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Author Topic: Ethnicity and the Church  (Read 22189 times) Average Rating: 0
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BrotherAidan
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« Reply #90 on: May 28, 2007, 11:39:47 PM »

Serb
read my post one or two ones back where I posit that although there are many regional uninquenesses, there is still something, ah, AMERICAN about America.

It's kind of like telling the funny story no one laughs at and you say, "well, you had to be there,"
There is SOMETHING about being American. You know it when you see it (and as I said above, the children of immigrants become Americans, not just naturalized citizens like their parents).

Just ask any Canadian. They can see it and can tell an American from a mile away, whether it be west or east coast, new englander, southerner, midwesterner, etc. And Canadians perceive themselves as being different than Americans (and it's not just because they sing O Canada rather then the Star Spangled Banner).
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« Reply #91 on: May 29, 2007, 09:45:16 AM »

Forgive me BrotherAidan, maybe its because i'm a thick-headed Serb, but I just don't see anything that's catching my attention. 

Let me see if I have your theory correctly, as this may be where my confusion lies. 

You are saying that even in regional areas such as the West Coast there is still something uniquely "American" about the people there, even though they are different than people in any other area of the country.  Is this correct? 

I agree with you.  There is something American about fresh off the boat immigrants too.  A sense of purpose, freedom and striving to be better.  Is this what America is?  I think that it is, but do people realize this is what it is? 

Ultimately my question to your theory is...so what?  It still doesn't answer the question of what is AMERICAN? 

I do like your semi-answer to this about how when you see it you will know it.  But I'm sorry to say, that just doesn't cut it for me...and I don't think it will for other people. 

Let me know where I went wrong my friend...
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« Reply #92 on: May 29, 2007, 09:53:42 AM »

Quite often those "lurkers" can be regular members who can't log on to join the conversation until much later.

Yes, there is that, too, Peter. and starting a new thread, if the conversation has taken a swerve has been done here many times so that people can still follow things.

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« Reply #93 on: May 29, 2007, 11:23:37 AM »

Serb
read my post one or two ones back where I posit that although there are many regional uninquenesses, there is still something, ah, AMERICAN about America.

It's kind of like telling the funny story no one laughs at and you say, "well, you had to be there,"
There is SOMETHING about being American. You know it when you see it (and as I said above, the children of immigrants become Americans, not just naturalized citizens like their parents).

Just ask any Canadian. They can see it and can tell an American from a mile away, whether it be west or east coast, new englander, southerner, midwesterner, etc. And Canadians perceive themselves as being different than Americans (and it's not just because they sing O Canada rather then the Star Spangled Banner).

I agree with you. Americans are pretty easy to spot when you travel abroad. I don't think it matters if one can describe what it is in words. There are churches now which are Orthodox but are not ethnic clubs so whether one can describe what those differences are or not it is happening as we speak and these parishes will continue to grow and multiply.
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« Reply #94 on: May 29, 2007, 11:31:31 AM »

Americans are pretty easy to spot when you travel abroad.
Perhaps to other Americans, but from my own life and travels, I've noticed that Australians in Australia, Greeks in Greece, Italians in Italy, Scots in Scotland, Nepalese in Nepal and the French in France cannot tell the difference between a Canadian and an American unless the Canadian speaks French. They just assume they are both American until they're told otherwise.
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« Reply #95 on: May 29, 2007, 11:45:20 AM »

Perhaps to other Americans, but from my own life and travels, I've noticed that Australians in Australia, Greeks in Greece, Italians in Italy, Scots in Scotland, Nepalese in Nepal and the French in France cannot tell the difference between a Canadian and an American unless the Canadian speaks French. They just assume they are both American until they're told otherwise.

Well, the Europeans I have met have told me that our haircuts, shoes, clothing and perpetual smiling give us away.  Wink
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« Reply #96 on: May 29, 2007, 11:49:41 AM »

Well, the Europeans I have met have told me that our haircuts, shoes, clothing and perpetual smiling give us away.  Wink
Are you saying Canadians are unfashionable and brooding? Wink
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« Reply #97 on: May 29, 2007, 11:53:29 AM »

Are you saying Canadians are unfashionable and brooding? Wink

No...but the Europeans were actually mocking our style and happy-go-lucky demeanor...hee, hee...these Europeans believed they were the styling ones with their designer clothing, cool haircuts and angst...LOL!
My nickname used to be Pollyanna with this group....hee, hee...

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« Reply #98 on: May 29, 2007, 01:12:27 PM »

I am proud to be American. I am proud to be Greek.  I am proud to be Russian.  I am proud to be Serbian.  I am not proud to be American. I not proud to be Greek etc.....  Sorry couldn't get Tucholsky's poem out of my mind.  Maybe it's just  to be who you are, warts and all.  I personally like the blend of cultures within Orthodox communities.  I don't think i would care for a Prussian-type Orthodoxy where you know what is expected according to defined rules.   Yeah I know it's anarchy I'm promoting.  But I like the mix of strange, pious and hospitable personalities.
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« Reply #99 on: May 29, 2007, 01:19:42 PM »

I am not "proud" at all to be Ukrainian, I just am Ukrainian. Smiley

I am not an American though, and I am not a Ukrainian-American or an American Ukrainian. I reside in the US, but that's about it....

My daughter says that she is a Martian. Smiley In Ukraine, everyone takes her as an American and she hates it. In the USA, everyone takes her as an American, too, and she hates it. In our family, we parents tend to assume that she is Ukrainian like us, and she hates it...  Huh
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« Reply #100 on: May 29, 2007, 01:44:33 PM »

I wouldn't say I am proud to be an American. I would say I am thankful to be one. Thankful there was a country my Syrian grandparents could escape to from the oppression of the Turks to live fruitful lives. Thankful there is a country where I have freedom to walk down the street without having to wear a hijab or niqab in order to survive.
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« Reply #101 on: May 29, 2007, 01:55:28 PM »

I wouldn't say I am proud to be an American. I would say I am thankful to be one. Thankful there was a country my Syrian grandparents could escape to from the oppression of the Turks to live fruitful lives. Thankful there is a country where I have freedom to walk down the street without having to wear a hijab or niqab in order to survive.


I should probably be thankful to America, too, because I could continue my career of a scientist here, while in the disintegrating USSR of the early 1990-s it became next to impossible, and it is impossible now... but then, it was not because of humanitarian or philantropic reasons that I was appointed postdoc here, and given my H-1 visa, and then green card... sorry, just cannot find any heroic-sentimental-whatever feelings in my soul. Have heard a lot, "why don't you just get out of here..."
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« Reply #102 on: May 29, 2007, 06:47:42 PM »

I should probably be thankful to America, too, because I could continue my career of a scientist here, while in the disintegrating USSR of the early 1990-s it became next to impossible, and it is impossible now... but then, it was not because of humanitarian or philantropic reasons that I was appointed postdoc here, and given my H-1 visa, and then green card... sorry, just cannot find any heroic-sentimental-whatever feelings in my soul. Have heard a lot, "why don't you just get out of here..."

You know...I have a lot of reasons to be mad at America.  they did blow my country to bits and almost destroyed my home city in Serbia. 

But you know what...instead of getting mad, which is easy, I try to be an actavist and create knowledge as opposed to ignorance. 

In the end, we do live here and we have to make the best of it.  The sooner we can take that responsability and make that decision (?) the sooner we can move on and create a better America...whatever our definition is...
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« Reply #103 on: May 29, 2007, 07:25:22 PM »

I'm thankful to be Canadian, since it could be worse...  I could be American.   Cheesy Tongue
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« Reply #104 on: May 29, 2007, 08:27:19 PM »

OH BUDDY.....  that's all i got for ya.   Tongue
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« Reply #105 on: May 29, 2007, 08:41:52 PM »

I'm thankful to be Canadian, since it could be worse...  I could be American.   Cheesy Tongue
Well, according to the OCA Liturgy Book, as a Canadian, you aren't American.  We commemorate our Metropolitan as "Metropolitan of all America and Canada"!
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« Reply #106 on: May 29, 2007, 08:44:35 PM »

OH BUDDY.....  that's all i got for ya.   Tongue

LOL!!!   Grin
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« Reply #107 on: May 29, 2007, 10:52:51 PM »

Perhaps to other Americans, but from my own life and travels, I've noticed that Australians in Australia, Greeks in Greece, Italians in Italy, Scots in Scotland, Nepalese in Nepal and the French in France cannot tell the difference between a Canadian and an American unless the Canadian speaks French. They just assume they are both American until they're told otherwise.

Ouch! (I say that for my Canadian friends who would be VERY disillusioned to hear that! Grin
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« Reply #108 on: May 29, 2007, 10:55:33 PM »


I do like your semi-answer to this about how when you see it you will know it.  But I'm sorry to say, that just doesn't cut it for me...and I don't think it will for other people. 

Let me know where I went wrong my friend...

I can't explain it so I will have to be very "post-modern" and say its just something I feel and sense.  Angry
Sorry!
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« Reply #109 on: May 29, 2007, 10:59:40 PM »

In Ukraine, everyone takes her as an American and she hates it. In the USA, everyone takes her as an American, too, and she hates it. In our family, we parents tend to assume that she is Ukrainian like us, and she hates it...  Huh

Sounds like a normal kid!  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #110 on: May 30, 2007, 12:28:16 AM »

I'm American by birth,and southern by the grace of God!
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« Reply #111 on: May 30, 2007, 12:37:28 AM »

I'm American by birth,and southern by the grace of God!

 Well said, OB!
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« Reply #112 on: May 30, 2007, 08:31:59 AM »

OB, I can do you one better than that.

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« Reply #113 on: May 30, 2007, 08:50:37 AM »

You know...I have a lot of reasons to be mad at America.  they did blow my country to bits and almost destroyed my home city in Serbia. 

But you know what...instead of getting mad, which is easy, I try to be an actavist and create knowledge as opposed to ignorance. 

In the end, we do live here and we have to make the best of it.  The sooner we can take that responsability and make that decision (?) the sooner we can move on and create a better America...whatever our definition is...

Yes, dear Serb, I agree... Actually, I am not really "mad" at America. At one point, I was just unpleasantly surprised by the reaction of some second and third generation Ukrainian immigrants who manifested something very close to hate toward me, when I did not display enough admiration of the USA, being, instead, critical and ironic. These people (or their parents or grandparents) came to the US as war-time refugees, and they quite literally owe their life to this country (or so they think). So, when the American anthem is played, they quite sincerely put their hands on their hearts and sing along, and they salute the American flag, etc. I, on the other hand, just cannot do that, I just honestly do not have the same genuine feelings towards the USA. My attitude to the USA is sort of practical and, maybe, even cynical.
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« Reply #114 on: May 30, 2007, 09:49:07 AM »

Then why live here if the U.S is so horrible???
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« Reply #115 on: May 30, 2007, 10:06:37 AM »

Some people have no where else to live. 

I think ultimately the problem is that we need to come up with solutions instead of dwelling on the problems. 

Anyone can stay mad and show their anger.  It takes a unique and courageous person to take that step forward, away from their past, and go towards a goal.  That goal might be retribution, but its a lot better than complacent anger...in my opinion. 

I have met so many Serbian people who are mad just to be mad.  This doesn't sit well with me.  So I tell them, if you're mad, go and do something about it.  Oh no...they can't do that.  You know why?  Because being mad is easy.  Doing something about it takes effort and making the place you're in a better place.  We would rather be lazy though...and mad... Wink

p.s.  Heorhij, I hope that you do not mistake any of this as directed towards you.  This is a general theory I outlined, with more specifics being directed towards my experiences with Serbs, than with anything else. 
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« Reply #116 on: May 30, 2007, 10:43:15 AM »

Then why live here if the U.S is so horrible???

My ancestors tried to leave at one point...along with the citizens of several other states. Your yankee government was not quite so fond of the idea and took it upon themselves to murder hundreds of thousands of these peace loving folk and destroy the livelihood of untold millions more. Then there was another group, the Native Population, you know the people who were here first, they never wanted to live in the US in the first place, not that they were given much choice in the matter.

It seems to me that the solution is to get rid of the Yankee government rather than to force those who live here out. The land's great, for the most part (or should I say in most regions) the people are great, it's the oppressive government that's taken it over that's the problem.

There's far too many problems with the history and societies of the interactions of the various american peoples and several sovereign states for this 'love it or leave it' mentality...many simply reject your assumption that somehow the Yankee government is entited to this land.
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« Reply #117 on: May 30, 2007, 10:51:17 AM »

OB, I can do you one better than that.


Better?  Ick.  Austin is probably the only place I could tolerate on a medium to long term basis. Tongue
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« Reply #118 on: May 30, 2007, 11:02:44 AM »


When the "State" or the "Nation" is treated as though it has a life of it's own separate to the people who actually comprise it, and that this "Nation-as separate-entity" is somehow infallible and pure, I start to get worried. And not simply because it is a reification fallacy to talk of the "Nation" as a separate entity to the population; but because the "nationalism" attached to it is nothing short of idolatry.
If we claim the title "Christian", it means we place nothing above Christ, and our values are His values, and one of the key values Christ taught us is: "Love thy neighbour". When Christians become nationalists in the worst sense of the word, they suddenly have an "excuse" not to love their neighbour. In the worst scenarios, this "Nation-as-separate-entity" becomes something which needs to be defended against the very people who comprise the nation, and we saw this with Soviet Socialism in the USSR as well as National Socialism in Germany and many other parts of Europe. Entire parts of the nation, millions of people, are expelled, tortured and killed in defence of this ideal of the Nation-as-separate-entity.
If our neighbour is in pain, if someone has been left behind by the system or has fallen through the cracks, or has been hurt by members of the nation, should our response as Christians be "why don't you go somewhere else then?"
I'm an Australian, and I think Australia is a beautiful landscape, and a wonderful people. But I also hold that there are some things wrong in Australia at a National level, and I have been openly critical of them. As a result, I have been called "un-Australian" and have even been spat at in the face during a quiet protest vigil. I just continued to pray as the tears welled up in my eyes and the spittle rolled down my face. I remember the bewilderment and the horrible feeling of isolation, and asking why anyone, but particularly a fellow countryman, would hate me so much. Then one of my fellow protesters, a Roman Catholic Nun wearing a veil, came over to me, took out her handkerchief and wiped the spittle from my face, stood beside me and took out a rosary and began to silently pray also. It was one of the most human moments I've ever experienced.
When the "Nation-as-separate-identity" becomes an idol, then anything becomes acceptable in it's "defence", and spitting in the face of your fellow countrymen is the least of it. As with any idolatry, we forget the Living God, and when we forget God, we forget our own humanity, and people become expendable objects.
Christianity began with people who chose to be tortured and executed rather than submit to the State when their conscience would not allow them to. We dishonour their memory if we say that a Christian should now choose the State over their own conscience.
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« Reply #119 on: May 30, 2007, 11:11:45 AM »

it's the oppressive government that's taken it over that's the problem.

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You know better than this.
Please take it to the Politics Form.

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« Reply #120 on: May 30, 2007, 11:47:40 AM »

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Please take it to the Politics Form.

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ME? Never... Grin

Though in fact I was merely presenting the complementary political position to the 'love it or leave it' party line. I rarely start the fight, but I'm always more than happy to get my hands dirty and finish it Wink
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« Reply #121 on: May 30, 2007, 12:21:40 PM »

Though in fact I was merely presenting the complementary political position to the 'love it or leave it' party line.
And if you read my last post, I also opposed the "love it or leave it" position, however I did so without politicizing the issue, and thus, not only remained within the forum guidelines, but also made my message acceptable to people of any political persuasion and difficult to rebut or refute from a Christian viewpoint.
Let me know if you need some more pointers on the art of rhetoric. Cheesy
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« Reply #122 on: May 30, 2007, 12:35:39 PM »

And if you read my last post, I also opposed the "love it or leave it" position, however I did so without politicizing the issue, and thus, not only remained within the forum guidelines, but also made my message acceptable to people of any political persuasion and difficult to rebut or refute from a Christian viewpoint.
Let me know if you need some more pointers on the art of rhetoric. Cheesy

Hey, that's not fair...you had a better story than I did.

Plus, I do get a few points because my post was more offensive than yours...don't forget my sig line, it is my theme for the time being. Wink
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« Reply #123 on: May 30, 2007, 12:50:49 PM »

Then why live here if the U.S is so horrible???

Dear Bagpiper, are you asking me? Well, my life in the US is actually wonderful, not horrible at all, by any stretch...  I worked in science for a number of years, doing what I like to do, learning a lot, publishing papers, going to conferences. Then I became a university science teacher, and again, I love doing what I do, I enjoy every minute of my life. Materially, my family and I are not rich, but we get by and we do not have to depend on anybody financially, and we help a number of our relatives in Ukraine. My daughter graduated summa cum laude from Tulane and is now a Ph.D. student at Harvard. I believe I am tremendously blessed, far more blessed than I deserve.

The point is, though - and that's what drives some people crazy about me - that I do not have any feelings of special gratitude to the United States of America for all that. The US government admitted me to the US soil because my cheap scientific labor was *requested* here. I believe it's "economy, stupid," and not any special love and care for which I must be grateful. I am really, really grateful to my parents for instilling in me the love for education, science, learning, and I am grateful to my teachers in the former USSR. But it would be hypocritical on my part if I say that I am similarly grateful to the *country* where I currently reside.
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« Reply #124 on: May 30, 2007, 09:28:36 PM »

I am married to a Romanian and have had extensive dealings with the Romanian community as well as the russian community and many other eastern european people over the years. In my experience, many of them come to America and enjoy the freedom, economic assistance, and opportunity that is offered in this country, yet act as though they hate America. Many of these people are patriotic, yet some are simply anti-american. I don't understand it. Yes, all governments have their share of problems. This doesn't mean that the whole country is bad. Much of the rehtoric I have heard from these anti-american immagrants over the years have been from individuals who have recieved much finiancial aid from the government in various forms, and have prospered greatly in the U.S. It baffles my mind while these people are so hostile. Many of these folks would never have such a wonderful life back in the motherland. I have even heard with my own ears some of them say america deserved 9/11.

It is not unorthodox to be patriotic. The church comes first, but many of the saints and elders I have read have taught the people to love their land. I would encourage you all to read what Elder Cleopa of Romania has to say on the subject.
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« Reply #125 on: May 31, 2007, 09:19:59 AM »

Greetings Orthodox Bagpiper,

I have never been "anti-American," in that I have never said or thought for a moment that America as a country is "bad." As a child, I fell in love with Mark Twain, Fenimore Cooper, Ray Bradbury and other wonderful American writers, and I am still in love with the great American literature. Hemingway, Faulkner, and Salinger are among my most beloved authors, their books are always with me wherever I go. Edwin Arlington Robinson is one of my top favorite poets of the world, on par with Reiner Maria Rilke, Guillaume Apolinaire, and Boris Pasternak. Bob Dylan and Arlo Guthrie are among my top favorite "bards" - ballad/song performers and poets - on par with Valeriy Marenych, Vladimir Vysotskiy and Bulat Okudzhava.

As for being "patriotic..." You see, I just don't know. I live in the USA, I like it a lot, but it's still not MY country. I cannot make myself perceive it as "mine." I don't feel good about it - it's strange, awkward, not quite "moral" to live in a country and to be a "non-citizen" (not just in the official paperwork sense). Maybe I really should be more like Serb - more of a local "activist." I just don't know. Pray for me.
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« Reply #126 on: May 31, 2007, 10:51:36 AM »


As for being "patriotic..." You see, I just don't know. I live in the USA, I like it a lot, but it's still not MY country. I cannot make myself perceive it as "mine." I don't feel good about it - it's strange, awkward, not quite "moral" to live in a country and to be a "non-citizen" (not just in the official paperwork sense). Maybe I really should be more like Serb - more of a local "activist." I just don't know. Pray for me.

Definitely do NOT be more like me...haha.   Wink Wink

Don't worry my friend, I actually feel the same way you do.  I can't bring myself to be patriotic.  When they play the National Anthem, i'll stand and put my hand over my heart.  But I think that kind of respect should be payed to any country you appreciate or respect. 

I did the whole "activist" think because it was either that or be something verging on crazy, and that wasn't really a good way to go. 

You know...one time I sat in an airplane that had a WWII vet in the back seats.  Several people heard him talking about it, and after the plane landed they all went up to him and said "thank you for what you've done for our country" or something along those lines. 

I would have personally never thought to do that, because I don't identify with this country.  I thought that it was a nice touch and perfectly good for them to do.  I just couldn't ever see myself thinking that way. 
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« Reply #127 on: May 31, 2007, 09:23:16 PM »

I don't identify with this country. 
I think a big factor is where we consider "home" to be.
I've travelled to many countries, but nowhere is "home" for me unless I can see the Southern Cross in the night sky while being surrounded by gum trees and standing on rocky dirt while hand feeding a wallaby or a sulphur-crested cockatoo. Even when I now travel to the urban nightmare called "Sydney" for longer than a few days, I find myself looking for patches of stoney ground and sandstone with a creek or water hole surrounded by gum trees, because that's what home looks like here in the Blue Mountains.
Ethnically I'm Greek, but Greece is not my home, my home is Australia, the land of my birth, and what's more, my home is a particular part of Australia. My Father was also Greek, but he never once set foot in Greece (he was born in Egypt), so Greece wasn't his home either. Greece was my mother's home, but it wasn't her Parents home, since they fled there after being driven out of their home in Asia Minor. So in terms of "home", my Father was Egyptian, my mother was Greek, her parents were Pontians and I'm an Australian. The only thing we all have in common is that we are all Orthodox Christians, that is, the Church is our common "home".
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« Reply #128 on: May 31, 2007, 10:31:45 PM »

 I have dual Citizenship. Greece and in the USA. I love both places for different reasons. I have no problem calling myself an American. I love hamburgers and hotdogs on fast free days, even if they are really German. Grin
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« Reply #129 on: June 01, 2007, 04:44:34 AM »

I think a big factor is where we consider "home" to be.
I've travelled to many countries, but nowhere is "home" for me unless I can see the Southern Cross in the night sky while being surrounded by gum trees and standing on rocky dirt while hand feeding a wallaby or a sulphur-crested cockatoo. Even when I now travel to the urban nightmare called "Sydney" for longer than a few days, I find myself looking for patches of stoney ground and sandstone with a creek or water hole surrounded by gum trees, because that's what home looks like here in the Blue Mountains.
Ethnically I'm Greek, but Greece is not my home, my home is Australia, the land of my birth, and what's more, my home is a particular part of Australia. My Father was also Greek, but he never once set foot in Greece (he was born in Egypt), so Greece wasn't his home either. Greece was my mother's home, but it wasn't her Parents home, since they fled there after being driven out of their home in Asia Minor. So in terms of "home", my Father was Egyptian, my mother was Greek, her parents were Pontians and I'm an Australian. The only thing we all have in common is that we are all Orthodox Christians, that is, the Church is our common "home".

This I agree with entirely. I don't recognise what OrthodoxBagpiper says (though I'm in the UK, which might explain it) and I am also married to a Romanian. My whole parish is (almost) Romanian also. They aren't anti-British, though there are inevitably things about Britain they dislike, but nor do they feel to be at home here, even those who have been here for many years.

Unlike you, George, I don't feel at home where I live. I never have done. I don't feel British because I was never allowed to - it was always made clear to me throughout my childhood that I wasn't and would never be so and that, whilst imposed on me from outside, has inevitably left its mark. I think things have changed for the better in the years since. Xenophobia seems less than it was and I don't see the Poles and former Yugoslavs at my son's school being treated in the way I was, nor do I see them having to put up with watching their mothers being insulted and told to go home by their fellow pupils - something which was a common occurrence in my upbringing. With any luck my children will feel at home here, but it will never be home for me.

Of course, this means that I cannot be patriotic - not here. I am proud of my roots but they are so mixed as to not really evoke any particular patriotism. There is, though, one place where I can imagine being patriotic - Romania. Unlike Britain, I was always made to feel at home there. You could say that I was welcomed with open arms. Culturally it is closer to that of my roots as well, and then, of course there is the Church, which as you so rightfully say is our common home. If and when (we intend to retire there if we cannot emigrate sooner) I finally find myself settled in Romania, I'm sure that I will start to feel the first shoots of patriotism for my adoptive home, but until then my only country, really, is the Church.

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« Reply #130 on: June 01, 2007, 07:34:03 AM »

of course there is the Church, which as you so rightfully say is our common home.

And the Church is our common ethnicity also. The term "ethnic group" simply means a group of people who identify with each other, share something in common and are recognised as a distinct group.  Unfortunately, the word "ethnic" has come into misuse through xenophobia (and I still see it misused on this forum). When the search function comes back, do a search for the term "ethnic Churches" and you'll see what I mean. Everyone has an ethnicity, so there can be no such thing as a "non-ethnic" person or Church. The Church itself is an ethnicity. The opposite of "ethnicity" is "autism".

In the Scriptures, St. Peter says of the Church:
"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation (Gk: "ethnos"), a particular people; that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy." (1 Peter 2:9-10)

The Church is a "generation", a "nation", a "people".

And this sense that we Orthodox Christians are one ethnicity was even set in law when St. Constantine the Great bestowed on all his Christian subjects throughout his empire the title of "Roman" (Gk: "Romios" Arabic: "Rum"). Even today, if someone wanted to ask me in Greek if my Romanian friend James who lives in the UK is an Orthodox Christian, they would ask me "Enai Romios?", that is, "Is he a Roman?".

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« Reply #131 on: June 01, 2007, 07:46:20 AM »

And the Church is our common ethnicity also. The word "ethnic" simply means a group of people who identify with each other, share something in common and are recognised as a distinct group.

In the Scriptures, St. Peter says of the Church:
"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation (Gk: "ethnos"), a particular people; that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy." (1 Peter 2:9-10)

And this sense that we Orthodox Christians are one ethnicity was even set in law when St. Constantine the Great bestowed on all his Christian subjects throughout his empire the title of "Roman" (Gk: "Romios" Arabic: "Rum"). Even today, if someone wanted to ask me in Greek if my Romanian friend James who lives in the UK is an Orthodox Christian, they would ask me "Enai Romios?", that is, "Is he a Roman?".



I agree (and it is very interesting to see the Greek). I am certainly Orthodox first, adoptive Romanian second, a Yorkshireman third (it may not feel like home as such, but most people from round here are Yorkshire first and English second and that's rubbed off to a degree), and British as a dim and distant fourth. In fact, I'd say it's more of a legal fiction than anything else.

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« Reply #132 on: June 01, 2007, 10:12:29 AM »

As for being "patriotic..." You see, I just don't know. I live in the USA, I like it a lot, but it's still not MY country. I cannot make myself perceive it as "mine." I don't feel good about it - it's strange, awkward, not quite "moral" to live in a country and to be a "non-citizen" (not just in the official paperwork sense).

I understand very well what you mean, George.  There is the place that one has known that has a deep spot in one's heart/mind that is sometimes not where one has to live.  It's not something that can be turned on like a light switch or just forced on one.  I've lived in the East (coast of the US) for a bit over 30 years.  But it's not "home", not the place that is my root like Montana is.  Pennsylvania and Maryland are ok, but there's not the same deep feeling of "place" as it were. 

I don't quite follow how your situation wouldn't be quite "moral" to use your word.  Your life is what it is and you make the best of what you can.  If it's a case of other people saying that you have to feel/believe just the same as they do (the 2nd/3rd generation Ukrainians you mentioned) that's not really reasonable. It's a useful thing to learn that "not every person has to act/think/believe/agree with me."  Smiley I'm sorry that you've had some unpleasent experiences with such.

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« Reply #133 on: June 01, 2007, 11:24:33 AM »

George,

I also totally agree with you about the whole 'home' thing.  I feel like i'm living some kind of parallel life here in the US.  I feel like a completely different person in Serbia. 

Its like the air is different or something. 

Ultimately though, I think this gives us a unique opportunity.  No prophet is recieved in his own home.  So since we don't feel at home in the US (me and others) we should be prophets here and work extra hard. 

Eh...just an idea. 
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« Reply #134 on: June 01, 2007, 12:23:46 PM »

George,

I also totally agree with you about the whole 'home' thing.  I feel like i'm living some kind of parallel life here in the US.  I feel like a completely different person in Serbia. 

Its like the air is different or something. 

Ultimately though, I think this gives us a unique opportunity.  No prophet is recieved in his own home.  So since we don't feel at home in the US (me and others) we should be prophets here and work extra hard. 

Eh...just an idea. 

With all those Yugo's still putting around, I can imagine what the air must be like.   Wink  Tongue

I agree though completely with your prophet statement though.
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