Patriotism is...

This summer in Poland when I was watching German TV showing all those happy Germans during the World Cup waving national flags, with black, red and gold paint in their faces, their hair, it felt very strange. What was going on in my country? It didn't mean anything to me seeing these people - my people - on the TV screen. Grown up in a country with very low-key (if this is the right word in English) patriotic feelings waving my flag would never have come to my mind and I did not know people doing this. But when I had to go to Germany just in the last days of the World Cup I experienced this collective party feeling myself. It still felt a bit strange, but I realized that this was no patriotism to be afraid of but a kind of collective fun, a collective enjoying of this international get-together and on the same time enjoying this new German common feeling which did not exclude anybody non-German. Is this a variety of the patriotism of tomorrow? A pride of ourselves which strengthen us but does not weaken the others?
Angelika Eder

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