On Mon, 16 Dec 1996 10:16:13 -0600 "K. Hornberger" <[log in to unmask]> writes:
>>At 11:43 PM 12/15/96 UT, John wrote:
>>>It always seems to me that the US citizens on this list aren't
>>>with being American. They are desperately seeking an alternative
>>>and would be prefer to be "Scots" or "Irish" - often with less claim
>>>have myself! It is sad (and a little worrying) that the people of a
>>>nation are so anxious to deny their nationality.
>Bret Willis wrote:
>>Pardon me for interrupting (I was going to just lurk on this list,
>>but thought I might offer a bit of explanation of the American interest
>Dear Brett, of "unknown ancestry:"
>Ca/itru/n A/ine wrote:
>Just a reinforcement from another American. Totally agree with you --
>but must mention that the USA is so vast, there is definite regionalism
>associated with one's American heritage.
>... So, for others around the world who are trying to understand the
American >mentality, let me assure you that there is no one culture in
the USA, and regionalism
>does play a definite part in how groups of people view themselves.
>ties define one's culture as does one's religious affiliations. Customs
are those >passed through your family and that is largely determined by
religious beliefs and >the region in which you live...
Also, one's ethnic history. Italian, Irish, Scotch, German, Spanish and
on-and-on affect it as well.
>For example, weddings, and the pre- and post- festivities associated
>with weddings, follow very different customs depending on what part of
>country you live (and your religious practices)...
This is a good example. Weddings (and to some extent, funerals) are
colored by these things as well as ethnicity, even after several
generations in this country. Have you ever been to a wedding with such an
ethnic identity: Irish, German, Italian or Spanish, for example? They are
very different from one another. Everyone speaks English and everyone
would immediately claim to be Americans. But they are different peoples.
A similar example from my own past: Once upon a time I ran an extremely
successful engineering project and was asked how in the world I was able
to accomplish anything with such a diverse group. Everyone was from a
"strong" ethnic group or a new citizen. Four engineers; one Italian, one
Swedish, one Ethiopian and one Irish. A French Materials Specialist.
Supply Manager was from Scotland. Financial Manager from Japan. Systems
Analyst from China and a Programmer from Vietnam. Later came a black
gentleman from the inner city of Oakland, California and a female
engineer who was half black/half Japanese. By everyone's estimation,
these people should never have been able to get along.
We used to have a "pot luck" luncheon once a week to discuss anything but
business. I called it our "Unity Luncheon". We discussed our various
cultures a lot. We brought representative foods to share. Everyone tried
We learned to respect each other and we worked toward our common goals as
a unified team. America can be a lot like that. When it is at it's best.
Don't think it is all good though. As some other discussions on this list
have pointed out, there is a fair amount of hate, too, between some
groups. These people tend to be the less educated and more culturally
isolated among us. It is their self-imposed isolation that allows them to
hate others and to act on that hate. Those whom we would injure, we must
first hate. It also brings more attention from the media, which is why so
many people see this on the news around the world. It is not an entirely
Bruce L. Jones
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Mojave Desert - The Geographic Center of Nowhere