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Which Is My Country?

by Bored Guest

Is it the obligation of 2nd/3rd generation immigrants (specially the South Asian ones) to "prove" their loyalty to the country their grandfathers chose to adopt? Can it be proved merely by cheering for a sports team?

Barring cricket, the only other sport I follow somewhat regularly is Tennis. I was thinking about this hypothetical situation and I realised that there was no way I would have ever supported Sania Mirza over Steffi Graf. Does that make me any less patriotic? Is it possible that like me, a few of these Brit-Asians simply like the Asian teams better? (You really can't blame them for this. I mean England sucks at cricket anyway!)

Other than that, why don't I hear these questions asked of say, the English who live in Ireland or Scotland? Do they and their descendants cheer for England or their chosen "countries" of residence? (I write the word "countries" in quotation marks because the use of this term is debatable.) What about those players who are English by birth but chose to play for Scotland (or any other country for that matter)..who cheers for them?

K mentions that Brit-Asians supporting their countries of origin adds to the xenophobia among Brits. Yes, I totally agree with that. But I also think that this xenophobia is by and large a product of a lot of major misconceptions about immigrants that exist in the average Brit's mind. Something that I don't see anyone in a position of authority address and rectify. If perhaps those larger issues are tackled, this issue of supporting England or India will not be that big a deal.


by Megha

12 comments:

straight point said...

agree with you on this megha...

you can take the man out of its root...but you cant take the roots out of a man...and women too... ;-)

Megha said...

Thanks SP :)

If this is a matter that is a potential problem creator then perhaps it needs some introspection...Why should this happen...why should someone who is born and brought up in one country, still feel a strong connection with another one...taali ek haath se to nahi bajti

straight point said...

hmmm...that's another good question megha...

its something akin to however love step-mother pours on kid...he/she will always yearn for real mother and i think ans lies in this analogy...

bit bollywoodish...but still... :)

Megha said...

true SP

try something a little more Bollywoodish...step-mother is very subtly partial towards her own kids and that leads to friction among the siblings ;-)

life imitating art or art imitating life?

straight point said...

life imitating art imitating sports imitating life...

if that make sense... :)

Megha said...

ha ha...makes sense allright :)

Superunknown said...

I dont think supporting your country of origin is such a big issue.

Its but natural. even if somebody is born in another country altogether and hasnt visited the root country, i dont think its wrong to support root country.

perhaps Nasser Hussain doesnt think so.

Megha said...

cheers superunknown :)

support for the root country does not necessarily equate to lack of patriotism for home country

Anusha said...

Very interesting post Megha..

I am in a country currently where Cricket is not followed at all..I, being from India, cannot help but think that Cricket is the best game of all..And the games that are played here look so alien..

I guess it is about the connection you feel - with the country and with the sport as well..A lot of Indians I know here came from India idolizing Sachin but now think that football is the only game they care about..There are some in India I know who keep themselves more well versed with EPL than IPL..

Also, a lot of time people take sports patriotically and patriotism sportingly..

Also what about the commentators..Which country do they support?? :-)

Megha said...

"a lot of time people take sports patriotically and patriotism sportingly"

That is a killer line :) Different strokes for different folks, isn't it...

Naked Cricket said...

I've often watched and played cricket with my good friend of Pakistani origin who was born and brought up in England, and is married to an Indian.

I recall asking asking him when England plays Pak, who he supports, but I don't recall his reply. Don't think it mattered to me. What mattered was we played, talked and lived a lotta cricket together.

Megha said...

cheers NC :)

we live in difficult times, but life would be a lot easier if people did not make mountains out of molehills