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What Does Cultural Nationalism Mean?

What Does Cultural Nationalism Mean?

Cultural nationalism is the sharing of cultures in a nation. Get a complete understanding of this term as we explain to you the definition, meaning and examples of cultural nationalism.
Christina Andrew
Not very old!
Cultural nationalism has recently started to be accepted widely since the late twentieth century.

A nation is much more than just a huge mass of land. It is home to millions of people dwelling in it. People give their lives defending their nation. It means more than life to them. A sense of nationalism, the belief or feeling of loyalty towards the place of their residence is one of the factors that enables individuals to place their nation above their lives. Advance in communication and travel has meant that the world is fast becoming a global village, and migration of people for various reasons is currently at its peak ever since the dawn of human civilization.

People from varied ethnic, religious, and social backgrounds are today dwell together at a place they call home, their land, their nation. Though following different traditions and cultures, these people share a sense of belonging and identify with the place or nation or residence. They live there because they believe it is their own. Which brings us back to the concept or belief of nationalism. The question then arises as to the different ways in which this expression of nationalism can occur.

It can be expressed in various ways like civic nationalism, ethnic nationalism, cultural nationalism, religious nationalism or ideological nationalism. Among the various forms of expressions of nationalism is one type called cultural nationalism, where people believe identify with their fellow countrymen on the basis of a shared cultural background. But what kind of a culture is this, that all the people of a nation share?

What is cultural nationalism?
A nation which gives its people all the joys of freely enjoying their cultures by accepting the diversity and sharing it with people of other cultures, the nationalism of such a nation is called cultural nationalism. Cultural nationalism is an intermediate between ethnic nationalism and liberal nationalism.

Ethnic nationalism is where the nation is defined by its ethnicity. By ethnicity, it is implied that the national heritage, religion, language, ancestral ethnicity are all common.

Liberal nationalism is where the nation is defined by the political legitimacy that is formed by the citizens of the nation, so much so, that it is considered as a general will.

In cultural nationalism, the national identity of a person is decided on the basis of language and cultural traditions, instead of race and common ancestry. It doesn't get involved into independent movements but stands at a moderate position within the bigger picture of a nationalist ideology.

A few nations across the globe exhibit cultural nationalism like Contemporary China, India, Mexico, etc. A variant of cultural nationalism can also be observed in the nations of Latin America, where people belonging to different nations possess a sense of shared ethnicity, culture, and to an extent history.

The word culture, is derived from the Latin word 'cultura', which means 'cultivation'. It describes the living patterns and behavior of every single individual. People with similar ways of living form a group and become a part of it. This then defines them as individuals, on the basis of their culture. Every person living on this planet is a part of a culture that is created by their ancestors whom they follow religiously. When people of a nation are free to follow their cultures, they do it because they have the right to do so, as citizens of their nation. It is a belief, an ideology that binds the people together and draws them towards being united as a nation.