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Nationalities on the Camino

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Camino(s) past & future
Frances from Astorga (2018)
Frances/Invierno from SJPP (2019)
I love reading the stats about which countries pilgrims are from. I love seeing numbers from my own countries. I am a dual national, and I feel equally strongly/loyal about both. Last year my credencial carried one of my nationalities literally because it was the first passport I got out of my pocket when I filled the first page of the credencial.

However that nationality also happens to be very well represented on the Camino, and my other nationality (the one that I didn’t register with) not so much. So I felt a little guilty/disloyal that my poor, smaller, less well represented nationality didn’t count towards the starts. 😁

I’m just curious...if you have two nationalities how do you pick which one you put down on your credencial?
 
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
Hallo Leibniz,

I'm from Germany and I´m nearly never the only one at the place. Always someone of my kind is there, or will be right there in a few minutes.

But as a pilgrim from a less represented nationality you are sometimes "like a star" to the Hospitaleros.

On my last Camino me met Martin, a guy from Liechtenstein, and he said to the realy enthusiastic Hospitalera:
"Yes I´m from Liechtenstein, and you can touch me if you want!;)

All the other pilgrims started to laugh out loud and we all got to know each other very quickly.

All the best to you

Michael
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
I haven't bothered getting my second passport. I would however before doing a second camino and I would use that one for identification and so would have that nationality on my credential. The reason is that to re-enter the US legally I would need my US passport and so with less use of the US passport overseas I would be better able to keep from losing it.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
I am from the United States. When I first encountered the camino in 1993 (yes, I am OLD) an American pilgrim was exotic! This continued for a good while, and now look at the place! o_O

I moved to Spain in 2006. When I walk now, I register as Spanish, but the hospitalero, soon as she/he hears my accent, will often register me as American anyway. What the heck?
 

Francois de Meillon

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Part of (2018)
Primitivo (2019)
Finistere (2019)
I love reading the stats about which countries pilgrims are from. I love seeing numbers from my own countries. I am a dual national, and I feel equally strongly/loyal about both. Last year my credencial carried one of my nationalities literally because it was the first passport I got out of my pocket when I filled the first page of the credencial.

However that nationality also happens to be very well represented on the Camino, and my other nationality (the one that I didn’t register with) not so much. So I felt a little guilty/disloyal that my poor, smaller, less well represented nationality didn’t count towards the starts. 😁

I’m just curious...if you have two nationalities how do you pick which one you put down on your credencial?
I do not have two passports so I will always br registered as South African. I would hoever say that in the event of me having two I would present the passport of where I was born. If that is not possible then use the one of the country where you reside.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago (a combination of own way, voie de Tours and Camino Frances)
I guess this is mainly a question for people who have an EU and a non-EU passport and carry both passports with them because of Schengen rules. Everybody else with two different national passports will carry just one passport with them. At least in my (albeit limited) experience. 😊

It is of course similar to the "De dónde eres?" question. Where am I from? Neither my country of birth nor my country of residence is a good answer to this question because often it's more a "Who are you?" than a "Where are you from?" question.

I've never bothered to indicate my nationality and number of ID card/passport in my credentials. I guess I'm not taking this seriously enough. 🙃
 
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LTfit

Veteran Member
As I travel on my Dutch passport, I always register as Dutch. Although I am also American, it would be strange registering myself as such after the past 26 years living in The Netherlands. Of course as soon as I speak English someone will typically say "but your English is excellent!" ;)

This past January volunteering in Ponferrada we had a young gentleman from Mongolia and a woman from San Marino, now that was a first!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances from Astorga (2018)
Frances/Invierno from SJPP (2019)
It is of course similar to the "De dónde eres?" question. Where am I from? Neither my country of birth nor my country of residence is a good answer to this question because often it's more a "Who are you?" than a "Where are you from?" question.
Very true!
It feels a bit complicated at times. :)
 

Ferenjinan

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy- Auvillar ( 2018 )
Lisbon- Santiago (2019)

St. Jean Pied a Port - Finisterre 2008
I am from Alaska, which always elicits oohs and ahs from people and the statement "I've never met anyone from Alaska before".
I use that because it seems more like a separate country than a state- and because I'm not partial to America in general.
Been an ex-pat for many years, and that gets complicated to explain.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
When someone asks "de donde eres..." I usually reply Florida. As an American and proudly so, I nonetheless, am aware that being one these days in a foreign country can automatically make you a lightning rod for all manner of adverse commentary and opinion.

So, I consider my opening gambit a veiled attempt at deflection. While Florida is not a country, it is a unique enough place that people who know where it is, are usually satisfied. Most folks appreciate that I live in a tropical paradise and leave it as that...

I do not mind a healthy debate, discussion, and enjoy answering questions as best I can, whenever and wherever I can. My forum posts reflect that personality defect... But, I will be no one's whipping boy...or scapegoat...ever...

In my experience and education, everyone is always entitled to an opinion or three. But no human being is entitled to belittle, insult, or marginalize another just because of something about them that they have little or no control over... end of side point... back to main thread...

I used to sometimes say I was from Toronto Canada. Actually, what remains of my small family does live just across the Lake Ontario, near Rochester, NY, perhaps 70 miles as the proverbial crow flies. So, I was close. Plus, I have spent enough time in Canada and continue to follow events and current happenings to carry this off, if need be.

However, and this is the interesting thing, when asked "de donde eres?" giving the Florida answer, and establishing that Florida is indeed, "en los Estados Unidos..." the person asking frequently says, "...no, WHERE are you FROM? After two or three seconds, the light bulb goes off over my head... THEN I realize what they are really asking...

Yes, they, and most folks you meet on the Camino are curious about nationality. But the "...WHERE are you FROM..." question means what is your ancestry. Evidently, my light olive skin and largely European features are found interesting by some I meet. Now that my hair is mostly grey as is my beard, I suppose some find me more perplexing...I know I do...

When I traveled around Europe, both east and west, over the past 40 years, many indigenous folks thought that I was from there...wherever I was... So, Italians thought I was Italian, Hungarians thought I was from there, and French folks thought I was from France. Likewise for Belgium, Germany, Greece, Poland, the Czech Republic, etc.

It is funny (strange) to be walking in Budapest and have some person you never saw before come up to you in the street to ask you for directions, speaking to you like a native. These folks are usually surprised when you explain that you are tourist, from American and do not speak (x) well. I try to learn as much for each country I visit.

Last year, I finally did the DNA thing just to assuage MY curiosity. Long story shorter, it turns out that while I am comprised of 100 % European ancestry, my genes going back some 10 generations, are from all over the continent. From Ireland the UK, and France, across Germany and Austria, to Hungary, Poland and "unspecified Eastern European" to the East, but mostly from Italy and Sicily, I am what I am... an American of mixed European breed components... Go figure...

I guess that explains why I can easily pass as Spanish in Spain and Portuguese in Portugal...

I always enjoy meeting folks from places I have not visited either privately or professionally. More than that, meeting people from countries that were forbidden to me while I was working for my government is most fascinating.

What is most revealing is that on Camino, people are people. Once you get past any artifice, people the world over are the same. THAT is one of the pleasures I enjoy every time I am on Camino or working as a volunteer.

Hope this helps the dailog...
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
De donde? It’s a more complex question. I would look for who is asking the question and then decide. Do you need or want to blend in or stick out? In some countries I blend in in other they assume. So I answer where I life in the moment.
De donde? Puerto Azure and so on. I was asked many questions from three Spanish students and I asked them why this was important to them. They said they had never lived somewhere else, so I asked what they wanted to know and shared with what I felt comfortable with.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017
When someone asks "de donde eres..." I usually reply Florida. As an American and proudly so, I nonetheless, am aware that being one these days in a foreign country can automatically make you a lightning rod for all manner of adverse commentary and opinion.

So, I consider my opening gambit a veiled attempt at deflection. While Florida is not a country, it is a unique enough place that people who know where it is, are usually satisfied. Most folks appreciate that I live in a tropical paradise and leave it as that...

I do not mind a healthy debate, discussion, and enjoy answering questions as best I can, whenever and wherever I can. My forum posts reflect that personality defect... But, I will be no one's whipping boy...or scapegoat...ever...

In my experience and education, everyone is always entitled to an opinion or three. But no human being is entitled to belittle, insult, or marginalize another just because of something about them that they have little or no control over... end of side point... back to main thread...

I used to sometimes say I was from Toronto Canada. Actually, what remains of my small family does live just across the Lake Ontario, near Rochester, NY, perhaps 70 miles as the proverbial crow flies. So, I was close. Plus, I have spent enough time in Canada and continue to follow events and current happenings to carry this off, if need be.

However, and this is the interesting thing, when asked "de donde eres?" giving the Florida answer, and establishing that Florida is indeed, "en los Estados Unidos..." the person asking frequently says, "...no, WHERE are you FROM? After two or three seconds, the light bulb goes off over my head... THEN I realize what they are really asking...

Yes, they, and most folks you meet on the Camino are curious about nationality. But the "...WHERE are you FROM..." question means what is your ancestry. Evidently, my light olive skin and largely European features are found interesting by some I meet. Now that my hair is mostly grey as is my beard, I suppose some find me more perplexing...I know I do...

When I traveled around Europe, both east and west, over the past 40 years, many indigenous folks thought that I was from there...wherever I was... So, Italians thought I was Italian, Hungarians thought I was from there, and French folks thought I was from France. Likewise for Belgium, Germany, Greece, Poland, the Czech Republic, etc.

It is funny (strange) to be walking in Budapest and have some person you never saw before come up to you in the street to ask you for directions, speaking to you like a native. These folks are usually surprised when you explain that you are tourist, from American and do not speak (x) well. I try to learn as much for each country I visit.

Last year, I finally did the DNA thing just to assuage MY curiosity. Long story shorter, it turns out that while I am comprised of 100 % European ancestry, my genes going back some 10 generations, are from all over the continent. From Ireland the UK, and France, across Germany and Austria, to Hungary, Poland and "unspecified Eastern European" to the East, but mostly from Italy and Sicily, I am what I am... an American of mixed European breed components... Go figure...

I guess that explains why I can easily pass as Spanish in Spain and Portuguese in Portugal...

I always enjoy meeting folks from places I have not visited either privately or professionally. More than that, meeting people from countries that were forbidden to me while I was working for my government is most fascinating.

What is most revealing is that on Camino, people are people. Once you get past any artifice, people the world over are the same. THAT is one of the pleasures I enjoy every time I am on Camino or working as a volunteer.

Hope this helps the dailog...
Having been on the Camino four times now, I am used to people indicating their State rather than their country of USA. However, if you live in Florida, have relatives in New York, why would you feel it was necessary to indicate you were from Canada? A friendly question and not intended as anything other than that. ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
Whoever said "it's complicated" got close.

I was born in New Zealand.
My mother was born in New Zealand to a father born in Devon and a mother born in New Zealand and whose mother was born in Kent.
My father was born in Scotland.
So, am I Pakeha, English, Scottish, European, whatever?

I arrive in Europe on that passport to access medical facilities, if required, with no or minimal cost.

In Europe, when walking, I identify as New Zealand. My informal survey of fellow pilgrims (where are from?) suggests about 50% knowledge of the world map. And my arrivals at Compostella are those of a New Zealander.
 

Bonita

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September ( 2015)
I always answered “from Panama”, only because I have lived there for the past 10 years. It’s also a fun answer, too. Good conversation starter.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
Having been on the Camino four times now, I am used to people indicating their State rather than their country of USA. However, if you live in Florida, have relatives in New York, why would you feel it was necessary to indicate you were from Canada? A friendly question and not intended as anything other than that. ;)
I depends on the context of the question, who is present, and the level of evident tension... There is an old Japanese proverb that says that "...the nail that sticks up gets hammered down..." I try never to be the nail...;)

Sometimes, deflection is the better choice... You would have to be present to understand what I mean...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017
I depends on the context of the question, who is present, and the level of evident tension... There is an old Japanese proverb that says that "...the nail that sticks up gets hammered down..." I try never to be the nail...;)

Sometimes, deflection is the better choice... You would have to be present to understand what I mean...
You're right I haven't been there. I seem to remember Dave taking some time away from this site and relating to issues due to his nationality. Feel free to correct me if I am off base with that. People can be put in awkward situations with others whose grasp of reality is somewhat limited. I trust that doesn't happen on this site. My condolences to you, from a friendly neighbor to the North, for any positions you find yourself in based solely on your place of birth. Jeez..and I thought I got flack from time to time mentioning that I wear kilt on the Camino. By the way, out of respect, I left out the U in neighbor. ;)
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
IIRC last year, Dave DID get into one of those "lightning rod" situations. It affected him VERY profoundly and he took a time out. The good news is that he is back, better than ever.

I long ago learned the proper way to spell "neighbour, parlour, etc." I consider myself 'bilingual' in English... I can even translate on the fly from the Queen's English into colloquial American...LOL

It must be nice to be from the one country that no one dislikes...just because...

Cheers!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017
IIRC last year, Dave DID get into one of those "lightning rod" situations. It affected him VERY profoundly and he took a time out. The good news is that he is back, better than ever.

I long ago learned the proper way to spell "neighbour, parlour, etc." I consider myself 'bilingual' in English... I can even translate on the fly from the Queen's English into colloquial American...LOL

It must be nice to be from the one country that no one dislikes...just because...

Cheers!
I am thankful everyday that my ancestors emigrated from Scotland
 
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
Hallo t2andreo,

during my ways most of the people from the US introduce themself even to "non US people" like you do:

"I´m Mike, from .....town / Texas.

I know this "phenomenon" only from the US. No Italian says I'm from Umbria, except to other Italians. Every french is from France and not from Gascogne.

Yes of course, a few of us Germans like to be at first from Bavaria;)

That's a serious question from me. Is this local patriotism? Is the emotional relationship with the state so strong?

I'm curious about your answer

Michael
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017
Before Tom gives a reply let me throw in my two cents. It helps narrow down the geography for one thing. Texas is about the size of France after all. Also Texas is quite different from Florida or New England.
Just a further two cents, as I have noticed the same thing as Mike. Mention a place of origin as Florida, California, New York and you are usually okay. Some strange looks from Europeans when the response is Arkansas or Ohio :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
Especially Arkansas could be a problem.

We would pronounce it in something like "Kansas", just with "Ar" in front of it:)

But I would introduce me in every case as Michael from Germany, and not as Michael from Nordrhein-Westfalen, which is also very different to Bavaria.

Normaly the talking go further like " From which part of Germany?", and then I would talk over the details.

So the opposite style;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
I'm reminded of staying in a hostel in Fiji decades ago. 75% were Canadians. When someone new came in the question would come "Where are you from?" Canada. "Yeah, everyone is from Canada. "Where ... ?" BC (British Columbia) "Where ... ?" Vancouver. I swear that half the time it progressed beyond neighborhoods to street addresses.
 

Yoyo

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2017
(CF 2019)
I was born and raised in Germany but have been living in Mexico for the last 28 years (that's half my life).
Santiago de Compostela's statistics registered me as a German because that's my nationality, but I would have liked to be considered as someone who came all the way from Mexico to walk the Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances from Astorga (2018)
Frances/Invierno from SJPP (2019)
I do like it when you guys give your state as the place you’re from. It’s always interesting. For example it could be a state I’ve visited, or where I have friends and relatives, or (even more exciting) a state from where I’ve never met anyone. :)

I do get that the reason you do it is not just that it’s interesting...

I’m sorry to hear that Americans have had bad experiences when saying they’re American. There really should be no place for this on the Camino. Very disappointing.
 
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
I can even translate on the fly from the Queen's English
Tom, I rather fancy Her Majesty's speech is confined to Buckingham Palace and a few localities to the south. But Wills and Hal have travelled and lived widely so much that the Queen's English may be an endangered species.

Go to Newcastle and you hear Geordie.
Go to Somerset and the local dialect is unique.
Speech in Oxfordshire is different again - remember Pam Ayres.
There is a unique dialect from Stafford to Lancaster.
Q: What is the dialect in Liverpool called? A: Scouse
And we havent goto to Ireland, Scotland and Wales!!

In my limited sample of two, the best spoken (Queen's) English comes from Swedes who began learning at a very early age.

So, Tom, do you want fries / chips / crisps with that?
 
Camino(s) past & future
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Talking of accents I had passed through Pamplona and was admiring the El Perdon ridge in the distance when a couple of uncertain years came alongside.

During the chat I eliminated Canada as their homeland. So at an apprpriate pause I asked East (coast) or West?

When I said I didn't have enough experience to distinguish US accents the women said she was from California and they didn't have accents in that State.

Her husband did look quite amused at that.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
Don't get me started on accents... They do add spice to life and language, but to the outsider or foreigner, they constitute a whole other language. I can barely handle dialects and accents in English. But, I do understand Scouse.. On the other hand, my Spanish is not likely to come up to this level...ever.

But, I do understand the age-old crisps, chips and fries dilemma.

Your posts made me chuckle. Thanks...
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
Before Tom gives a reply let me throw in my two cents. It helps narrow down the geography for one thing. Texas is about the size of France after all. Also Texas is quite different from Florida or New England.
I totally agree with you. My telling people I meet for the first time that I live in Florida, is not so much for deflection or avoidance, as it is to allow the person to focus on that fact, rather than raw nationality. When I am speaking to Spaniards, they are acutely aware that Spain discovered Florida and possessed it for nearly 200 years before the British moved in... They are taught this in school. At one time, Spain was the most powerful country in the world. That is historical fact.

Also, in fact, the first arrival of Europeans; the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León in 1513, made the first written records. The state received its name from this Spanish conquistador, who called the peninsula La Pascua Florida in recognition of the verdant landscape and because it was the Easter season, which the Spaniards called Pascua Florida (Festival of Flowers).

The oldest European settlement in what is now the US was in Saint Augustine, Florida. This predates the arrival of the Pilgrims from the British Isles in Plymouth, Massachusetts (1620) by 107 years.

Another thing that many Europeans do not understand is that the US is huge, similar to Australia or Canada. Most of our 50 states are larger in land mass than the typical European country. We have regional dialect and political differences, as well as any number of localized behaviors. We are not a monolithic or homogeneous people. To say the US is a diverse nation is an big understatement.

Also true, many US citizens identify with the state or place they live, before their nationality. They commonly claim to be a Texan, Alaskan, Virginian, or Floridian before indicating that they are Americans. To fully understand this, you would need to understand our republican system of government.

In our constitution, back in 1781, the various states agreed to come together to form a republic. They chose to cede only selected and limited authorities to a strong central government, as made logical and practical sense. It would be silly to have 50 currencies or 50 foreign policies or 50 armies and navies... 50 different court systems, or 50 different sets of immigration laws...etc.

In this manner, the US form of government is likely most similar to that in the Federal Republic of Germany. The individual states, like Bavaria or Saxony retain a very large amount of power and discretion over issues affecting their populations. Yet all are citizens of the German Federal Republic. The relationship between state and central government is similar as in the US, with central government only doing those things that make logical or practical sense for the central government to do, with the states handling everything else.

So, in historical reality, an American citizen is a citizen of the state they live in BEFORE they are an American. Nonetheless, we all identify as being Americans, BUT from Texas, Florida, Maine, Virgjina, Alaska, Puerto Rico, etc. Hyphenation like Italian-American or German-American is usually limited only to discussions of ancestry. I never, ever heard anyone claim to be a Texan-American... Just sayin...

Hope this helps the dialog...
 
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Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
@Caligal
I certainly do not want to make fun of you, but I did not recognize the positive effect of your tactics. Maybe you should really move to Arkansas, then it will work😅

Besite this, I completely agree with Leibniz. On the Camino and everwhere there is no reason to hold a person responsible for the traits or deeds of another person or the doing of his government.

Fortunately, in no country have I ever been ridiculed or rejected because I am German.

On my Camino, my friends often laughed about "Michael's German plan". I had a finished plan in my pocket, how I could walk to be in time in Santiago. For me it was completely uninteresting, if I really would run like that, but I'm so happy to plan something and I always had the hope to be prepared for any problem😜. Typical German?

Even if we don´t want it, we all have little stereotypes in mind when we think of certain countries, and there is often a small rivalry between the neigbours and we joke about each other.

"A German farmer does not eat what he does not know😇. A French farmer tries first, if you can eat this unknown thing:eek:"

On my walks on the Camino, it is the greatest gift for me, to meet pilgrims from all continents and talk to them about God and the world.

I have never experienced so much trust between completely foreign people than on the Camino.

Hopefully it stays that way on the way.

Michael
 
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Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
About dialect and different languages

My mother was born in the late thirties on a farm in northern Germany und grew up only speaking dialect, or better, a more or less completely different language. We call it "platt" (in means: flat - like the Country).
She spoke standard German only in school and in the church until she left home.

We as a family spoke only standard German at home, because the people in my homearea came from everywhere to work in the big industrie. And all my uncles and aunts did the same at home.

When we children were little and visited our grandparents, my mother forgot all the knowledge in standard German when she got out of the car there. It was always a big meeting with all my many uncles, aunts and cousins and the language which was used by the adults, even to talk to the children, was for sure platt. Only all the children spoke standard German to each other.

Platt is much closer to the Dutch language in grammar and in many words than to the German. And for Bavarians it´s like Cambodien😆

Last year I was on the Portugues with two caminofriends from the Netherlands, with whom, until our walk, I mostly spoke German when we were alone.

I have to say, that most of the dutch people are able to understand German and many of them could speak it very very well. As a shame for my compatriots and me, I must confess, that we expect more or less, that a Dutch can speak German👎👎👎 ,on the other hand, nearly nobody in Germany speaks Dutch. 😓

We picked up Belinda, also from Holland, at our way to the coast. She could understand German quite well, but could not speak it. So we had the situation, that three dutch people "should" speak English to each other in order not to exclude me. And we decided to do an experiment. Everyone spoke in his mother tongue and only when we did not understand each other, we briefly switched to English.

It was so funny and it works quite well, thanks to my platt experiences with my family. I can understand nearly everything, when someone is talking directly with me, it´s much more difficult to follow a conversation in a dutch group, but it works😉

When we met other Dutch or German people, it was very confusing for them. Especially when they started speaking dutch to me, because they heard Belinda, Christa and Gerhard doing it and I answered in German. We laughed a lot and I learned a lot.

At the end of our Camino they declared me to an "Dutch honorary"🥰

Since then, Christa and Gerhard speak only Dutch with me.

On my next Camino I can try it with French. But I had only one year French lessons - in the eighties.
Wish me good luck
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017
IIRC last year, Dave DID get into one of those "lightning rod" situations. It affected him VERY profoundly and he took a time out. The good news is that he is back, better than ever.

I long ago learned the proper way to spell "neighbour, parlour, etc." I consider myself 'bilingual' in English... I can even translate on the fly from the Queen's English into colloquial American...LOL

It must be nice to be from the one country that no one dislikes...just because...

Cheers!
I sometimes wonder about how the world views Canadians. I just finished the latest "Jack Reacher" book written by Lee Child. Child is a Brit living in the USA now. Some of you may be familiar with the Reacher series. At any rate two Canadians get involved in a dicey situation and take refuge in an American motel. Child is full of references such as the time the woman throws a balled up piece of paper at the waste basket and misses. Child indicates that "because she was Canadian, she went and picked it up. Further she stands on the motel bed to look for a camera and "because she was Canadian, she took her shoes off"

Reminds me of the tongue in cheek story of the Canadian Olympic athlete who won a gold medal and apologized to the 2nd and 3rd place athletes. ;)
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
I have the last Reacher novel sitting on the desk. Have not cracked it yet. Thanks for the spoiler alert...

Child's writing is very good for a Brit writing about the American military and domestic law enforcement. He appears to have his facts mostly correct. Nearly all his readers would not even notice the occasionally 'oopsie' in something factual. I do, because, when working, I was in federal law enforcement and had a lot of close interaction with the military.

I shall read this last book with interest as his base of writing operations has now changed. Thanks for the tips.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago (a combination of own way, voie de Tours and Camino Frances)
I sometimes wonder about how the world views Canadians. ;)
I can't speak for the whole world but I think it's quite accurate to say that in Europe, with the exception of the UK and perhaps Ireland (both of them English speaking countries), national stereotypes about Canadians are not very well developed or widely known. I hope that's not too disappointing as an answer. 😉

I think well developed national stereotypes exist mainly between neighbouring regions, cultures or countries or where there are other closer connections, either currently or in the past.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017
I have the last Reacher novel sitting on the desk. Have not cracked it yet. Thanks for the spoiler alert...

Child's writing is very good for a Brit writing about the American military and domestic law enforcement. He appears to have his facts mostly correct. Nearly all his readers would not even notice the occasionally 'oopsie' in something factual. I do, because, when working, I was in federal law enforcement and had a lot of close interaction with the military.

I shall read this last book with interest as his base of writing operations has now changed. Thanks for the tips.
Interesting t2andreo as I was in our country's Federal Police Force for 22 years. I too find myself, occasionally, saying "what the..." as I read Child. Having said that, I have read them all and enjoyed them.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017
I can't speak for the whole world but I think it's quite accurate to say that in Europe, with the exception of the UK and perhaps Ireland (both of them English speaking countries), national stereotypes about Canadians are not very well developed or widely known. I hope that's not too disappointing as an answer. 😉

I think well developed national stereotypes exist mainly between neighbouring regions, cultures or countries or where there are other closer connections, either currently or in the past.
Part of the problem is being a smaller population Country smack up against a bigger Nation. I seem to remember having a conversation with someone regarding New Zealand and Australia. I remember, as well, our first Prime Minister Trudeau (Pierre) saying something to the effect that being beside the USA was like sleeping with an elephant...every time it rolls over you are significantly affected ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
I sometimes wonder about how the world views Canadians.
Well, this was in the 1970s but while touring New Zealand I would almost always be asked if I were a Canadian, not an American. I asked about this a few times and was told that New Zealanders used to ask if someone with a North American accent was an American but this upset the Canadians so much that the Kiwis learned to avoid trouble.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
Nationalities. Show me your title deeds, then talk to me...
I need to remember this whenever I feel tempted to claim a nationality. I only have one. Guess what it is...
 
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances (Sept-Nov 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2019)
I was born and raised in San Diego, California, however at the time of my first Camino, I was living in Portland, Oregon for a few years. For me, it was easier to say “California”. Funny aside, when I was in south India about 7 years ago a young Indian man asked me where I was from, and I said California, and he got a far-away look in his eyes and said “ah California, land of Michael Jackson”. I was like well, can’t argue with that.

Consequently, my first Camino was during the 2016 US elections. I was in Negreira when “it” happened and oh the looks I got when people looked at my passport. I told them, “yes I’m as surprised as you all are, trust me”. 😶
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
Part of the problem is being a smaller population Country smack up against a bigger Nation. I seem to remember having a conversation with someone regarding New Zealand and Australia. I remember, as well, our first Prime Minister Trudeau (Pierre) saying something to the effect that being beside the USA was like sleeping with an elephant...every time it rolls over you are significantly affected ;)
PM Trudeau (Senior) was being polite... I recall during the 70s the sentiment being more like, "...they belch, we smell it..." or something more scatalogical...

The Europeans experience something similar. Everytime Russia does something, the others to the west are usually affected, directly or indirectly. Also, within the EU, when Germany does something, it also causes ripple effects cross the EU.
 
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
If Austrians and Swiss are considered Germans, they are a little bit outraged 😭. They think, everyone should hear, that they speak very differently than the Germans.
Of course, they do, especially the Swiss (it´s a throat disease :p) ...... but you only hear that, if you're a native German speaker.

It's the same everywhere in the world - we should not be so strict about being assigned to another beautiful country with lovely people😜
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
Interesting t2andreo as I was in our country's Federal Police Force for 22 years. I too find myself, occasionally, saying "what the..." as I read Child. Having said that, I have read them all and enjoyed them.
As a Canadian born, I am wondering what the Federal Police Force (in caps) is. I have never heard of it. Is there some regulation that retired members of the (I could guess) have to keep it a secret? No one will hear it from me.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017
As a Canadian born, I am wondering what the Federal Police Force (in caps) is. I have never heard of it. Is there some regulation that retired members of the (I could guess) have to keep it a secret? No one will hear it from me.
There is only one. Often associated with horses :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017
Well, this was in the 1970s but while touring New Zealand I would almost always be asked if I were a Canadian, not an American. I asked about this a few times and was told that New Zealanders used to ask if someone with a North American accent was an American but this upset the Canadians so much that the Kiwis learned to avoid trouble.
Ah! Ever the diplomats.
 

Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Breathe properly.
Stay curious.
And walk a camino.
Everyone spoke in his mother tongue and only when we did not understand each other, we briefly switched to English.
Something similar happened to me years ago when I met a guy from Namibia who spoke Afrikaans, a daughter language of Dutch. It maybe took us an hour to adjust, but we understood each other perfectly after that and we got on like a house on fire. Others around us, who apparently didn't catch on to the South African connection, were stunned that I was somehow fluent in 'Namibian'. Made me feel real exotic.
 

Mark Barnes

Old Engineer
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - September - November (2017)
When asked where I am from when on the Camino, I would respond Texas. I was born and raised in Texas and that is my answer no matter where I am in the world. I am a proud American but Texan first always. When I was on the Camino Frances (42 days) (Sept 20 - Nov 02,2017) I ran into three people from Texas so there are a few of us out there.

Blessings to all
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
Hallo t2andreo,

during my ways most of the people from the US introduce themself even to "non US people" like you do:

"I´m Mike, from .....town / Texas.

I know this "phenomenon" only from the US. No Italian says I'm from Umbria, except to other Italians. Every french is from France and not from Gascogne.

Yes of course, a few of us Germans like to be at first from Bavaria;)

That's a serious question from me. Is this local patriotism? Is the emotional relationship with the state so strong?

I'm curious about your answer

Michael
There are no Germans just Bavarians, Frankonians, Swabian, Alemans, and so on, similar to your States. It’s a great conversation startes, if you wantt it.🥳
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
I always answered “from Panama”, only because I have lived there for the past 10 years. It’s also a fun answer, too. Good conversation starter.
And we always register and say 'from Costa Rica', although I'm dual nationality Brit and Dutch and Adriaan is Dutch. The reason being is that we try to boost the minority, so to speak! The first year we walked the Camino, just 34 people had registered from Costa Rica.
Anyway, now it's Brexit rearing its nasty head, I consider myself European😊
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I sometimes wonder about how the world views Canadians. I just finished the latest "Jack Reacher" book written by Lee Child. Child is a Brit living in the USA now. Some of you may be familiar with the Reacher series. At any rate two Canadians get involved in a dicey situation and take refuge in an American motel. Child is full of references such as the time the woman throws a balled up piece of paper at the waste basket and misses. Child indicates that "because she was Canadian, she went and picked it up. Further she stands on the motel bed to look for a camera and "because she was Canadian, she took her shoes off"

Reminds me of the tongue in cheek story of the Canadian Olympic athlete who won a gold medal and apologized to the 2nd and 3rd place athletes. ;)
Q. How do you get 20 Canadians out of a swimming pool?
A. "Excuse me, you 20 Canadians. Could you please leave the pool? Thank you very much."

Told to me by an American cousin decades ago.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Part of the problem is being a smaller population Country smack up against a bigger Nation. I seem to remember having a conversation with someone regarding New Zealand and Australia. I remember, as well, our first Prime Minister Trudeau (Pierre) saying something to the effect that being beside the USA was like sleeping with an elephant...every time it rolls over you are significantly affected ;)
I had a similar conversation with people in Finland in the early 80s. :) They didn't believe anyone could relate to their experience living next to a superpower.
 

amocatnerak

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances April 2018
I usually just tell people that I am from Texas, which is where I live currently. When further pressed I tell them I was born in Germany. This seems to confuse people until I mention my status as a former “Army Brat.” All of the Irish people I have talked with on the Camino have told me that I am definitely Irish, which I am totally cool with!! 😁
 
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean to Santiago (2012, 2014, 2015, 2017)
Aosta to Rome - Via Francigena (2018)
I love readi the stats about which countries pilgrims are from. I love seeing numbers from my own countries. I am a dual national, and I feel equally strongly/loyal about both. Last year my credencial carried one of my nationalities literally because it was the first passport I got out of my pocket when I filled the first page of the credencial.

However that nationality also happens to be very well represented on the Camino, and my other nationality (the one that I didn’t register with) not so much. So I felt a little guilty/disloyal that my poor, smaller, less well represented nationality didn’t count towards the starts. 😁

I’m just curious...if you have two nationalities how do you pick which one you put down on your credencial?
De donde.... is indeed an interesting question for someone like me. I carry a US passport but was born in Korea. When I answer Seattle, WA, the questioner often continues to stare at me as if to say, "I mean where are you really from?" This happens almost all the time on the Spanish camino but it also happens in many rural US areas too. Some Spanish hospitaleros would even write "Korea" even after looking at my US passport. That's how strong one's assumptions can be, folks, haha!
 

Alx

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning Camino Primitivo
Oh, that's the question I'm regularly forced to answer for the last two decades. 'Where are you from?' - I hate it. I'm from Canada! 'But where are you ORIGINALLY from?' - thanks for noticing, I'm pretty much aware I speak English with an accent and, unfortunately, I always will.

Whatever. I will walk the Camino as a Canadian. My 'original' country is well represented there, too, so no obligations at that point.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
About dialect and different languages

My mother was born in the late thirties on a farm in northern Germany und grew up only speaking dialect, or better, a more or less completely different language. We call it "platt" (in means: flat - like the Country).
She spoke standard German only in school and in the church until she left home.

We as a family spoke only standard German at home, because the people in my homearea came from everywhere to work in the big industrie. And all my uncles and aunts did the same at home.

When we children were little and visited our grandparents, my mother forgot all the knowledge in standard German when she got out of the car there. It was always a big meeting with all my many uncles, aunts and cousins and the language which was used by the adults, even to talk to the children, was for sure platt. Only all the children spoke standard German to each other.

Platt is much closer to the Dutch language in grammar and in many words than to the German. And for Bavarians it´s like Cambodien😆

Last year I was on the Portugues with two caminofriends from the Netherlands, with whom, until our walk, I mostly spoke German when we were alone.

I have to say, that most of the dutch people are able to understand German and many of them could speak it very very well. As a shame for my compatriots and me, I must confess, that we expect more or less, that a Dutch can speak German👎👎👎 ,on the other hand, nearly nobody in Germany speaks Dutch. 😓

We picked up Belinda, also from Holland, at our way to the coast. She could understand German quite well, but could not speak it. So we had the situation, that three dutch people "should" speak English to each other in order not to exclude me. And we decided to do an experiment. Everyone spoke in his mother tongue and only when we did not understand each other, we briefly switched to English.

It was so funny and it works quite well, thanks to my platt experiences with my family. I can understand nearly everything, when someone is talking directly with me, it´s much more difficult to follow a conversation in a dutch group, but it works😉

When we met other Dutch or German people, it was very confusing for them. Especially when they started speaking dutch to me, because they heard Belinda, Christa and Gerhard doing it and I answered in German. We laughed a lot and I learned a lot.

At the end of our Camino they declared me to an "Dutch honorary"🥰

Since then, Christa and Gerhard speak only Dutch with me.

On my next Camino I can try it with French. But I had only one year French lessons - in the eighties.
Wish me good luck
All the way from Southern Denmark ( Sønderjylland) down to Frijsland, Holland and Germany we can understand each other quite well, and it is still a marvellous wonder how this mix works, but it does!.
Likewise in the Nordic countries, people from Denmark, Sweden and Norway understand each other, but linguistic understanding among the younger generation is dwindling, I find !
 

lunna

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
frances; portugues, lisboa-muxia; norte + to bayonne; vdlp; chemin du puy; voie d'arles/ aragones
Not to put a damper on things, and not to sound jingoistic, but I take issue with anyone having 'equal' loyalties to more than one country It is one thing to have dual nationality by birth, and if dual nationality can help with residence and allow one to remain and work in Europe (or elsewhere) for an extended period of time, that is fine too, that is, as a matter of convenience. But in terms of primary loyalty, well, I'm not for bigamy or polygamy either - it's all or nothing. Think of it this way: if forced to choose, and this is not as hypothetical a situation as some might think, which passport-citizenship would you keep and which would you give up?
 
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hieudovan

DoVanHieu
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2012), VdLP (2014), CF (2017), Rota Vincentina (2018), Cammino di Assisi (2019)
I love reading the stats about which countries pilgrims are from. I love seeing numbers from my own countries. I am a dual national, and I feel equally strongly/loyal about both. Last year my credencial carried one of my nationalities literally because it was the first passport I got out of my pocket when I filled the first page of the credencial.

However that nationality also happens to be very well represented on the Camino, and my other nationality (the one that I didn’t register with) not so much. So I felt a little guilty/disloyal that my poor, smaller, less well represented nationality didn’t count towards the starts. 😁

I’m just curious...if you have two nationalities how do you pick which one you put down on your credencial?
I am a U.S. citizen born in Viet Nam. For my first credential, I put down "Viet Nam." Unfortunately it did not matter as they went with my passport which is American. I guess if I had dual citizenships it would have worked.
 

ngm

" hikelover "
Camino(s) past & future
2010 - Camino Francés to Finisterre 840 km.
2012 - Via de la Plata/ Camino Sanabres some 1000 km
2014 - Camino de Levante/ Sureste .. and ending with the Camino de Invierno ( 1200 km )
2016 - Camino Mozárabe (- de la Plata -Sanabres /Invierno) from Granada to Santiago de Compostela ( 1180 km )
Helo..We have made 4 long Camino

One of few jew-israelies on the Camino. When asked where you from ..we answer allways Israel -and Sweden...(my wife, she's a swede..and I'm only living there ..) ;)
 

E V Waight

It's the journey, not the destination.
Camino(s) past & future
September (2017)
Possible September (2018)
Holy Year (2021) (all three Gladys, John and I)
I did my first and only Camino September 2017. I say first because at 64, I have every intention of making a few more before the sun goes down. I am from Belize and I get the bewildered look with the predictable follow up question: "where is Belize?" And the geography lesson starts. In 2017 my wife, son and I were the only persons from Belize that did El Camino de Santiago that year, in fact, I researched back a few years and found out that in the past five or six years only seven persons from Belize had ever done varying portions. It appears we are alone (from Bze) as doing from SJPP to Santiago. It is interesting that "where are you from?" is better than "what do you do?"
Yes, Belize is the only English speaking country in Central America, being once a British colony. But we also hablar Espanol because of our geography. We are a proud people now more influenced by US than Britain that as we say: when the US sneezes we catch a cold. I think the amount of pilgrims from small countries like ours are being more and more represented on El Camino, and that is good
thing! Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
For me "de donde" is at some point a question in the conversation, but not as a starter. There are much more interesting topics that I would prefer to address.

I accept every answer without a comment. The other person gives me the answer that is right for him, and only he knows what is right in this case.

Betty from Transsylvania always said, "I´m Hungarian", or, "I´m from Romania but Hungarian", because she is a member of the great minority of Hungarians in Romania. It was important for her to figure it out. Who am I, that I correct her answer.

So, it´s not primarily a question of official citizenship, but rather of the definition given by the individual to himself.

If a pilgrim would give me the answer "Basque" or "Catalan", I would never reply - "oh, so you are spanish".
Of course, perhaps at some point in the conversation, I would ask without hesitation for example: "How is that regulated in Spain?"

For me this is a very innocuous question, only I receive from a German the name of a city in response and from all the other the name of a country or region or a people.
 
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
We met a pilgrim on the primitivo which introduced himself as "I am french'".

In later conversation he complained about the long flight to Camino.

We were all a bit confused, but sometimes it`s different than you expected when we heard the first answer.

He was from Papeete, French Polynesia🌴
 

Betty Bauer

Member
Camino(s) past & future
October (2021)
I think a lot of the reason people from the US are more specific about where they are from has to do with different states being created for completely different reasons at different times. Nevada has the motto 'Battle-Born' because it was created during the Civil War to add another state to the North. I think it might be the state with the most government-owned land, and, not a lot of people live there, comparatively.
I mainly tell people now (in the US) that I am from Nevada to see the looks on their faces that this is a part of the US that is actually real ... while holding my breath that they won't argue with me about how I pronounce it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 4- May 12, 2018
CP April 2019
I had quite a funny reaction when the woman in Finisterre who was giving me a pedicure asked where I was from. I answered California she jumped up ran and got her phone pulled up a picture of the original Baywatch and grinned as she said “California”!!
 

Anna Cameron

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances sept-oct 2018
I think I know your meaning but be caeful of your wording. I've been known to say that my hometown was a great place to be from. :)
That's MY line!! I always say, "Dallas is a great place to be FROM" (thinking '...very far from...). Anyway, my complicated story is, I was born in Neuilly-sur-Seine France, to American parents, but that does not make me eligible for French citizenship or EU passport. I grew up in TX and left the USA at age 22. I've been in Australia since 1981 and have had Oz passport since 2005. My 2 kids born here have dual citizenship, Oz-USA, one lives in Adelaide, one in Seattle. It's funny, I had no desire ever to live again in the USA but I waited until the US laws changed, so that I could acquire Australian citizenship without losing my US citizenship. I identified throughout my Camino as "Anna from Australia" and used my Oz passport solely, too. But, I took along the Yank passport, (just in case).... Nowadays, I'm happy to remain an Australian, born in France, former resident of Texas and UT graduate, complimented on my spoken French when I travel. And VERY glad that, when I visit my son and his family, (using my US passport by the way), I go to Seattle and NOT Dallas (sorry Big D, but after you've lived in Austin, Berlin, Paris, Tasmania, South Australia, really, you can't go "home" again).
 

Anna Cameron

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances sept-oct 2018
About dialect and different languages

My mother was born in the late thirties on a farm in northern Germany und grew up only speaking dialect, or better, a more or less completely different language. We call it "platt" (in means: flat - like the Country).
She spoke standard German only in school and in the church until she left home.

We as a family spoke only standard German at home, because the people in my homearea came from everywhere to work in the big industrie. And all my uncles and aunts did the same at home.

When we children were little and visited our grandparents, my mother forgot all the knowledge in standard German when she got out of the car there. It was always a big meeting with all my many uncles, aunts and cousins and the language which was used by the adults, even to talk to the children, was for sure platt. Only all the children spoke standard German to each other.

Platt is much closer to the Dutch language in grammar and in many words than to the German. And for Bavarians it´s like Cambodien😆

Last year I was on the Portugues with two caminofriends from the Netherlands, with whom, until our walk, I mostly spoke German when we were alone.

I have to say, that most of the dutch people are able to understand German and many of them could speak it very very well. As a shame for my compatriots and me, I must confess, that we expect more or less, that a Dutch can speak German👎👎👎 ,on the other hand, nearly nobody in Germany speaks Dutch. 😓

We picked up Belinda, also from Holland, at our way to the coast. She could understand German quite well, but could not speak it. So we had the situation, that three dutch people "should" speak English to each other in order not to exclude me. And we decided to do an experiment. Everyone spoke in his mother tongue and only when we did not understand each other, we briefly switched to English.

It was so funny and it works quite well, thanks to my platt experiences with my family. I can understand nearly everything, when someone is talking directly with me, it´s much more difficult to follow a conversation in a dutch group, but it works😉

When we met other Dutch or German people, it was very confusing for them. Especially when they started speaking dutch to me, because they heard Belinda, Christa and Gerhard doing it and I answered in German. We laughed a lot and I learned a lot.

At the end of our Camino they declared me to an "Dutch honorary"🥰

Since then, Christa and Gerhard speak only Dutch with me.

On my next Camino I can try it with French. But I had only one year French lessons - in the eighties.
Wish me good luck
Viel glück! (That's me trying to use the tiny bit of (spoken) standard German I learned long ago... how did I do?
 
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
Viel glück! (That's me trying to use the tiny bit of (spoken) standard German I learned long ago... how did I do?
P E R F E C T 👍👍👍

A little hint for writing😜: In the complicated German language, a feeling (happiness, love, hatred etc) is written with a big letter.

When I was a pupil, we asked our teacher, why we has to learn those nonsensical rules. You can understand it even without the big letter. And we got a good example:

"Genossen" is the salutation used by members of the Socialdemocratic and Communist party (comrade)
but "genossen" is a grammatical form of "enjoy" in the past.

Ich habe liebe Genossen (I have lovely comrades)✊

Ich habe Liebe genossen (I enjoyed love)🥰


A quote from Mark Twain, who was not a big friend of 😛my wonderful mother tongue😛
"The German language should be gently and respectfully put down to the dead languages, because only the dead have the time to learn that language.":eek:
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
P E R F E C T 👍👍👍

A little hint for writing😜: In the complicated German language, a feeling (happiness, love, hatred etc) is written with a big letter.

When I was a pupil, we asked our teacher, why we has to learn those nonsensical rules. You can understand it even without the big letter. And we got a good example:

"Genossen" is the salutation used by members of the Socialdemocratic and Communist party (comrade)
but "genossen" is a grammatical form of "enjoy" in the past.

Ich habe liebe Genossen (I have lovely comrades)✊

Ich habe Liebe genossen (I enjoyed love)🥰


A quote from Mark Twain, who was not a big friend of 😛my wonderful mother longue😛
"The German language should be gently and respectfully put down to the dead languages, because only the dead have the time to learn that language.":eek:
In that case, I have been dead since secondary school. I loved learning German...although I rarely have occasion to use it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
On the Camino I loved to solve the mystery of which language someone just speaks.

Sometimes you known the big area - like Scandinavia - but the right country is the question.

To say it in the words of music: Danish ist more "Staccato" and Swedish is more a beautifully sung "Legato"

Spaniards sound like Italians to me - just in a very bad mood 😜

But the empress of all is the Italian language: Ciao bella - it sounds like music in my ear🥰
 
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Anna Cameron

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances sept-oct 2018
P E R F E C T 👍👍👍

A little hint for writing😜: In the complicated German language, a feeling (happiness, love, hatred etc) is written with a big letter.

When I was a pupil, we asked our teacher, why we has to learn those nonsensical rules. You can understand it even without the big letter. And we got a good example:

"Genossen" is the salutation used by members of the Socialdemocratic and Communist party (comrade)
but "genossen" is a grammatical form of "enjoy" in the past.

Ich habe liebe Genossen (I have lovely comrades)✊

Ich habe Liebe genossen (I enjoyed love)🥰


A quote from Mark Twain, who was not a big friend of 😛my wonderful mother longue😛
"The German language should be gently and respectfully put down to the dead languages, because only the dead have the time to learn that language.":eek:
Well, I am a great admirer of Mark Twain's writing (and also of Samuel Clemens), but he DID reflect his era and culture at times, particularly when he permitted himself to use racial or cultural generalisations. Perhaps if he had had a helpful friend to explain the language, as you have helped me here, he might have altered his opinion. I am fascinated by languages and wish I could speak more fluently in more of them.
 
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
@Anna Cameron

Yes of course, he did reflect his era and the circumstances, like we should do, especially looking to the past.

And he saw also the positive things in the German language, like you can hear or read if a person speaks to a single friend, a group of friends or to a stranger

In English it´s easy to learn - in every case "you" 👍 , but we have more information in the sentence with "Du" Ihr" Sie" 👍👍

Years ago I learned a little bit Hungarian, only a few month, but I can present a text in the Hungarian language and everyone will understand it - except me. Hungarian is a very difficult language but strictly regular and very logical. The emphasis is always on the first syllable and each letter has one single sound. So if you know the rule how a letter has to be pronounced, it´s not a problem to present it, even if you can´t understand one single word of your lecture. We are miles away from this state in the German language - but it could be worse - French😜
 

mminalaska

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Some of the Norte 2018, Primitivo 2018
Hallo t2andreo,

during my ways most of the people from the US introduce themself even to "non US people" like you do:

"I´m Mike, from .....town / Texas.

I know this "phenomenon" only from the US. No Italian says I'm from Umbria, except to other Italians. Every french is from France and not from Gascogne.

Yes of course, a few of us Germans like to be at first from Bavaria;)

That's a serious question from me. Is this local patriotism? Is the emotional relationship with the state so strong?

I'm curious about your answer

Michael
I typically would answer, “Alaska” to those not obviously Americans, and “Anchorage” to the Americans. People are often curious about AK.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 4- May 12, 2018
CP April 2019
@Caligal
I certainly do not want to make fun of you, but I did not recognize the positive effect of your tactics. Maybe you should really move to Arkansas, then it will work😅

Besite this, I completely agree with Leibniz. On the Camino and everwhere there is no reason to hold a person responsible for the traits or deeds of another person or the doing of his government.

Fortunately, in no country have I ever been ridiculed or rejected because I am German.

On my Camino, my friends often laughed about "Michael's German plan". I had a finished plan in my pocket, how I could walk to be in time in Santiago. For me it was completely uninteresting, if I really would run like that, but I'm so happy to plan something and I always had the hope to be prepared for any problem😜. Typical German?

Even if we don´t want it, we all have little stereotypes in mind when we think of certain countries, and there is often a small rivalry between the neigbours and we joke about each other.

"A German farmer does not eat what he does not know😇. A French farmer tries first, if you can eat this unknown thing:eek:"

On my walks on the Camino, it is the greatest gift for me, to meet pilgrims from all continents and talk to them about God and the world.

I have never experienced so much trust between completely foreign people than on the Camino.

Hopefully it stays that way on the way.

Michael
Michael, thankfully someone removed my orginal post, i realize this forum just like the Camino itself is no place for political crap. I hope you read my latest post on this thread, it’s much more indictive of my Camino experience. Peace Caligal😊
 
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
Caligal, indeed I missed your post, because my answer was going into the "nirvana"

However, I did not feel "attacked" in any way by your post, we were in every time in Peace✅

But I like, if the rules are clear in a forum, We are here, only to keep alive the spirit of our Caminos and tell others how great it is there, though, or better, because so many different people are on this very special way.

But whats with my question? Now I have a claim to an answer from you😜

Why are the people from the US so special telling from where they are, what´s your opinion?
 

Viscount Gumpy of Ol'

Try to be as good as your dog thinks you are.
Camino(s) past & future
Hoping, planning, dreaming of my first.
You can always pick the American in France. They are the ones with a Canadian flag freshly sewn onto their backpack.

(lest anyone be offended, it's a joke. I actually have found travelling Americans to be lovely. Nothing like the stereotype )
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 4- May 12, 2018
CP April 2019
Micheal, 1st or all when asked where you are from and you say the US most follow up with where? Hence your state. When i travel in the US people ask where are you from Cali followed up by where, then you get regional me - Central Coast. With the US land mass being around 4 millon square miles I think the state thing narrows it down a bit. Does that answer your question? Perhaps one day we will meet on the Camino and we can continue this conversation as we walk. Dee
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 4- May 12, 2018
CP April 2019
As am American i’d like to ask about your comment “Americans are lovely nothing like the sterotype” what is the sterotype you speak of?
 
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
Of course, even in the US you "have to" tell the people from which state you are. I would say, I can localize every city which is bigger than 80.000 persons in Germany, so it´s still not necessary to say extra "Bavaria". I understand - thats difinitely not possible in Amerika.

We will not meet this year on the Camino, you will start already in April. But from 2020 you have to be careful 😜
 

Viscount Gumpy of Ol'

Try to be as good as your dog thinks you are.
Camino(s) past & future
Hoping, planning, dreaming of my first.
As am American i’d like to ask about your comment “Americans are lovely nothing like the sterotype” what is the sterotype you speak of?
I sincerely apologise if I have offended. It was not my intention. In fact, the opposite.

There are all sorts of stereotypes of nationalities floating around that are essentially untrue. (Should I really let you know what the rest of the world says about Americans. ;)) The American stereotype is that of "the Ugly American" - the one where supposedly they place unreasonable demands upon local providers of food/accommodation/transport and have no respect for local customs. Of course we Aussies are typified as big drinking bogans. The Germans are stereotyped as reserving all the sun lounges at 5am and the English are typified as whingers who wear socks with their sandals.

Whilst I am sure there are examples of all of the above, my experience is that the vast majority of people are kind, considerate and a pleasure to meet, regardless of their Country of origin.

The only nationality that does not seem to have any negative stereotype is Canadian. Everybody loves the Canadians. I think it is time we changed this. There must be something about them that we can dislike. :p
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 4- May 12, 2018
CP April 2019
I sincerely apologise if I have offended. It was not my intention. In fact, the opposite.

There are all sorts of stereotypes of nationalities floating around that are essentially untrue. (Should I really let you know what the rest of the world says about Americans. ;)) The American stereotype is that of "the Ugly American" - the one where supposedly they place unreasonable demands upon local providers of food/accommodation/transport and have no respect for local customs. Of course we Aussies are typified as big drinking bogans. The Germans are stereotyped as reserving all the sun lounges at 5am and the English are typified as whingers who wear socks with their sandals.

Whilst I am sure there are examples of all of the above, my experience is that the vast majority of people are kind, considerate and a pleasure to meet, regardless of their Country of origin.

The only nationality that does not seem to have any negative stereotype is Canadian. Everybody loves the Canadians. I think it is time we changed this. There must be something about them that we can dislike. :p
All i can say is WOW! 😢
 

Anna Cameron

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances sept-oct 2018
All i can say is WOW! 😢
Caligal, as noted earlier in this thread, I'm 'from' TX but started travelling away from the USA over 40 yrs ago (yes, I'm getting older, too). If you genuinely want to get an image of the American Overseas Stereotype, have a look at Woody Allen's 'Midnight in Paris,' the dinner in the restaurant with the parents-in-law-to-be, actually all the scenes with them and their daughter. It's a great film in any case, but ouch I recognized so many traits and clichés I've seen and heard all over the world. (Owen Wilson, an actor also 'from' Dallas by the way, ditches his fiancée and ends up with a Parisienne). But, as Michael and the Viscount point out, stereotypes and clichés have no place on the Camino at all. Look at me : a Yank and a naturalized Aussie - I don't drink beer and I'm soft-spoken, usually! Traveling abroad, hearing and speaking other languages, that's the way to disprove stereotypes and build true Community. Buen Camino, y'all!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 4- May 12, 2018
CP April 2019
Well, I wish I could hear again what I heard on the radio years ago. It was an American comedian regaling us with an hilarious account of crossing the border between Alberta and British Columbia and being pursued by the police. It was priceless!!
I really dislike where this thread has gone. Sterotyping has no place on the Camino or anywhere else for that matter. Come on y’all we can do better.
 

Silencio Por Favor

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ingles 2018
I depends on the context of the question, who is present, and the level of evident tension... There is an old Japanese proverb that says that "...the nail that sticks up gets hammered down..." I try never to be the nail...;)

Sometimes, deflection is the better choice... You would have to be present to understand what I mean...
This reminds me when myself and 2 friends visited a mosque in Mumbai shortly after the First Gulf War started back in 91, we were uncertain if we should say that were from the UK if anyone asked?
 

Jodean

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
22 Sept. to 21 Oct. 2015, Pamplona to Santiago
6-23.04 Porto to Santiago 2018
17.09-30.09 CF 2018
I simply answer that I am from Ohio but have lived in Frankfurt, Germany for 32 years. Yes, I am American, but living in Germany means I have no jet lag when starting my Caminos and can also easily converse with the many German speakers that I have met.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
As am American i’d like to ask about your comment “Americans are lovely nothing like the sterotype” what is the sterotype you speak of?
Look at how this thread has strayed from the OP’s innocent question. We are all familiar with stereotypes, about nationalities, religions, regions, races, and I don’t think anyone is surprised to read the descriptions posted here. Since all of these thread have been written in the sense of “I don’t endorse this stereotype, but here is what it is,” I’m not going to delete any of the comments. I was going to close the thread, but then I see that @Jodean has tried to bring it back on track, so let’s see how it goes.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I got a couple of PMs asking why I hadn't closed the thread and urging me to do so. But without wanting to get too much on a soapboax, I think there is a value to realizing that we all fall prey to stereotypes, and that some of them are so embedded in us that we don't even realize it.

This may be a bit off-topic, but I was listening to a TED talk this weekend that made this point so clearly to me. It was about implicit bias and stereotypes, how appropriate to this discussion!

Ever since symphony orchestras were up and running, at some point in time people realized that they were overwhelmingly (like above 90%) male. How can that be? Surely there are good female musicians? Lots of women were auditioning but none were getting selected. So, some symphony in Britain, I think, decided to do blind auditions. No one would see what gender the player was, that should solve the problem. But no, very few women made it through the audition. What some clever person realized was that though the auditions were blind, there was a discernible click-click-click of high heels that revealed the gender of the applicant. When everyone took off their shoes, women started getting through in much higher numbers.

No one is saying that people consciously hear the click click click and say, oh that's a woman, surely she can't make great music. But I think it's good for us to deal with the stereotypes head on and recognize they are there and then hope we can resist them. And I would also say that I think the Camino might be a great place for this resistance. Though I realize that the Camino is also a place where you hear a lot of stereotypes, too.

Sorry for the rant, Buen camino, Laurie
 
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
We are all influenced by the culture of our homeland and the education of our parents. But we are self-conscious people and could change our mind, when we realize, we are wrong.

In Pamplona, I slept in the Albergue "Casa Paderborn", run by a German Society, together with Guyla from Hungary and Luca from Italy.

When we arrived, we were immediately greeted by the hospitaleros and familiarized with the "rules of the house" (places for the stuff, wakeup call in the morning, breakfast time etc.). For me it was quite normal, well organized, like in a youth hostel in Germany. But for Luca, it was "soooo German":mad:.
He needed a new towel, because he lost it in St. Jean. Within a second the Hospitalera gave him a copy of a map from the city, with marks in it to find "Corte Ingles" and said: "In the meanwhile you can give me you dirty clothes, you will find them later clean and dry on your bed." And suddenly it was "sooo German"🤩

Every person has different qualities and talents, no matter where he comes from. Not every property is always nice, but I also do not find my own characteristics too positive and always to be proud of. I am a human being, make mistakes and certainly not only have positive traits.

The Germans love, what they think is "la dolce vita" in the mediterranian countries. To be not so strict and regulated is often a dream of us. But when we want to buy something, during the siesta in Spain we say: "When do they work - they are lazy". Of course, we can say it, we are not living in a country with 40 degrees at noon - if we would - we would have also the tradition of a break over the day. And we stop to work much earlier.

Each medal has two sides. Let's look at the back, too, at what is hidden at first. Only then we will recognize their full value.

We all experienced how wonderful it is to help and to get help. Sometimes only with a smile, often with a deep touching talking. From strangers, with a different language and culture, from people we did not expect, whom we have never seen before, and probably will never meet again.

So let us throw these things in the trash, that others told us about Americans, French, Germans, Italians..........

We all know it better

Buen Camino
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
Well there are no Germans or Americans or French or Spanish or Greek. We all hail from different places and we all have the choice to make : Are we satisfied with what’s seems to be visible or do we give the people around us time and opportunity to show themselves.
If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2011)
Norte (2014)
Norte (2016)
Salvador (2017)
Frances (2018)
Madrid-Salvador-Primitivo 19
I was born and live in Mexico, but hold dual citizenship (Spain), since my grandfather hailed from Galicia. My Spanish passport is very useful when coming to Europe, because of the Schengen 3-month stay rule and the ease of immigration procedure. When people ask me where I am from I always answer Mexico, but it is becoming more and more uncomfortable since the next question is likely to be “and is it really so unsafe as they say?” The Netflix narco-series and the border wall story have not helped. So I have been wondering whether I should answer differently on my next camino (in May). Should I say I am a Spaniard (true)? Or Galician? (true also, I vote in a small town in Orense). What I would really like is saying I am a pilgrim and a citizen of the Camino de Santiago, since nowadays walking it is what makes me feel most happy and alive. This will be my sixth Camino. How many more till I can consider myself a forever pilgrim?
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
Nationality is tricky if you go back a few generations. I am the 23rd great grandson of Alfonso IX, King of Leon and Galicia through Edward I, King of England. Would that make me Spanish or English?:)
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF: (2001, 2002, 2004, 2014). Hospitalera: 2002, Ponferrada. 2004, Rabanal del Camino.
Nationalities. Show me your title deeds, then talk to me...
I need to remember this whenever I feel tempted to claim a nationality. I only have one. Guess what it is...
I know!

Sunshinese.🌞
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
I am closing this thread as it seems to have wandered quite off track. The original question was aimed at seeing which nationality you pick if you have two passports. Hence it only applies to those who do have two different passports. Which, I suspect, rules out most of us. It is not an excuse to make prejudiced remarks about cultural or national groups. Some posts have been deleted.
 
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