30 de novembro de 2007

One country, four nations




"Britain is an invented nation".
Peter Scott, Knowledge and Nation, 1990.

Today I was going to write something soft and easy to digest for the weekend, but then I read a news and changed my mind.

In Portugal we really have it easy as far as our national identity is concerned. We have a certain North/South rivalry and we have the discrepancies between a richer urban country and a poorer rural one. But in terms of nationality we all know we are Portuguese. We have a national football team that makes us all suffer or explode of happiness, we have a common History, a common and uniform language (even if we recognise two official languages), we have a homogeneous religious tradition and we have the oldest established borders in the Old World.
Just across our borders there's a state in which, to this very day, several national identities have been forced to coexist in not always a peaceful situation. And in Great Britain things are not better. There's the infamous and endless Irish Question, there's the pride of the Scotts holding firm to their traditions and to the Church of Scotland (a presbyterian Protestant faith), there's Wales and its celtic language that no one understands and there's England the nation that managed to forge, create and rule a country called Great Britain.

This incident happened just now. In Wales, an Irish truck driver was involved in a car accident with a Welsh woman. As usual in these circumstances people say a lot of crazy things in the heat of the moment. As such the truck driver called the lady in question: "You English bitch!". Most offended, the lady prosecuted the lorry driver.

Last Tuesday, the sentence was announced. The truck driver was sentenced to 10 weeks in jail, suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay the 200 pounds of judicial costs for racist behaviour! The lady was not offended she was called a "bitch", but for having been called "English" when she's in fact Welsh. In a country very uncomfortable about a forced nationality, political correctness comes at a high price.

Just imagine if all alentejanos were offended on account of all the jokes about them! Or if people in Beiras were to prosecute those who make fun of their pronunciation! Or if people called us "saloios"! In fact, we are very lucky that D. Afonso Henriques kicked out the Moors and the Spaniards and made us a country.



26 comentários:

Joshua disse...

Sometimes, people forget that. Unity there never than now looked so frail. I'm a ferouceous defender of selfdetermination and total independence. Can't stand submission.

Glad you're my sister in Christ. Still hopping for a glimpse of similar John Paul's brightness in this Ratzy papacy.

Gotta say I love your blog!!!

C Valente disse...

Bom fim de semana, com saudações amigas

indomável disse...

Dear Blondie,

D. Afonso Henriques was the first of many. In fact, his greatest achievement was to unite several rebelous groups in the north, commanded by Viriato and forced his own spanish mother away from our borders.
But then, you have several others that improved the realm and our nationality. It is said in politics, that the friend today can be the foe tomorrow and vice-versa. But our monarchs in the beginning were clever enough to understand the meaning of loyalty, of friendship to their noblemen and warriors and that made all the difference.
We are a united people, and much because of something Fernando Pessoa said - our nation is the portuguese language. I'd say, our nation is the portuguese soul.
And that, my friend, no one, not even Socrates, can take away from us!

Blondewithaphd disse...

My dear Joshua,
Thanks for those words! And yes, I'm the churchgoer, singing choir kind of Catholic.

Blondewithaphd disse...

Dear CValente,
Saudações recíprocas!

Blondewithaphd disse...

Dear Indy,
Thank God for that! Thank God that at least we have nationality (imagine if these crazy politicians were to take that also away from us?)

António de Almeida disse...

-For those who like football, imagine "The old firm" in Glasgow, two teams, the same city, but Celtic suporters are catholic, and Rangers suporters are protestants. One day, about more or less 10 years ago, one catholic player, signed for Rangers, heresy, many troubles, for him and his family. And the game is played in Glasgow, not in Belfast. Spain, and Britain, are not the worst, do you remember what hapenned in a countrie named Yugoslavia?

Blondewithaphd disse...

Dear Antonio de Almeida,
Do you know what might happen now in Kosovo?

antonio disse...

Opinião... a menos que o texto nos proponha que voltemos a expulsar os mouros, uma vez que os Espanhóis são a nossa salvação.

Blondewithaphd disse...

Dear Antonio,
Gotta tell you this one caught me off guard! Lol!!

quintarantino disse...

Sorry, I'm late. I had a hard day working with Miss President of the United States of Blogs and, as Secretary of Defense, I must be alwyas in touch with her...
Helas... one cannot look aside for a minute or two that folks get wacky.
So the lady didn't like being called english?
By the way, did the judge consider the guy was Irish?
You know, Irish are known to need help when they rape somebody(this is quite a stupid joke)...
As for us, well I think the clever one was Pessoa... ones country is it´s soul and language...
Oh, God... what a mess... and between us, someone needs to study History again!

Blondewithaphd disse...

Quinny,
Me or you for the History lesson? ;)

(and why in God's name would you be late for?)

Tiago R Cardoso disse...

Gostei foi da parte de a senhora ter sido chamada de inglesa, coitada eu sei o que é isso, também fico lixado quando vejo reportagens no estrangeiro onde o "povo" diz que somos uma província de Espanha, pior só quando o Sr. Nobel, disse a mesma coisa.

Blondewithaphd disse...

Dear Tiago,
The extraordinary thing is also to see the "S" for Spain in certain foreign maps be put in the area of Lisbon!

bluegift disse...

Certas ofensas parecem só ter peso quando legisladas, fora disso são beliscadelas. Parece que nesse caso a lei prevê a ofensa "bitch" entrando o "english" no típico humor britânico. Uma verdadeira anedota que parece apenas ter graves consequências numa Irlanda do Norte.
A propósito de mouros, e esquecendo o politicamente correcto, proponho que os voltemos a expulsar... são uma verdadeira praga.

bluegift disse...

Já agora, parabéns pela artigo no Notas. O meu comentário foi apressado mas sentido, e lembrou-me velhas lutas universitárias. Bom resto de fim de semana!

Blondewithaphd disse...

Dear Blue,
A joke is exactly what the truck driver said about all this!!

(Thanks for your kind comments in English, a perfect speech, by the way, at the Pundits' page!)

A wonderful weekend to you too!

Peter disse...

"The lady was not offended she was called a "bitch", but for having been called "English" when she's in fact Welsh."

Atão nã querem lá ver a moenga!

Blondewithaphd disse...

Dear Peter,
I need translation...

bluegift disse...

É um "falar" alentejano ;-)
Que o Peter me corrija, "moenga" quer dizer algo demasiado lento, neste caso, poderá querer dizer que a situação é um "atraso de vida", uma atrasadice. Muito bem observado pelo Peter diga-se de passagem...

Miss Vader disse...

Hello. My dad told me about this. A bit difficult for me. I will ask him help. It was good talking to you.

Blondewithaphd disse...

Dear Blue,
Thanks;) Man, are you a polyglot!

Blondewithaphd disse...

Darling Little Miss Vader,
Nice talking to you too! Don't worry, grown up people tend to complicate things!

antonio disse...

Blonde, três posts abaixo, podes saltar o meu brilhante post sobre a conclusão da trilogia do aço, existe um denominado Almoço. Tem um desafio para ti.

Crestfallen disse...

"England the nation that managed to forge, create and rule a country called Great Britain."

Great Britain is not a country, it is as much of a country as Benelux, Tanganyika, Commonwealth or even the EU. England did "pressure" them to join Great Britain, but today they have the choice to be there or leave. The example of that it the referendum that Scotland will undergo to choose to stay or leave.

In Football they all have their national teams just like Portugal that make them suffer as we do. If Great Britain was a country they would have the British team and there isn´t one. It´s the same case as Belgium, Luxembourg and Holland when they formed Benelux which led to the current EU.

A political and economical union of countries, just like Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya did in the 6O´s.

"As such the truck driver called the lady in question: "You English bitch!". Most offended, the lady prosecuted the lorry driver."

So what? This is not a warcry for total Independence. A Spanish from Madrid would call a woman from Castille in the same form. Someone from Lisbon would call "stupid tripeiro", someone from Porto would say "stupid mouro" and so on and so on.

The political and economical union of Great Britain exists, even if the people don´t like it. People in the island of Madeira call us "stupid continentals". There is nothing special about that. They even dream about becoming a "banana country".

"The lady was not offended she was called a "bitch", but for having been called "English" when she's in fact Welsh. In a country very uncomfortable about a forced nationality, political correctness comes at a high price."

What nationality? Her nation is Wales, she IS Welsh not English. The fact that she is also British, doesn´t make her English. I believe there is a huge confusion in this text. This interpretation is wrongly made by considering Great Britain as England.

"Just imagine if all alentejanos were offended on account of all the jokes about them! Or if people in Beiras were to prosecute those who make fun of their pronunciation!"

You can, in Portugal sue someone from Porto for calling you "mouro", "morriquino" since you are not one. Simply the Portuguese people don´t have the tendency to sue people for everything and anything and also because Portuguese courts simple don´t work.

Blondewithaphd disse...

Dear Crestfallen,
Many thanks for your visit! Have you ever heard of something called "fused identity" to define Britain? Well, if you have then we can discuss your comment, because I'm not quite sure I understood it.