Mansi asks: what is patriotism?

November 4, 2010

indian flag2 Mansi asks: what is patriotism?Is it cheering your national team at international competitions? Waving the flag with unbridled enthusiasm in a cheering contest or outside your house? Chanting your country’s name (U-S-A or Mera Bhaarat Mahaan)? Is it bursting firecrackers to celebrate your Independence Day? Saluting your flag everywhere you see it? Standing up each time your national anthem is played?

Or actually doing something meaningful to help your country regardless of where you are?

I’ve always wondered why we get so attached to our moterland or fatherland … isn’t it just by accident of birth that we become Indians or Americans, Britishers or French, Chileans or Japanese?

We take that sentiment of “belonging” no matter where we go in the world. But does that sense of belonging translate into a sense of pride and, from there, become an overwhelming feeling of obligation — a need to give back, to help, to contribute?

Or is just painting your face in your flag colors enough to show your patriotism? Is patriotism just a symbolic thing or does it run deeper?

Does giving up your birth-country’s citizenship mean you’re not (or less) patriotic? Does not agreeing with where your country is heading or what the leaders are doing constitute treason?

I heard about an American guy yesterday who left the United States because he got tired of the “zingoism” in the country — he’s now settled in Bangkok. Is he not patriotic anymore?

What does patriotism mean, anyway? Is it subective or more of a standard-definition item in your inherited value system?

So, my dear readers, what is your understanding of this term?

Mansi asks: what is patriotism?

Come, share your insights…

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2 Responses to Mansi asks: what is patriotism?

  1. Varun KumarNo Gravatar on November 9, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    When you are born in a Country, you would be using the resources provided by the Country’s economic system, you would be nurturing your personal in the Country’s value and cultural system and overall you would become the person you are by using the resources provided to you by your country – Economic, Social, Cultural, Political. This should create a sense of gratefulness and it might create a love for all of it (provided you like the systems) and combination of the two is patriotism I reckon. The love, pride comes when you look around the world, at other nations, cultures and realize that your nation’s systems are better than the others.

    To your questions: It should become an overwhelming feeling to give back and to contribute. It should but its not quite strong in most people as we know, people are in general selfish and constrained and think about themselves.

    Humanism is a bigger ideal and I think if one doesnt favor the basic structure of one’s country’s political, economic and social system, renouncing citizenship doesnt make him less patriotic. Of course criticizing the policies being pursued and leader’s attitude doesnt mean one is less patriotic.

    Nationalism is a noble feeling, though a tad lower than humanism. Nationalism is more of a by-product of an identity of a shared group and ane exclusive claim on resources (thats why one needs permission through a Work Permit to avail benefits of economic resources of another country).

    It also is a bed-rock of survival instinct — once an identity is ascertained as Indian/American etc, Patriotism is necessary to defend that shared identity against outside aggression. Its an emotional mobilizer, effective like religion as well.

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  2. See you on the other side | First Impressions on December 22, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    […] Mansi asks: What is Patriotism? — This was a hard one and I didn’t get many insights about what patriotism means to the average person. I’d be interested in your viewpoint … especially if you are a cricket fan! […]


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