I Can Do Anything Better Than You: Regional Pride is Plentiful in Europe

One very interesting thing I learned about Spain in general: many citizens don’t really consider themselves ‘Spainards’. If you are from the north, you are Galician, and probably speak Galician in addition to Spanish. If you are from the Catalan region, you are a Catalan, speak Catalan, and eat Catalan food. In many (if not all) parts of Spain, there is quite little national spirit.

And I’ve noticed the same in Croatia, with an emphasis on Dalmation cuisine vs. general Croatian dishes.

I think this is quite interesting because the most direct comparison in the US would be state pride. And while surfers love “the sunshine state”, and New Hampshire would rather “live free or die,” most state pride has died out.

There are exceptions of course–Texans are often bonkers about their beloved land where “everything’s bigger in Texas,” but that’s not incredibly common. Certainly not in New England.

What’s more is that in America’s early days, this regional pride was much more intense, probably more on par with what I’ve seen in Europe. You might recall that when Robert E Lee was asked to join the Union’s efforts to hold the country together, even though he believed in keeping the nation joined, he said that Virginia came first, America second.

Today┬áthat seems like such an odd idea–state first, and then country? I certainly don’t feel that way, and I don’t think many other Americans do either.

What do you think about this regional pride? Am I right that it’s not as common in the US as in other parts of the world?

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