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Thread: Countries that believe their culture is superior to others

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    Countries that believe their culture is superior to others



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    Wow, please everyone forgive my words, but I'm increasingly surprised and disappointed by the positions of Greece in these opinion surveys about morals, religion and societal values. I thought being so much wealthier and more cosmopolitan (a lot of international tourism and trade) than other parts of the Balkans it'd be more progressive and liberal.

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    I think some cultures are objectively more advanced and refined than others in some particular aspects. The fact that other Western countries emulate Ancient Greece, would inspire people there to feel that way I guess.

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    2 members found this post helpful.
    I think that this survey gives the measure of people's open-mindedness vs narrow-mindedness. People in Western Europe are less jingoistic and more open-minded about other cultures because:

    1) these societies are more multicultural (not just immigrants, but also foreign workers, expats and students from abroad)
    2) Western Europeans travel more and are therefore more familiar with other cultures too.

    It's ironic that the poorest and least developed countries tend to think of themselves the most highly, while countries that are cultural leaders such as the UK (music, fashion, cinema, education), France (fashion, cuisine), Belgium/Netherlands (liberal laws), Sweden (egalitarianism, sustainability, social progress) are far more humble.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    I think that this survey gives the measure of people's open-mindedness vs narrow-mindedness. People in Western Europe are less jingoistic and more open-minded about other cultures because:

    1) these societies are more multicultural (not just immigrants, but also foreign workers, expats and students from abroad)
    2) Western Europeans travel more and are therefore more familiar with other cultures too.

    It's ironic that the poorest and least developed countries tend to think of themselves the most highly, while countries that are cultural leaders such as the UK (music, fashion, cinema, education), France (fashion, cuisine), Belgium/Netherlands (liberal laws), Sweden (egalitarianism, sustainability, social progress) are far more humble.
    Surprisingly, that open mindedness is what allows exceptionalism and avant-garde thinking in sciences, culture etc.
    Most golden era empires in the world were open, synchretic, synthesizing the best traits of its diverse sub cultures and populations.

    Take Hellenism as a cultural movement that spread far and wide. Now compare and contrast that forward thinking Hellenism (for the time) with 21st century opinions Greek people from this survey show. Whereas the ancients would look back only as far as to create art, narrative and to pave a way for the future... today it is enough to have pride in something that happened 2600 years ago, with no coherent plan for the future. Took Hellenism and Greece as an example only cause it was the low hanging fruit. But the Balkans and Eastern Europe have similar issues. Deriving self worth from the past.

    It is funny most of these cultures are Christian... and religious. I thought pride was the cardinal sin...
    “Man cannot live without a permanent trust in something indestructible in himself, and at the same time that indestructible something as well as his trust in it may remain permanently concealed from him.”

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    It's a pitty they don't give the figure for Turkey, I'm curious
    I think their rating is pretty high allthough they seem less inspired by the Erdogan propaganda lately.

    France used to be quite chauvinistic, but this has eased.

    The U.K. still remembers all the propaganda made by the Brexiteers.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Archetype0ne View Post
    Surprisingly, that open mindedness is what allows exceptionalism and avant-garde thinking in sciences, culture etc.
    Most golden era empires in the world were open, synchretic, synthesizing the best traits of its diverse sub cultures and populations.

    Take Hellenism as a cultural movement that spread far and wide. Now compare and contrast that forward thinking Hellenism (for the time) with 21st century opinions Greek people from this survey show. Whereas the ancients would look back only as far as to create art, narrative and to pave a way for the future... today it is enough to have pride in something that happened 2600 years ago, with no coherent plan for the future. Took Hellenism and Greece as an example only cause it was the low hanging fruit. But the Balkans and Eastern Europe have similar issues. Deriving self worth from the past.

    It is funny most of these cultures are Christian... and religious. I thought pride was the cardinal sin...
    Azerbaijan is 97% Muslim, and has a very high percentage on that map. Pride is a sin in Islam as well.

    @Bicicleur, it would be great to see a survey of the whole world. I'm sure Europe as a whole would average out to be among the lowest.

    However, I do think it is perfectly healthy to have pride in your culture. But not to a narrow-minded or chauvinistic degree. Nevertheless, aspects of some cultures are better than others, imo. I think at least Greeks have good reason to be proud of Greek culture, given the legacy. I'm not culturally Greek, and I recognize it. As did other Greco-philes throughout history. That being said, I don't think it is the be all end all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jovialis View Post
    Azerbaijan is 97% Muslim, and has a very high percentage on that map. Pride is a sin in Islam as well.

    @Bicicleur, it would be great to see a survey of the whole world. I'm sure Europe as a whole would average out to be among the lowest.

    However, I do think it is perfectly healthy to have pride in your culture. But not to a narrow-minded or chauvinistic degree. Nevertheless, aspects of some cultures are better than others, imo. I think at least Greeks have good reason to be proud of Greek culture, given the legacy. I'm not culturally Greek, and I recognize it. As did other Greco-philes throughout history. That being said, I don't think it is the be all end all.
    Pride is good as long as it doesn't get in the way of intelligence, which happens all to soon.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    As a Greek, I think that having pride in one's distant past is all good but it should not blind one to the problems of the present. Now I do think that we have plenty of accomplishments to be proud of in the current era and plenty of things to fix, such as endemic corruption. We need to strengthen our democratic institutions, learn to live within our means, quit blaming others for self inflicted wounds, encourage European & American companies to invest in Greece so we can keep highly educated Greeks from seeking employment elsewhere. We need to decide on a set of guiding principles going forward.
    Also I would take these surveys with a grain of salt. If you ask a greek whether he's religious 90% would answer yes. Just go to any church on any given Sunday and they are empty except for some old ladies and an occasional old man.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jovialis View Post
    Azerbaijan is 97% Muslim, and has a very high percentage on that map. Pride is a sin in Islam as well.

    @Bicicleur, it would be great to see a survey of the whole world. I'm sure Europe as a whole would average out to be among the lowest.

    However, I do think it is perfectly healthy to have pride in your culture. But not to a narrow-minded or chauvinistic degree. Nevertheless, aspects of some cultures are better than others, imo. I think at least Greeks have good reason to be proud of Greek culture, given the legacy. I'm not culturally Greek, and I recognize it. As did other Greco-philes throughout history. That being said, I don't think it is the be all end all.
    That was not my point Jovialis. Just a general observation from looking at the map. As there seems to be a correlation between countries that declare themselves as religious and regarding ones culture as superior.

    Excessive Pride is indeed a sin in Islam. Just mentioned Christianity because from my familiarity with it, it is considered the original sin and the source of other sins.

    I do not doubt that there might be a correlation between religiosity and regarding ones culture as superior in Islamic countries as well, in fact I would not be surprised. However, from this map of Europe it is hard to make that conclusion as there is no/few predominantly Islamic countries.

    As for Azerbaijan... I do not see it in the map. I mean it looks uncolored, meaning it was not surveyed. Maybe you have a source I do not see.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Archetype0ne View Post
    That was not my point Jovialis. Just a general observation from looking at the map. As there seems to be a correlation between countries that declare themselves as religious and regarding ones culture as superior.

    Excessive Pride is indeed a sin in Islam. Just mentioned Christianity because from my familiarity with it, it is considered the original sin and the source of other sins.

    I do not doubt that there might be a correlation between religiosity and regarding ones culture as superior in Islamic countries as well, in fact I would not be surprised. However, from this map of Europe it is hard to make that conclusion as there is no/few predominantly Islamic countries.

    As for Azerbaijan... I do not see it in the map. I mean it looks uncolored, meaning it was not surveyed. Maybe you have a source I do not see.
    I was mistaken on that last point, Azerbaijan was not surveyed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jovialis View Post
    I think some cultures are objectively more advanced and refined than others in some particular aspects. The fact that other Western countries emulate Ancient Greece, would inspire people there to feel that way I guess.
    Modern Greek culture is very different from the ancient one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ihype02 View Post
    Modern Greek culture is very different from the ancient one.
    Having to survive 2000+ years of Roman/Byzantine/Ottoman empires, innumerable wars, plagues, natural disasters, plundering, etc will do that for you. Not to mention having to absorb populations that don't share your culture, a religion that is not friendly to your culture (Christianity). But we are still friendly to strangers, we still have filotimo (love of honor) we still love to dance and have a good time and occasionally we work hard (when we own the business). We are passionate about our soccer teams and our politics (a little too much). We are very family oriented (multi-generational families live under one roof) and will do anything for our kids to the point of babying them and spoiling them. We have world renown poets and novelists, musicians, and scientists. Imagine if instead of an 2000 years of no major accomplishments the Greek culture kept on going unperturbed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ihype02 View Post
    Modern Greek culture is very different from the ancient one.
    true,
    but there is continuity,
    an evolution to survive thrue global changes

    culture has a lot to do with public believes, religion, science, economy,
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    Wow, please everyone forgive my words, but I'm increasingly surprised and disappointed by the positions of Greece in these opinion surveys about morals, religion and societal values. I thought being so much wealthier and more cosmopolitan (a lot of international tourism and trade) than other parts of the Balkans it'd be more progressive and liberal.

    allow me to add this,
    If Greeks did not have this believe
    then centuries of Roman and Ottoman occupation Greek culture would not survive.

    it is a natural defence to keep alive your culture

    Except Greece and Israel, can you find another nation or country,
    with so many invasions, occupations etc etc
    Last edited by Yetos; 09-08-20 at 00:01.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    I think that this survey gives the measure of people's open-mindedness vs narrow-mindedness. People in Western Europe are less jingoistic and more open-minded about other cultures because:

    1) these societies are more multicultural (not just immigrants, but also foreign workers, expats and students from abroad)
    2) Western Europeans travel more and are therefore more familiar with other cultures too.

    It's ironic that the poorest and least developed countries tend to think of themselves the most highly, while countries that are cultural leaders such as the UK (music, fashion, cinema, education), France (fashion, cuisine), Belgium/Netherlands (liberal laws), Sweden (egalitarianism, sustainability, social progress) are far more humble.

    Don't forget Spain, please.

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    It is important to know how they translate these questions.

    In modern Greek, for example, there is no exact translation for the English word culture.
    The word 'koultoura' (a loan from Latin) is often used for 'high culture' almost like afaiu German Kultur.
    Likely they used the word 'politismos' which is a 19th century neologism used originally to translate French civilization, which has a range of meanings: civilization ~ culture ~ way of life.
    Different people would understand different things.

    Smart people (the minority in every countrty) would refuse to answer. To me, a 'no' answer makes a more negative impression.

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    2 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jovialis View Post
    Azerbaijan is 97% Muslim, and has a very high percentage on that map. Pride is a sin in Islam as well.

    @Bicicleur, it would be great to see a survey of the whole world. I'm sure Europe as a whole would average out to be among the lowest.

    However, I do think it is perfectly healthy to have pride in your culture. But not to a narrow-minded or chauvinistic degree. Nevertheless, aspects of some cultures are better than others, imo. I think at least Greeks have good reason to be proud of Greek culture, given the legacy. I'm not culturally Greek, and I recognize it. As did other Greco-philes throughout history. That being said, I don't think it is the be all end all.
    I completely agree.

    Also, while many Northern and Western Europeans might respond like this on a survey, some of that might be them trying to give the politically correct answer. Also, from things I see people from those areas say on the internet they might not think their “country” is superior, but
    they certainly think their “region” of Europe or their general ethnicity is superior to, say, other regions, like Southern Europe. Some of them even claim to be enlightened European leftists without a racist bone in their bodies. :) Hypocrisy and self delusion reign everywhere. Of course, people on these kinds of sites might not be typical.

    So, maybe the Greeks are just more honest. :) Although I have to say that here in the US they admix less than any other group I can think of....less than Jews even.

    As pertains to France, or even Germany or Britain, one quarter or more of the population is of “foreign” extraction. I would wager a large sum that if you asked descendants of “locals”you’d get a different answer.

    It’s all just part of the relativism in all matters which has so permeated a lot of western thought. I’m not a fan.

    Do I think western countries are superior to countries where they marry off pre-pubescent girls, don’t educate women, cut off their clitoris so they can’t experience sexual satisfaction, and force them to wear chadors? Yes, I do.


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    Others does not mean just Middle Easterns or Africans.

    I don't see how can those countries scoring over 60% (and the rest of Eastern Europe too) compete culturally with countries like France or Italy but that is just me and my taste.

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    I’d also point out to some posters upthread that in the supposedly enlightened and progressive Norway, almost 60 percent of the population thinks their culture is superior. I wonder what the real total for Sweden would be if immigrants and descendants of immigrants were not included.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    I think that this survey gives the measure of people's open-mindedness vs narrow-mindedness. People in Western Europe are less jingoistic and more open-minded about other cultures because:

    1) these societies are more multicultural (not just immigrants, but also foreign workers, expats and students from abroad)
    2) Western Europeans travel more and are therefore more familiar with other cultures too.

    It's ironic that the poorest and least developed countries tend to think of themselves the most highly, while countries that are cultural leaders such as the UK (music, fashion, cinema, education), France (fashion, cuisine), Belgium/Netherlands (liberal laws), Sweden (egalitarianism, sustainability, social progress) are far more humble.
    Its not ironic at all. Those countries consist of people who aren't ashamed of their race.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ratchet_fan View Post
    Its not ironic at all. Those countries consist of people who aren't ashamed of their race.
    Which countries are "ashamed" of their race? O.o
    Also do you mean ethnicity or race? Cause race as a term in Europe is not really well defined as opposed to the US. But even if you meant ethnicity, I can not think of a country ashamed of their ethnicity either...

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    I wouldn't trust this survey too much (like the one on attitude towards foreigners or other races) .
    Then "is my culture is superior to others" might mean different things to different people - one may interpret it simply like "our ways of life...our traditions" instead of for example "our contribution to the European cultural heritage". The question in the survey is just too general to jump on conclusions or point the finger at this or that nation. Well, the Greeks (and a number of other Southerners plus France and some Easterners) have every reason to be very proud on both accounts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A. Papadimitriou View Post
    It is important to know how they translate these questions.

    In modern Greek, for example, there is no exact translation for the English word culture.
    The word 'koultoura' (a loan from Latin) is often used for 'high culture' almost like afaiu German Kultur.
    Likely they used the word 'politismos' which is a 19th century neologism used originally to translate French civilization, which has a range of meanings: civilization ~ culture ~ way of life.
    Different people would understand different things.

    Smart people (the minority in every countrty) would refuse to answer. To me, a 'no' answer makes a more negative impression.

    TRUE

    but let me remind you the words εθος and ηθος = culture
    which are the true form of Greek language as concern culture
    culture = εθιμον and ηθισται

    in Greek language from the same root of word culture also springs the word for nation
    ηθος = morale, culture that has to do with what is morale and fair, also for social matters and behavour, weddings funerals etc.
    εθος = customs, get used to, addicted to, fammiliar, culture that has to do with everyday life, having fun, music, entertainment, food consuming etc
    εθνος = nation


    the term κοuλτουρα is a 20th century import/loan, mainly to express not local musical, entertainment etc waves,
    the term κουλτουριαρης has a diffusal meaning in Greek

    Ι agree with you,
    the term πολιτισμος, which is a clear translation of word civilization, is used today to translate the word culture,
    and the most funny is when a modern Greek 'culture-aris' use the term 'πολιτιστικη κουλτουρα', (civilistic ?? culture, cultural culture? )

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jovialis View Post
    However, I do think it is perfectly healthy to have pride in your culture. But not to a narrow-minded or chauvinistic degree. Nevertheless, aspects of some cultures are better than others, imo. I think at least Greeks have good reason to be proud of Greek culture, given the legacy. I'm not culturally Greek, and I recognize it. As did other Greco-philes throughout history. That being said, I don't think it is the be all end all.
    But being proud of where you come from and where you live does not necessitate you to start believing that your culture/nation/country is superial to all others. That's when pride starts to become a venome and, ironically, a hindrance to the continued progress of your culture/nation.

    Also, I think that precisely because all we can say is that culture/nation X is better than culture/nation Y or Z in a very specific matter we shouldn't be too convinced that our culture is superior, perioa, because it may be - in fact it always is - better at this, equal at that and much worse at something else, and there are many aspects of culture that simply cannot be hierarchized in a simple worse/equal/better scale, because they're just different, each of them with cons and pros, and also adapted to different environments and conditions, so that something may appear better now, but become worse in a new scenario. All in all, people who are really advanced in many things generally stop believing things are so simple and so easy to be labeled, classified and ranked, so they stop believing they are culturally superior to all other peoples as a general assertion.

    In the case of Greece, previous opinion surveys showing they are also more like other Eastern European countries in acceptance of LGBT+ people, people of other races and cultural backgrounds and so on also lead me to believe that that high percentage of people feeling their culture is superior is not just because of all the compliments Ancient Greece keep receiving from everyone in the world.

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