This conversation is closed.
What defines a nation?
I am closely watching the events in Ukraine these days. I think, Ukraine struggles to define itself as a nation. Some people in Ukraine have identity crisis. They were born in Ukraine, lived in Ukraine their whole life, but don't speak Ukrainian and identify themselves as Russians. Others strongly identify themselves with Ukrainian language and culture and feel closer to Europe than Russia. For the past 20+ years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine struggles to define its internal and foreign policy independent from external influences. However, there is still no political force inside Ukraine able to unite the country without pulling it to one side or the other and polarizing the society.
To form a nation, people must have something in common to hold them together. My question is, what is it that makes you identify with a nation?
- Language? Then what defines multilingual Switzerland or Canada as nations?
- Territory? Some nations are dispersed all over the world. Some nations have been forced to move from their historic land yet preserved their national identity.
- History? What is meant by that? Every region or city has its own history.
- Religion? Most large countries are have multiple religions.
I'd like to understand what holds a multi-lingual, multi-cultural, multi-religious countries together, if anything. What creates a national identity?