This seeming oxymoron and tongue twister came to me as I read the earlier thread called "European Identiy", discussing the existence of a common European identity. It seems as if peoples personal identity and perception of themselves is more complex than we often think about.
Culture, physical constitution, ethnicity, nationality, gender, choice of diet, political view, sport interests and team support, geography, education, level of wealth and clothing fashion are some of the many aspects of how we define and express ourselves and how we are viewed by others.
Any use of the word we implies that there is a commonality that bind a group of people together for any number of reasons, be it more tangible and common aspects of family, friends and coworker but also the abstracts of belonging to a perceived set of values like culture and nation. It can also be in a situational context as in ... [we] who are about to die salute you!.
I think that the question of a European identity is an important issue and fundamental for the future success of European integration, but it also opens up an interesting frame of questioning, which in part include the matter of where Europe ends in the east and the future of enlargement of the Union. That is both a cultural and a political question.
But I think that a European identity could be viewed in a much greater global context. Where does Europe end anywhere and how does it apply to non-European Europeans?
How much of a European cultural identity do Canadians feel? Or Americans? People from different parts of South America? Afrikaaner? Is an Australian or New Zealander Asian, European, both or neither?
What do you think?