on our once pure German heritage! "Preservation is not halfway achieved." Hear, hear! And by God nor is it a fourthway achieved nor an eighthway achieved.

    Blood does not account for all of our heritage and neither does soil. Culture must also be accounted for. Without preserving the culture as well we have preserved nothing. We are like the dead. Fully dead. No zombies walk this earth. Why did they (the Germans of yesteryear) change then? Surely, the German culture has changed...and is changing. The "Germans" of today are miles away from their German forebearers.

    I think, in all seriousness, that ethnicity is a slippery idea. Does that mean we should reject it? No. But all of these endless debates over "colonials" and Europeans are fueled by very rigid stagnant definitions of ethnicity that cannot be applied to an ever-changing world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soten View Post
    Haha, I know you were born in Germany.

    OK, I'm gonna play devil's advocate...sorry for the broken hearts in advance.

    The Germans of today are not ethnically the same as the Germans of the Roman times or of 1100 or of 1400 or of 1500 or of 1600. Why you ask? What is it that they have preserved? Everything has changed. Many things have changed dramatically so. Others only in little ways. But even those little ways are like horrendous blemishes on our once pure German heritage! "Preservation is not halfway achieved." Hear, hear! And by God nor is it a fourthway achieved nor an eighthway achieved.

    Blood does not account for all of our heritage and neither does soil. Culture must also be accounted for. Without preserving the culture as well we have preserved nothing. We are like the dead. Fully dead. No zombies walk this earth. Why did they (the Germans of yesteryear) change then? Surely, the German culture has changed...and is changing. The "Germans" of today are miles away from their German forebearers.

    I think, in all seriousness, that ethnicity is a slippery idea. Does that mean we should reject it? No. But all of these endless debates over "colonials" and Europeans are fueled by very rigid stagnant definitions of ethnicity that cannot be applied to an ever-changing world.
    Ethnicity is defined as it is currently. Norwegian-American is not an ethnicity. Norwegian is. If someone claims to preserve Norwegian ethnicity, then they should be preserving what Norwegian ethnicity is, not what it might become.

    And sorry, I know you're trying to break my heart, but it just doesn't happen.

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    "New Glarus, named after the Canton of Glarus of Switzerland, is a little village in the state of Wisconsin.

    The Swiss immigrants who helped build the town in 1845 hailed from Glarus, Switzerland. In the early 1840s, after several years of failed crops and as food became scarce, much of Glarus, Switzerland found itself plunged deep into poverty. Having more workers than available jobs, the government of Glarus saw immigration to America as a possible solution. Authorities established the Glarus Emigration Society in 1844, which offered loans to help its residents purchase land in the New World. All other expenses associated with the voyage to America were to be paid by the emigrants themselves. Men were offered 20 acres rent free for ten years, after which they could own the land for a mere ten shillings per acre. Given the failed economic climate in Switzerland, 193 volunteered and decided to leave their homeland and start anew in America.

    New Glarus has maintained much of its Swiss heritage and many old world traditions. More than 160 years after it was founded, Swiss-style chalets and flower boxes filled with red geraniums still grace the streets of New Glarus. Swiss flags also fly proudly next to the American flag at many businesses and homes in New Glarus. Old World meat markets, restaurants, and an authentic Swiss bakery can also be found in downtown New Glarus. Locals dine on Spaetzle, Braetzli, Landjaeger, and more. There is, too, folk art, museums, and Swiss-style shops. Many Swiss customs are still alive in New Glarus, too. Among those are the card game Yass, yodeling, and flag tossing.

    The people of New Glarus, Wisconsin also practice a 70 year tradition called the Wilhelm Tell Festival in which they tell the story of Wilhelm Tell, the Swiss legend who shot an apple from his son's head, and saved Switzerland from Hermann Gessler. Wilhelm Tell and his son are the symbol of New Glarus.

    New Glarus was chosen as the future home of the Swiss Center of North America, a cultural center dedicated to the preservation and celebration of the Swiss culture in the North American continent. New Glarus was ultimately chosen because it is centrally located and the large concentration of Swiss Americans living in the vicinity. It is America's Little Switzerland."
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  9. #29
    Senior Member Soten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nachthimmel View Post
    Norwegian is. If someone claims to preserve Norwegian ethnicity, then they should be preserving what Norwegian ethnicity is
    Devil's Advocate mode:

    I know. Maybe there are no real Norwegians anymore. Norwegians today clearly haven't preserved their cultural heritage from the Viking Age . I'm saying "Norwegians" are completely different from their true Norwegian ancestors. I haven't heard of any Viking raids in a good thousand years. So Norwegians should not lay claim to a past that is not really theirs. All of the habits that one exhibits as of this instant should be held in place for eternity. "Norwegians" of today should only look to the past couple of weeks for a real cultural history lesson. Otherwise, they might be like me laying claim to a German heritage that I am so distant from. Sob .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soten View Post
    Devil's Advocate mode:

    I know. Maybe there are no real Norwegians anymore. Norwegians today clearly haven't preserved their cultural heritage from the Viking Age . I'm saying "Norwegians" are completely different from their true Norwegian ancestors. I haven't heard of any Viking raids in a good thousand years. So Norwegians should not lay claim to a past that is not really theirs. All of the habits that one exhibits as of this instant should be held in place for eternity. "Norwegians" of today should only look to the past couple of weeks for a real cultural history lesson. Otherwise, they might be like me laying claim to a German heritage that I am so distant from. Sob .
    Norwegians =/= Early Norse.

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