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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Apr-2009 at 11:04
Originally posted by HEROI HEROI wrote:




I think you are wrong on a few points.
And the first and most important is that the western Europe has no right to decide who is part of Europe,since Europe itself is a complex geographical definition.Hope we agree on this.
As you yourself make it clear with the terminology in your post is the western-eastern European divide you talking about not the european-noneuropean thing.

As i told you there was no political Europe before ww1, even western europe was a region with hundreds of conflicts and different philosophies.

It is true that big countries in western Europe share a common origin of the modern values  but that does not make them european and the others in the east not European.

Ottoman empire did not remove the balkans  or its people,but it invaded that part of europe becoming itself a part of europe.
If we follow the logic in your post then all the barbarian anglo-saxons are not european,and all slavonic people are not european,but only what constituted ancient Rome actually is European.

I do though agree on on thing.That if we have to talk about a Europe of values and origins then it has to be the former Roman empire,and countries such as poland who have adopted every aspect of it.Russia is not european nither in term of values or geography.


Heroi,

I wasn't expressing my personal opinion, I was expressing the "common opinion" of many, if not most, western Europeans. (which I do not share)
If you've read my earlier posts you'd realise that for me, Europe includes everything west of the Urals, north of the Mediterranean, and the Black Sea. (Istanbul west of Bosphorous is Europe, east of it isn't, like i mentioned)

However, I've encountered MANY people who do not consider Russia as part of Europe (my girlfriend only realised a month ago that Moscow's in Europe when I told her) for political reasons more than anything.

While no one doubts the Balkans as part of Europe geographically; when the average persona on the street hears the word "European", he would think of Holland, France, Germany, or Italy, and wouldn't think of Bosnia, Montenegro, or Albania for historical and political reasons.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HEROI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Apr-2009 at 11:16
That's because of the cold war mentality.
And that average person has to be in western Europe to think like that,if he is in the Balkans he would naturally think himself as being in Europe.

But i share the same opinion with you that west of the Urals and as east as Istanbul is Europe.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Apr-2009 at 11:56
Originally posted by calvo calvo wrote:

While no one doubts the Balkans as part of Europe geographically; when the average persona on the street hears the word "European", he would think of Holland, France, Germany, or Italy, and wouldn't think of Bosnia, Montenegro, or Albania for historical and political reasons.


Of course what an average person on the street thinks should not have any impact on how Europe is defined. Most people are ignorant and don't put any effort into understanding the world around them beyond those aspects that have a direct impact on their life. I keep running into people who can't even answer the question of whether the Earth circles the sun or vice versa without giving it some serious thought first, a problem that was settled centuries ago and explained to everyone in elementary school.

Personally I think the real issue is no longer defining the Europeans, but refining them. Wink


Edited by Reginmund - 22-Apr-2009 at 12:01
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Apr-2009 at 13:21
To a large extent the best definition of Europe depends on why you want to define it. Certainly incidentally most English people still don't automatically think of England as being part of Europe. Don't know about the Scots, Irish and Welsh.
 
Originally posted by Reginmund Reginmund wrote:

Originally posted by calvo calvo wrote:

While no one doubts the Balkans as part of Europe geographically; when the average persona on the street hears the word "European", he would think of Holland, France, Germany, or Italy, and wouldn't think of Bosnia, Montenegro, or Albania for historical and political reasons.
How often would he think of Britain as included?
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Of course what an average person on the street thinks should not have any impact on how Europe is defined. Most people are ignorant and don't put any effort into understanding the world around them beyond those aspects that have a direct impact on their life. I keep running into people who can't even answer the question of whether the Earth circles the sun or vice versa without giving it some serious thought first, a problem that was settled centuries ago and explained to everyone in elementary school.
Actually I loved the introduction to one of my children's school textboooks on astronomy which, after a chapter describing the orbit of the sun around the earth, started the next by saying "Of course it is also possible to consider the earth as orbiting around the sun'. The people who took a long time to answer may have had more on the ball than you give them credit for, since all observers have equivalent status in an Einsteinian universe.
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Personally I think the real issue is no longer defining the Europeans, but refining them. Wink
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I agree about west of the Urals and the Hellespont making historical and geographical sense. But what about Pantelleria? Lampedusa? Iceland? Greenland? Madeira?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Apr-2009 at 17:30
Iceland is interesting because it's both North American as well as Eurasian, but Mother Nature will sort that problem out eventually... Tongue

Originally posted by Reginmund Reginmund wrote:



Of course what an average person on the street thinks should not have any impact on how Europe is defined. Most people are ignorant and don't put any effort into understanding the world around them beyond those aspects that have a direct impact on their life. I keep running into people who can't even answer the question of whether the Earth circles the sun or vice versa without giving it some serious thought first, a problem that was settled centuries ago and explained to everyone in elementary school.

Personally I think the real issue is no longer defining the Europeans, but refining them. Wink


thats a good point and one that i already brought up before in this thread, that is Europe doesn't exist geographically. is there a question if Russia is european or not? Russia is Eruasian, like we all are, as simple as that. (actually the eastern most part of Russia is even North American.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 08:44
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

thats a good point and one that i already brought up before in this thread, that is Europe doesn't exist geographically. is there a question if Russia is european or not? Russia is Eruasian, like we all are, as simple as that. (actually the eastern most part of Russia is even North American.


If we're going to be "strictly continental" then I'd have to agree, and it's a nice way of circumventing the issue by making it irrelevant. Yet there are more layers to what Europe is (see my first post) than the geographic boundaries, and even if we conclude Europe isn't a continent it doesn't amount to anything more than semantics, as it would remain as distinct a region as the Middle East and the East Asia.


Edited by Reginmund - 23-Apr-2009 at 08:46
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 19:45
Originally posted by Reginmund Reginmund wrote:


If we're going to be "strictly continental" then I'd have to agree, and it's a nice way of circumventing the issue by making it irrelevant.


the only circumvention as i can see is this: Europeans try to create an artificial border between themselves and Asians that does in fact not exist at all.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 21:02
Whether something exists objectively is never really the question, and all borders are artificial. You can look at the Urals and call it a border, or you can look at them and say they are no such thing. The borders exist in our heads, then they are projected unto the world, and thus they become the closest thing to reality. The idea of Europe is very much a reality, indeed it's why we are having this conversation, and so Europe is far more real than Eurasia, a term few operate with and most have never heard of, so vast and all-including it's meaningless to anyone but pedantic geographers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 21:31

It's just an arbitrary word. It has no particular signifigance. I don't worry about exact definitions like this because it's not important. Whether a particular group can be labelled "European" or not doesn't really change any facts, only perceptions. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 23:21
peopel talk about globalisation nowadays and forget about the silk road? can it even get more eurasian? the EU was foremost an economic union.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Apr-2009 at 00:43
Originally posted by edgewaters edgewaters wrote:

It's just an arbitrary word. It has no particular signifigance. I don't worry about exact definitions like this because it's not important. Whether a particular group can be labelled "European" or not doesn't really change any facts, only perceptions. 

 
Sometimes I often wonder that since when did the concept of "Europe" actually exist?
Who defined Europes' borders? When? and why?
 
This is a subject that often intrigues me because today all European nationalities feel like we are like "one cultural entity", in contrast to neighbouring North Africa and the Middle East. A Spaniard or Italian would usually feel much closer to a German or Dane than to an Algerian or Tunisian.
This was not the case 2000 years ago. Back then, all the Mediterranean coast was part of the "civilized", Roman, world, while north of the Danube, East of the Rhine, and south of the Sahara were the "Barbarian" world. Back then, a person living in Spain probably felt far closer to someone living in Algeria than to someone living in Germany or Poland.
 
It is strange how perceptions have changed over the centuries.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Apr-2009 at 10:05
Originally posted by calvo calvo wrote:

Sometimes I often wonder that since when did the concept of "Europe" actually exist?
Who defined Europes' borders? When? and why?
 
This is a subject that often intrigues me because today all European nationalities feel like we are like "one cultural entity", in contrast to neighbouring North Africa and the Middle East. A Spaniard or Italian would usually feel much closer to a German or Dane than to an Algerian or Tunisian.
This was not the case 2000 years ago. Back then, all the Mediterranean coast was part of the "civilized", Roman, world, while north of the Danube, East of the Rhine, and south of the Sahara were the "Barbarian" world. Back then, a person living in Spain probably felt far closer to someone living in Algeria than to someone living in Germany or Poland.
 
It is strange how perceptions have changed over the centuries.


This is why I find the study of the middle ages to be of such crucial importance in understanding Europe. With the fall of the Roman Empire in the west there was an actual break in continuity, and the civilization that took its place over the following centuries was a completely different beast. The Renaissance scholars couldn't have been more wrong in dismissing the medio aevum as an intermediary millennium between antiquity and the Renaissance, on the contrary it was when their civilization was in truth born. The civilization of medieval Europe was partially built on the legacy of antiquity, to be sure, but it wasn't created by the ancients; it was created by those who destroyed the ancient world.

The renowned French medievalist Jacques Le Goff has written a book on the topic titled "The Birth of Europe". Its contents can be summed up as following:

"In this ground-breaking book, the great French historian Jacques Le Goff places the genesis of Europe firmly in the Middle Ages. He contends that it was in the Middle Ages that many of the institutions and beliefs we consider to be ‘European’ were defined and developed for the first time: ideas about a common Christian society, public spaces, courtship and marriage.

The Birth of Europe presents the historical facts and events that shaped the period, but also the formation of attitudes and concepts of a European ‘dream’. The Middle Ages manifested the combination of diversity and unity present in Europe today: the mixing of populations, West-East and North-South oppositions, but above all the unifying role of culture.

Le Goff shows that of all the periods that have contributed to our common European heritage, and will continue to shape Europe’s future, the Middle Ages are the most significant. The book will be enjoyed by loyal followers of Le Goff, as well as anyone interested in how ‘Europe’ was born."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Apr-2009 at 12:58
Anyone who lives in Europe and leads a lifestyle consistent with the mainstream native population is a European, or someone of recent Euro heritage doing the same elsewhere. That's my interpretation.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ikki Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Apr-2009 at 23:36
Originally posted by calvo calvo wrote:

Originally posted by Frederick Roger Frederick Roger wrote:

I think you are all adressing the issue from a highly erroneous point of view - that of "Europe" being a clearly defined geographical space. That, to me, is an archaic and simply wrong conception that, misinterpreted, can generate all kinds of serious racist and xenophobous atitudes. Europe as continent is one of the most enduring unsupportable theories ever - it is nothing but an Asian peninsula. To call it a continent, a different, independent geographical space, makes as much sense as refering to Alaska or India in the same way.


You're right that Europe is a peninsula of Asia, just like India, but there IS a geographical definition of Europe; whether it's man-made or not.
As I said before: north of Mediterranean, Black Sea, and Caucasus, west of Urals. When I was visiting Istanbul I crossed a bridge that connected "Europe" and "Asia" because it crossed the Bosphorous. I don't see anything "xenophobic" or "racist" about quoting that because it's simple geography.

For me, "European" refers to anything that pertains to this geographical peninsula, regardless of religion, ethnicity, wealth, or politics.
Therefore, Morocco isn't European, neither is Canada, USA, Mexico, China, or India. 





 
Not so easy Calvo, are people from Canary Islands europeans? Smile And those from Reunion or French Guyana?
 
 
 
 
 
 
Originally posted by Styrbiorn Styrbiorn wrote:

Originally posted by calvo calvo wrote:

In Spain, the word "European" in everyday language often means "cosmopolitan, liberal, democratic, open-minded, and respectful".
It's the impression that Spaniards have about the French, Germans, Dutch, Scandinavians, and British; as opposed to the "conservative, provincial, Catholic, closed-minded" attitude of traditional Spain. 

This is funny, here "European" used to refer to the more laid-back, wine-drinking, more open and relaxed southern European attitude as opposed to the more stuck-up, binge-drinking, ordered but "less cultural" Scandinavia. Nowadays the EU propaganda is effectively changing the meaning of words and views regarding Europe. It's an interesting topic.
 
You people are choosen examples from the borders of Europe, there isn't an outer view of europeans in France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg and Germany, because they are the core of Europe, they have been considered traditionally 100% europeans.


Edited by Ikki - 30-Apr-2009 at 23:37
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-May-2009 at 15:16
"are people from Canary Islands europeans? Smile And those from Reunion or French Guyana?"
 
Geographically speaking, Canary Islanders, natives of Ceuta and Melilla, are Africans rather than Europeans. The fact that they have the nationality of a European country is another question.
So the verdict is: geographically they are not; but politically and culturally they are.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-May-2009 at 16:00
"European" is mostly a cultural identity. That not always corresponds to geography.
 
Would you call Kalmyk Mongols who live inside the geographical Europe, Europeans?
 
Would you call German protestant colonists that built settlements in Altai region close to Mongolia, Asians?
 
Moreover, historically speaking the notion of "Europe" has been changing. For many ancient  writers everything that was beyond Tyras was already Barbaric and Asian.
 
Likewise, Moscovite kingdom for the most Europeans of the 16th century was a kind of Barbaric Tataro-Asian realm. Yet now, there is no doubt that the classical Russian culture, particularly literature and classical music is an integral part of the European tradition.
 
'European' is the one who belongs to this "Cutural-Historical" identity. At the moment, Georgians, Azeris and Armenian are not Europeans. But this can change in the future.
 
It's rather a political issue and also a manifistation of a weird cultural complex of thinking that being "European" mean being more superior in different ways, thus if I am more "European," I am more "advanced." You can often see that in the former USSR when different people would start to argue who of them is more "European." But this is clear nonsense in my opinion.


Edited by Sarmat - 02-May-2009 at 17:37
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-May-2009 at 16:40
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

It's rather a political issue and also a manifistation of a weird cultural complex of thinking that being "European" mean being more superior in different ways, thus if am more "European" I am more "advanced." You can often see that in the former USSR when different people would start to argue who of them is more "European." But this is clear nonsense in my opinion.
 
This is a very common prejuidice ingrained in many people.
The other day I was talking to one of my friends, who is from Andalucía (southern Spain). She said that she gets really annoyed when people confuse her for Mexican, Colombian, or Venezuelan. I asked her why; and she said: "because we're very different people. Southern Spaniards and Latin Americans have nothing to do with each other."
Then I asked her if she'd be offended if people mistook her for French or Italian, and she said not so much. I asked her why, and with all her spontaneanity she responded: "because French and Italian are European."
 
I then asked her why would she be less offended if people mistook her for another European nationality, and she didn't know how to answer.
 
I think the bottom line lies in wealth, although most people would refuse to admit it.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-May-2009 at 17:18
yeah i think that's a good observation
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