To me, nationality is about deeply embedded values, morals, conceptions about reality. The kind that you are conditioned with very early in life, much
of it in less than conscious ways. The culture of that particular society.
THAT is what we identify with or not, that is what clashes between peoples of different nationalities.
I was little during the Vietnam war, when being ashamed of our country was all the rage, and I did not develop a sense of patriotism. I was taught
that all other parts of the world are better than the US.
But later, when I actually moved to another country, I realized that I had very American views and values that give me something in common with my own
peoples and separate me from others.
_And these values are so deeply etched in me I cannot lose them. I can try, I can go into a full blown attempt to be opposite, but I am sure it would
be denial and obvious to others, if not myself. Like the french people I know who are trying hard to become american, think they are, and yet have no
idea how very french their thought processes and behavior actually are. (There are fans of nationalities everywhere, but they remain, fans)
I have two nationalities now, officially, but there is no doubt in my mind that I am American, not french. Only my kids can really claim to identify
with both, and two of them were born in France.... but their values and morals that they picked up early came from me.
To give an idea- most americans value an idea of justice that means individual merit. We take it for granted, as a given, that everyone understands
that is what "fair" is (whether they follow it or not).
The french have a conception of justice that is the opposite, and doesn't value individual merit. I can't even put it in one sentence, because
though I understand it, I have a irresistible repulsion to it and will make it sound derogatory no matter how I say it. Something like everyone
getting the same, regardless of their individual differences. They'd say "equality" I guess. Some of us Americans would snear "Communism".
The Statue of Liberty was probably not built with the same idea in mind that WE have of justice!
In these things, I feel the red, white and blue in my bones. My french husband feels his blue, white and red in his... it is just a matter of which
color comes first, but believe me, that is a bigger difference than it seems!