Who are you? Who am I?

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  • Who are you? Who am I?
  • Premier Icon boxelder

    English Dad, Scottish Mum – Cumbrian, the European. Living near the ‘old frontier’ I get the Scots feeling towards ‘Englishness’, but I’m not Scottish.

    Europhile Cumbrian.

    Premier Icon senor j

    I class myself as a Northern European , which is a mix of Cumbrian Viking, Coal miner,Farm yakka and Irish dock dweller thrown in. Mongrel. On holiday everyone thinks I’m German!

    We have loads of discussions about this in our house – my son is pretty disappointed we don’t have an exotic heritage in Ghana ,Brazil,Columbia,Peru ,Spain ,Israel,Turkey & loads of other countries his class mates have links to.  They all get along great btw.  🙂


    From the last Scottish Census

    Nationality :

    Definition: A person’s national identity is a self-determined assessment of their own identity with respect to the country or countries with which they feel an affiliation. This assessment of identity is not dependent on legal nationality or ethnic group.

    This question was specifically added to allow folk to choose regardless of their background. If we allow self-determination of gender then it seems at least as appropriate to allow it here.


    ^^ that’s quite a good idea.

    On the other side of some of this, my MiL has no idea what her ethnicity is. Conceived during WWII by two allied forces members (one definitely non-British, the other probably), she has quite olive-y skin, gets a deep tan just looking out the window, and you could swear she’s from the med.

    She was adopted and brought up in Kent, and considers herself English – but doesn’t set too much store by that.

    I can’t quite imagine what it’d be like to not know anything about your ancestry. But it’s interesting to mull over what difference it would make, and how our ideas of it feed into our identity (or not)


    And I thought recently how some of this could be seen as another example of privilege (please sound the PC Gone Mad klaxon).

    My mum has a strong Irish accent. She arrived in the 70s, got stick for her background, (i used to get ‘IRA’ jokes at school), and she is still constantly reminded of her nationality (sometimes in a nice way too, people say they like her accent) – it’s not something that she can easily ignore. Perhaps as a result, she identifies strongly as Irish, connects with the local Irish community, still keeps up with the news back home and so on. So do my aunts and uncles who also emigrated.

    Me? I don’t think very much about my nationality because I don’t need to. I can say that I’m 50% Irish and 25% Welsh and 12.5% German but at the end of the day I am English, live in England, I have white skin and an English accent. I fit in here. I am a lot less conscious of my nationality than my mum is.

    It must be even more of an issue for immigrants with a different skin colour. Not only are you going to get comments in the street, but you’ll be worrying about your kids getting stick at school, too. Then your nationality is something that you’d be very aware of, every single day.


    To me, you’re from where your accent is from. Which is not always completely straightforward – my oldest kid (ok adult) I’d say was mainly from middleclass London, the younger ones from middleclass Yorkshire.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer

    I can’t quite imagine what it’d be like to not know anything about your ancestry.

    Different people have different levels of interest. My mother has no interest whatsoever in anything like that, beyond what she knows about her immediate family, cousins etc. But my father showed a bit of interest when contacted by my 4th cousin who must be a descendent of one of his cousins that he used to go sledging in the snow with as kids.

    I find it quite interesting how even when you think you come from *a* place and from a hard graft just get on with it working class family, how the actual family comes from all over the place and crosses the entire spectrum of wealth from living in a poorhouse/workhouse up to lords of the realm but that you’re a descendent of the “disowned” bit.

    Only found one murderer in the family so far, but at least the family’s claim to fame is that we’ve got a street corner in Wiltshire named after us (and it’s on at least 1 OS map) 😉


    My accent is very English.  perhaps thats why I’m a Brit  😉

    My accent is very English.

    It’s because you live in Edinburgh. They all speak like that over there.


    Mr Woppit

    Descendant of emigrants from the Great Rift Valley. Semi-independent self-conscious bioorganism. U.K. citizen. Spanish resident. Occasional grump. Atheist.

    Premier Icon Dickyboy

    It’s all a bit weird isn’t it, apart from a French interloper c1800 I’m as English as English be as far as records go back yet my nearest and dearest relatives (my kids) have strong Scottish ancestry.

    Premier Icon slowoldman

    I suppose I’m an Earthling, but you can never be sure can you?

    Premier Icon kennyp

    At the Tour of Flanders sportive a few years ago I had to stop at a first aid station with an injury. After he fixed me up the medic chap asked if I was stopping or carrying on. When I said I was getting back on the bike he said to me “You are a proper Flandrian”.

    Best compliment I’ve ever had, and therefore I now consider myself to be part Belgian. And to be fair, each springtime my blood is at least 50% Chimay.

    Hopefully it qualifies me for a passport post-Brexit.

    Premier Icon w00dster

    Consider myself English. Dad is English, mum is from Northern Ireland. Dad’s dad was Welsh, mums dad was Republic of Ireland.

    My wife is English, but her dad is from Tanzania with Indian parents. Her mother is English with Irish grandparents.

    So our kids are part English, part Irish, part Tanzanian and part Indian, with a little bit of Welsh thrown in.

    Being from Merseyside most of the people I knew were from a Celtic background. Strangely Welsh is the smallest part of me but it’s the place where I feel most at home. Even though I live in middle England and work in London.

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