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Thread: What countries in Europe are mostly the opposite of "emotional" and "impulsive" ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maleth View Post
    you make it sound so dramatic and as if affection is nearly a crime. I was in Quebec and I hugged my friends and kissed on the cheek on greetings without feeling like an outcast .

    http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5756/...ugs-a-Day.html

    Just some humor
    What a fun commercial. Do you get access to the Netflix movie channel? I really like some of their original programming. One show that i just got around to watching this year is a Norwegian production called "Lilyhammer".
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilyhammer

    It's basically a rip off of Mafia movies, with Steve Van Zandt (a musician famous for being in the E Street Band and playing and singing with Bruce Springsteen and for his role on the Sopranos) playing a Mafioso in the witness protection program who chooses to relocate in Lillehammer. It's mildly amusing, if rather predictable, and given that the Tagliano character is such a stereotype I'm assuming that the Norwegian "character" as presented in the series is also a stereotype. (at least I hope so!) What I found interesting was that the all Scandinavian writers and directors had some fun playing off of stereotypes of themselves. I must say it was also eye-opening. It's been a long time since the Vikings, apparently. Anyway, I think it's always good, and a sign of emotional health. when a group shows an ability to have a laugh at itself.

    Here's a compilation clip from the show. Parental Guidance is advised for the language content!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gPP7o3dIzY

    Oh, and should you come to the U.S., I assure you that kissing on the cheek as a greeting between women, and also between men and women*, is absolutely de rigueur. It used to be one side, then two, and now we're approaching the three times European version. Some hugging goes along with it, too much so at times for my liking, in fact. Some men, especially after imbibing a little too much in the way of holiday cheer, are a bit too enthusiastic if you get my drift.

    Also, should you be in a group with a lot of Italian and Greek Americans, a kiss in greeting between men will not be limited to gay men, and will not get you ostracized. Quite normal, in fact. I would suggest going to Astoria, Queens if you go to New York, especially if it's summer time. You'll think you're in Athens! At one point, I actually wrote up a whole New York City insider's itinerary for a friend. I should post it in the travel thread as a foreigner's guide at some point. Parts of it were pretty funny, I think.

    Ed. Sorry, that got a little bit off topic.
    * Edited to clarify


    Non si fa il proprio dovere perchè qualcuno ci dica grazie, lo si fa per principio, per se stessi, per la propria dignità. Oriana Fallaci

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dabeho View Post
    Yes. I'm wiling to discover what countries in Europe are rather the opposite of those traits. My question is not about whether there are countries like that (I know there are), but what countries are.

    I am of course also willing to get as deep into this as possible. If a comprehensive analysis could be made, nice.

    I am going to be super honest with you. Many people get angry when touching the subject of "Nordicist countries are better, southern European countries are worse", but I find it terrible that people also either try to sugar-coat the facts or ignore them.

    I have myself read from people from Southern Europe themselves (Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and Croatia, for example), the ups of their countries don't go far from food, weather and sceneries. But when it comes to efficiency of services, social cohesion and some others, some would criticize or even simply say "It's not good to live in Italy". Not to mention the fact that Portugal and Greece are the poorest countries of the so called "Western Europe", even if they didn't have Communism to hinder their progress as most of Eastern Europe did (Croatia was Communist and experienced a civil war as well, partly excused).

    Considering this, I find it at least worth a moment of reflection if countries which are (granted, emotionally expressiveness have its benefits) of a rather emotional character, have the setback of also having slack structures and foundations (shown in lower positions on indices of development, all having with the exception of Italy a Purchasing Power Parity lower than EU-28 and Europe, not counting Russia). And don't get me started on Latin America.

    Edit: Nothing personal against you, it would have no basis. It's just that I get quite upset to see that in most cases countries don't progress so much when having such traits. I am kind of fed up by experience.
    Perhaps I am misjudging you, but I think you are being slightly disingenuous. After your initial post, it became clear that you know which regions, at least, are more expressive and emotional, so why ask the question? I gave you the benefit of the doubt and proceeded under the assumption that you were interested in discovering whether that difference stems from genetic or cultural factors or both.

    Apparently, what you're really interested in is another rehash of uninformed anthrofora type discussions pitting northern Europe against southern Europe. If that was your intent, perhaps you should have been clearer about it. Then, I wouldn't have bothered responding to the thread, or at least I certainly wouldn't have spent time trying to find research on the topic.

    And where on earth did you hear that southern Europeans think that the only positives to their countries are "food, weather, or scenery." Anthrofora again? It stretches the bonds of credulity that southern Europeans, an Italian, for example, would ever think, much less say such a thing. Have you ever heard of art, music, culture, the emotional and psychological support of strong familial and friendship bonds? Of course, you can't eat those things, and so for the last century or so, many Italians have had to emigrate, but do you think it's something they would choose? For many of them it's a tragedy. We don't have the highest rate of return among American immigrants for nothing. The only type of person I can imagine making such an abysmally ignorant comment is some half educated, brainwashed kid sitting in his mother's basement when he should be either studying and working or outside kicking a soccer ball around and chasing girls.

    As to why people relocate to Italy, I can tell you that in my own area the British people who move there are predominantly upper middle class people who have chosen it not only for it's food and scenery, but for the access to art, architecture, and music. (Most of them are far too knowledgeable to think that they're going to get year round sun there.) They also come because they find the affect and culture of the people attractive. (There's also, of course, the mostly female component who come to chase Italian men. There's a whole English language website teeming with them and their complaints when they discover just how demanding Italian partners (and their families) can be....)

    (You may not be aware of the fact that people on those kinds of sites assume nationalities which are not their own, not to mention that probably half the "posters" on some of them are probably really just one or two people. It's amazing how much impact people who suffer from at least borderline personality disorders can have in the day of the internet. That's why, unless someone directs me to a specific post or thread, I give those sites a wide berth.)

    As for the psychological and sociological benefits of emotional expressiveness (and strong family ties), you should look up the statistics for mental illness in general, depression in particular, suicide, alcoholism, violence against women, child sexual abuse etc. by country. It might provide you with a slightly different perspective.

    Economic success is a separate issue, affected by, among many other things, the presence of natural resources. Unfortunately, to use Italy as an example, we don't have any. Have you taken some economics courses? Try out some economic models where a country tries to compete in the modern industrialized world when it doesn't have enough arable land to feed itself, no coal, no oil, no natural gas, and can't build nuclear reactors for power because it's sitting on top of endless fault lines, where, in fact, in order to compete, it has to import the raw materials, and then through creativity has somehow to produce a product which will command a higher value on world markets and therefore some margin of profit. Then, since you brought up political and economic systems, shackle it with an over adherence to socialism and government control of the economic sector. On top of all that you can add the regional divisions which owe so much to the colonial control of much of Italy for great swathes of the last 2,000 years.

    It also helps when discussing these types of issues to have a knowledge of European history that goes back further than the last thirty years. The whole northern Europe is more "capitalist" and mercantile story line is, in my opinion, a fable. Along with so much else, the Italian city states of the Medieval period (including Amalfi) rather led the way in mercantile activity, banking etc. As just one example, banking as we know it, double entry bookkeeping and on and on were "invented" there. Catholicism didn't hinder them one bit. Nor, apparently did the Lutheranism of much of northern Europe hinder them, a Lutheranism which is doctrinally, save for the belief in the infallibility of the Pope, and the Assumption of Mary, almost indistinguishable from Roman Catholicism. The same could be said for Anglicanism.

    Furthermore, the countries which are economically prosperous today were not always in that position. Take Sweden as just one example. The recent paper on "Viking" dna lays it out rather clearly, I think. It was, for much of its history, extremely low in population, and very poor. When the population increased quite recently in terms of European history, the terrain was incapable of supporting its people, and so there was a massive emigration to the U.S. Any grand theory has to take these kinds of facts into account, as it would have to take into account current GDP or income levels in Europe by province. You should take a look at them sometime. Emilia Romagna, for example, has done exceedingly well compared to the rest of Europe, despite the challenges we face.

    Just a word of advice...it's not sound intellectually to uncritically accept broad generalizations that can so easily be disproved by anyone with an even glancing acquaintance with the study of European history, economics, or theology. You also shouldn't expect considered, thoughtful responses to deliberately, even if cloaked, provocative posts that could furthermore be construed to be offensive to whole groups of other posters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Haha, I enjoyed that thanks, quite original too I must say and interesting mix. I googled Netfix but says not available in your country

    Oh, and should you come to the U.S., I assure you that kissing on the cheek as a greeting, at least between men and women, is absolutely de rigueur. It used to be one side, then two, and now we're approaching the three times European version. Some hugging goes along with it, too much so at times for my liking, in fact. Some men, especially after imbibing a little too much in the way of holiday cheer, are a bit too enthusiastic if you get my drift.

    Also, should you be in a group with a lot of Italian and Greek Americans, a kiss in greeting between men will not be limited to gay men, and will not get you ostracized. Quite normal, in fact. I would suggest going to Astoria, Queens if you go to New York, especially if it's summer time. You'll think you're in Athens! At one point, I actually wrote up a whole New York City insider's itinerary for a friend. I should post it in the travel thread as a foreigner's guide at some point. Parts of it were pretty funny, I think.

    Ed. Sorry, that got a little bit off topic.
    Its good to know that and will not be told off for it . I work in hospitality industry now for many years and I surely have seen a difference in warmer greetings irrelevant of nationalities from the first few years I was in the business. There is surely an upward trend even with people we used to term stiff.

    Anyway, I think it's always good, and a sign of emotional health. when a group shows an ability to have a laugh at itself.
    totally agree. Have you ever seen these little Britian episodes?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6MVeMOl50M

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dabeho View Post
    What do you consider an insult, emphasizing the visible truth about these countries?
    and of course I presume that there is no visible negative truth with any other countries. But your choice of words (unless you would have to point out that someone else said) such as mess bla bla bla is objective, constructive and visible truth.

    Also, he was absolutely not the only Italian to make such a bitter remark about Italy. According to my experience, I have seen more Italians and Portuguese complaining about their own countries than Norwegians, Germans or Finns. One might infer that either Northern Europeans are too proud or that there's something wrong with Southerners' lands.
    And all these Italians, and Portuguese came to Mexico to pour out with you their disgust?

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    I think it is nice we even can have this discussion. Big cities are getting more and more similar. Sometimes only by historical center you can tell which city you are in. Same brands, same shops, same McDonalds, same faces in similar costumes. Who knows maybe in 100 years there will be a Little Italy in ... Rome.

    On the topic. GDP per capita

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of....28Maddison.29

    This shows that at
    1500 AD Italy had the best economy. 1100 USD vs ~800 to closer competitors.
    From 1500-1700 AD Italy stagnated at 1100 USD. Netherlands made enormous progress 2100 USD. UK, Belgium and Denmark got to Italy's level.
    From 1700-1820 AD Italy still stagnated. UK catched Netherlands which had dropped, both around 1800 USD. Other West Europe catched Italy, except Norway, Finland, Portugal.
    From 1820-1870 AD rich countries were UK, Netherlands, Belgium. Then Switzerland, Denmark, France, Austria, Germany. Italy was below Sweden but above Norway and other West Euros
    From 1870-1913 AD Switzerland started its sprint and catched Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark. UK was still the richest. Germany, France, Austria, Sweden then. Norway almost catched Italy.
    From 1913-1950 AD Current state more or less formed. Germany, Austria and Italy were down the West Euro list after WW II. Switzerland moved to No1.
    From 1950-1973 AD More or less current state continued. Germany and Austria climbed up a bit.
    2003 AD Italy had same GDP per capita than Germany. Granted both were only above Spain and Portugal.

    2003-2013 AD Italy dropped to 75% of Germany and German speaking countries.

    We guys are talking the last 10 years :) Although I am not sure if 2003 is reliable. Was German GDP per capita then on par with Italian when adjusted for PPP? Sounds unbelievable today. Need to check some other sources apart from Madison estimates.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arvistro View Post
    I think it is nice we even can have this discussion. Big cities are getting more and more similar. Sometimes only by historical center you can tell which city you are in. Same brands, same shops, same McDonalds, same faces in similar costumes. Who knows maybe in 100 years there will be a Little Italy in ... Rome.

    On the topic. GDP per capita

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of....28Maddison.29

    This shows that at
    1500 AD Italy had the best economy. 1100 USD vs ~800 to closer competitors.
    From 1500-1700 AD Italy stagnated at 1100 USD. Netherlands made enormous progress 2100 USD. UK, Belgium and Denmark got to Italy's level.
    From 1700-1820 AD Italy still stagnated. UK catched Netherlands which had dropped, both around 1800 USD. Other West Europe catched Italy, except Norway, Finland, Portugal.
    From 1820-1870 AD rich countries were UK, Netherlands, Belgium. Then Switzerland, Denmark, France, Austria, Germany. Italy was below Sweden but above Norway and other West Euros
    From 1870-1913 AD Switzerland started its sprint and catched Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark. UK was still the richest. Germany, France, Austria, Sweden then. Norway almost catched Italy.
    From 1913-1950 AD Current state more or less formed. Germany, Austria and Italy were down the West Euro list after WW II. Switzerland moved to No1.
    From 1950-1973 AD More or less current state continued. Germany and Austria climbed up a bit.
    2003 AD Italy had same GDP per capita than Germany. Granted both were only above Spain and Portugal.

    2003-2013 AD Italy dropped to 75% of Germany and German speaking countries.

    We guys are talking the last 10 years :) Although I am not sure if 2003 is reliable. Was German GDP per capita then on par with Italian when adjusted for PPP? Sounds unbelievable today. Need to check some other sources apart from Madison estimates.
    True arvsitro, and it seems not easy to fight back this trend and thats what globilised economy will eventually do. Of course it has its good and bad points. I believe at the end of the day everyone inspires for the same comforts and practicalities as in the style of living so it makes everything looks similar.

    As to your economic figures (I call the economic hit parade) it shows that countries go up and down in their figures and even in a short period of 50 years things can change. Thats why no one should be riding high horses just because the economy will be doing good a particular point in time.

    What I don't like about such analyses which have been discussed here many times before is start talking about labour exploitation and Colonialism, and you see the real burst of 'emotion' and 'impulsive behavior'. But lets not go there!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dabeho View Post
    It seems that throughtout most of history Italy remained mostly stagnant, making infer by their their history they are not so promising, whereas other countries (hm, which ones? Germany, Switzerland, Sweden...) just went on catching up with it and eventually getting better economical performance. And in 2003 Italy got better to eventually fall down again. Germany and Japan to have done pretty well after WWII, whereas Italy is marked by rather unstable politics since then.

    Consider these points before dropping your hints.
    Please note that Italy and Germany unified as countries at around 1870, before that they were just separate regions. Germany was just 100's of states sometimes even a village was a state, let alone being able to have GDP results from 1500 as the Madison figures suggest. If not mistaken GDP methodology was first used or created sometime in the 1940's in the US. Am I missing something maybe?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Dabeho View Post
    You know what? Be it as it is.

    As long as Southern European countries are not what we can call Latin America (cleaner, fairer wages), I think I can start having a liking for them (again).

    After asking some questions today to people, I have even reconsidered my positions on some countries :).

    Peace.
    some more info.............

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maleth View Post
    Please note that Italy and Germany unified as countries at around 1870, before that they were just separate regions. Germany was just 100's of states sometimes even a village was a state, let alone being able to have GDP results from 1500 as the Madison figures suggest. If not mistaken GDP methodology was first used or created sometime in the 1940's in the US. Am I missing something maybe?

    a lot of the dates are in error of 30 years when looking at the map and comparing it to historical fact.................
    có che un pòpoło no 'l defende pi ła só łéngua el xe prónto par èser s'ciavo

    when a people no longer dares to defend its language it is ripe for slavery.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sile View Post
    a lot of the dates are in error of 30 years when looking at the map and comparing it to historical fact.................
    very probable but the idea is there that neither Italy or Germany (espesially Germany) was there in 1500

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    Quote Originally Posted by arvistro View Post
    I think he meant touchy as touching you when speaking :)
    I think there is North/South but also Protestant/Catholic divide.
    Well I'm from a city in the cradle of catholicism (Italy) and nobody here touches you whilst speaking... But I live in a northern region, so I can't speak for the whole country (though my "touchy" experiences are very limited). I think that some "touchy" things occur more frequently in the south; some months ago, I spent some hours with a large group of neapolitans and they used to touch my shoulders and even my hips during conversations. I didn't like it at all, I was something like "please keep your distance!". And I remember a sicilian guy doing the same thing with my GF last summer... It was VERY unpleasent, I wanted to smash his face, I didn't care if it was a "regional" behaviour or something (yes, I'm a typical jealous southern euro )
    Nullum magnum ingenium mixtura dementiae fuit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mars View Post
    Well I'm from a city in the cradle of catholicism (Italy) and nobody here touches you whilst speaking...
    I believe that is the Norm in any place. It would be horrible for anyone to touch you as they speak in a normal conversation, UNLESS some one is emotional distress or gives a hug out of some good news, and put say an arm round the shoulder for comfort (and it mostly happens with family and friends anyway).

    And I remember a sicilian guy doing the same thing with my GF last summer... It was VERY unpleasent, I wanted to smash his face, I didn't care if it was a "regional" behaviour or something (yes, I'm a typical jealous southern euro )
    And he didnt know your Girl friend? there is nothing culturally or regionally acceptable about that and its not normal at any rate. If you don't punch him in the face probably someone else would. Most of the touching happens when greeting and saying goodbyes to family, friends and friends of friends in form of kissing on the cheek, hugging and in times of distress like putting a hand over the shoulder or holding a hand. Mostly that happens with family and friends not total strangers.

    On the other hand its very easy and acceptable culturally in the south to start conversations with total strangers, (Buses, waiting in ques (where there are any haha) and personally I find it very pleasant and represents a cohesive and trustworthy society and many people still go out of their way to give a helping hand without the need to be individualistic and treat every case suspiciously all the time and every time. I SINCERLY hope it will never change

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maleth View Post
    And he didnt know your Girl friend? there is nothing culturally or regionally acceptable about that and its not normal at any rate. If you don't punch him in the face probably someone else would. Most of the touching happens when greeting and saying goodbyes to family, friends and friends of friends in form of kissing on the cheek, hugging and in times of distress like putting a hand over the shoulder or holding a hand. Mostly that happens with family and friends not total strangers.
    She helped him fix a problem with a power point presentation in the previous few days. He probably thought she was free. When he started touching her, I suddenly grabbed her hand, just to make it clear I told her about this and she said "people in the south are simply more exuberant, don't worry"... Well, I worried nevertheless

    Quote Originally Posted by Maleth View Post
    On the other hand its very easy and acceptable culturally in the south to start conversations with total strangers, (Buses, waiting in ques (where there are any haha) and personally I find it very pleasant and represents a cohesive and trustworthy society and many people still go out of their way to give a helping hand without the need to be individualistic and treat every case suspiciously all the time and every time. I SINCERLY hope it will never change
    This is true

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    Quote Originally Posted by arvistro View Post
    Read Gone with the Winds :)
    Now they are rich enough West Euro country with probably also not so much kids (I have not checked on their demographics, could be they still outdo other Euros) and probably not so Catholic.
    Gone with the Wind is not really about Irish people per se, but about the political, social, and economic upheavals in the USA's Southern states/cultural region during the late 19th century. The story happens to have an Irish-American heroine, and perhaps the author may have intended to make a metaphorical comparison between English/Irish dynamics and Northern USA/Southern USA dynamics, but the USA is the main focus of the story.

    The cultural divide described in the book still exists today. For more information about it, read D. H. Fischer's Albion's Seed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maleth View Post
    Please note that Italy and Germany unified as countries at around 1870, before that they were just separate regions. Germany was just 100's of states sometimes even a village was a state, let alone being able to have GDP results from 1500 as the Madison figures suggest. If not mistaken GDP methodology was first used or created sometime in the 1940's in the US. Am I missing something maybe?

    It is easy to imagine that Germany and Italy have more or less always been similar in scope to the way they currently are, with only minor border changes every few decades. As you mentioned, this is not true at all - the modern nations of Germany and Italy are of very recent origin, even more recent than the USA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maleth View Post
    Thats interesting. However if that is the case what is it that makes it such? I presume there is some distinction also between Irish and say English or Brits in general
    The Irish are hot tempered and fiercely supportive of their country.

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    what about Vatican?

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