Cultural Nationalism

This essay has been penned by Rushaed Ahsan for CDLS which was hosted by Modern School in India.

Cultural Nationalism refers to collective practices that form modern political communities within, unsanctioned by, or even undercutting state authority.

Cultural Nationalism is a form of nationalism in which the nation is defined by a shared culture. It is an intermediate position between ethnic nationalism on one hand and liberal nationalism on the other.

Ethnic nationalism is a form of nationalism wherein a state is defined in terms of ethnicity, which means an affiliation resulting from racial or cultural ties.

Liberal or Civic nationalism in in which importance of the values of freedom, tolerance, equality and individual rights are upheld. It also show its importance towards an individual to have a national identity.

As uncommon as it may sound, the origins or the development of cultural nationalism took place in Ireland in the 19th century, the place which is famous for its beer. During this time the Irish became anglicized, which means adoption of English as a personal preferred language.

By 1880’s most of the population spoke English, read English books and played English games. Although the Irish got their independence, their nationalism seemed alike to the Englishmen. This showed lack of national identity. Hence through cultural nationalism they tried to develop aspects of Irish life which were uniquely different from the British lifestyle.

The growth of new forms of cultural nationalism- The Gaelic Athletic Association  (GAA), Gaelic League (GL), and literary revival, and also the occurrence of a number of important political  initiatives – the birth of Sinn Fein, the rejuvenation of the Irish Republican Brotherhood   (IRB) and the emergence of a stronger labor movement.

The history of European peoples and cultures from the prehistoric times to the present is also significant, as Europe at the present is one of the most important continents of the world thanks to the European Union.

Europe is a more ambiguous term than most geographic expressions. Its etymology is doubtful, as is the extent of the  physical area it designates. Its western frontiers seem clearly defined by its coastlines, and yet the position of the British Isles remains equivocal.

To outsiders, they appear clearly a part of Europe. Too many British and some Irish people, however, “Europe” essentially means continental Europe.

To the south, Europe ends on the northern shores of the Mediterranean sea. Yet, to the Roman Empire, this was an inland sea rather than a frontier. Even now, there are questions about where or not Malta and Cyprus are European islands.

The greatest uncertainty lies to the East, where national frontiers are notoriously elusive. If the Ural Mountains mark the east boundary of Europe as it lies to the south of them?

These questions have acquired new geographical importance as Europe has come to be more of a geographical expression. Historically Europe was forced into unity first by the Holy Roman Empire and the Roman Catholic Church. Later, though a number of political theorists proposed plans for the European Union, which both Napoleon Bonaparte and Adolf Hitler tried to implement. It was not until the world war II that the union was proposed peacefully to avoid any further future wars in Europe.

At present time cultural nationalism is becoming an important part in the formation of public policies. As cultural factors influence economic behavior, political participation, social solidarity, value formation, and evolution of different countries in different ways. The competing hypotheses cultural nationalism evident literature has significant influence on public policy.

There are some areas of public policy which can be improved through consideration culturism including testing of cultural variables on public success and failure, relationships between national cultures and preference for the different types of multi- level governance systems.

In my opinion cultural nationalism is not only important for public policies but also for national development. In Bangladesh, a country which contains a diverse amount of cultures all blended together in it. These cultures can influence the number of cultural celebrations which go on in the country. From those celebrating Muslim to Hindu To Buddhist To Christian holidays. We the citizens of Bangladesh not only get to see these celebrations but also enjoy more holidays than in any other nation.


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