A homeland is a place where a cultural, national, or racial identity has formed. The definition can also mean simply one's country of birth. When used as a proper noun, the Homeland, as well as its equivalents in other languages, often has ethnic nationalist connotations. A homeland may also be referred to as a fatherland, a motherland, or a mother country, depending on the culture and language of the nationality in question.
Motherland refers to a mother country, i.e. the place in which somebody grew up or had lived for a long enough period that somebody has formed their own cultural identity, the place that one's ancestors lived for generations, or the place that somebody regards as home, or a Metropole in contrast to its colonies. People often refer to Mother Russia as a personification of the Russian nation. The Philippines is also considered as a motherland which is derived from the word "Inang Bayan" which means "Motherland". Within the British Empire, many natives in the colonies came to think of Britain as the mother country of one, large nation. India is often personified as Bharat Mata (Mother India). The French commonly refer to France as "la mère patrie";Hispanic countries that were former Spanish colonies commonly referred to Spain as "la Madre Patria". Romans and the subjects of Rome saw Italy as the motherland (patria or terrarum parens) of the Roman Empire, in contrast to Roman provinces.Turks refer to Turkey as "ana vatan" (lit: mother homeland.)
Postcard of an Austrian and a German soldier in the First World War with the text "Shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand, for God, Emperor and Fatherland."
Fatherland is the nation of one's "fathers", "forefathers" or ancestors. The word can also mean the country of nationality, the country in which somebody grew up, the country that somebody's ancestors lived in for generations, or the country that somebody regards as home, depending on how the individual uses it.
It can be viewed as a nationalist concept, in so far as it is evocative of emotions related to family ties and links them to national identity and patriotism. It can be compared to motherland and homeland, and some languages will use more than one of these terms. The national anthem of the Netherlands between 1815 and 1932, "Wien Neêrlands Bloed", makes extensive use of the parallel Dutch word, as does the current Dutch national anthem, Het Wilhelmus.
"Fatherland" was first encountered by the vast majority of citizens in countries that did not themselves use it during World War II, when it was featured in news reports associated with Nazi Germany. German government propaganda used its appeal to nationalism when making references to Germany and the state. It was used in Mein Kampf, and on a sign in a German concentration camp, also signed, Adolf Hitler.
The term fatherland (Vaterland) is used throughout German-speaking Europe, as well as in Dutch. National history is usually called vaderlandse geschiedenis in Dutch. Another use of the Dutch word is well known from the national anthem, "Het Wilhelmus".
In German, the word became more prominent in the 19th century. It appears in numerous patriotic songs and poems, such as Hoffmann's song Lied der Deutschen which became the national anthem in 1922. Because of the use of Vaterland in Nazi-German war propaganda, the term "Fatherland" in English has become associated with domestic British and American anti-Nazi propaganda during World War II. This is not the case in Germany itself, where the word remains used in the usual patriotic contexts.
Terms equating "Fatherland" in other Germanic languages:
Swedish: fäderneslandet (besides the more common fosterlandet)
A corresponding term is often used in Slavic languages, in:
Russianotechestvo (отечество) or otchizna (отчизна)
Polishojczyzna in common language literally meaning "fatherland", ziemia ojców literally meaning "land of fathers", sometimes used in the phrase ziemia ojców naszych literally meaning "land of our fathers" (besides rarer name macierz "motherland")
Ukrainianbatʹkivshchyna (батьківщина) or vitchyzna (вітчизна).
Czechotčina (although the normal Czech term for "homeland" is vlast)
In Romance languages, a common way to refer to one's home country is Patria/Pátria/Patrie which has the same connotation as Fatherland, that is, the nation of our parents/fathers (From the Latin, Pater, father). As patria has feminine gender, it is usually used in expressions related to one's mother, as in Italian la Madrepatria, Spanish la Madre Patria or Portuguese a Pátria Mãe (Mother Fatherland). Examples include:
French speakers: Patrie, although they also use la mère patrie, which includes the idea of motherland
the Latvians as tēvija or tēvzeme (although dzimtene – roughly translated as "place that somebody grew up" – is more neutral and used more commonly nowadays)
the Burmese as အမိမြေ (ami-myay) literally meaning "motherland"
the Persians as Sarzamin e Pedari (Fatherland), Sarzamin e Mādari (Motherland) or Mihan (Home)
the Poles as ojczyzna (ojczyzna is derived from ojciec, Polish for father, but ojczyzna itself and Polska are feminine, so it can also be translated as motherland), also an archaismmacierz "mother" is rarely used[by whom?]
the Russians, as Otechestvo (отечество) or Otchizna (отчизна), both words derived from отец, Russian for father. Otechestvo is neuter, otchizna is feminine.
the Slovenes as očetnjava, although domovina (homeland) is more common.
the Swedes as fäderneslandet, although fosterlandet is more common (meaning the land that fostered/raised a person)
In the apartheid era in South Africa, the concept was given a different meaning. The white government had designated approximately 25% of its non-desert territory for black tribal settlement. Whites and other non-blacks were restricted from owning land or settling in those areas. After 1948 they were gradually granted an increasing level of "home-rule". From 1976 several of these regions were granted independence. Four of them were declared independent nations by South Africa, but were unrecognized as independent countries by any other nation besides each other and South Africa. The territories set aside for the African inhabitants were also known as bantustans.
In Australia, the term refers to relatively small Aboriginal settlements (referred to also as "outstations") where people with close kinship ties share lands significant to them for cultural reasons. Many such homelands are found across Western Australia, the Northern Territory, and Queensland. The homeland movement gained momentum in the 1970 and 1980s. Not all homelands are permanently occupied owing to seasonal or cultural reasons. Much of their funding and support have been withdrawn since the 2000s.
In Turkish, the concept of "homeland", especially in the patriotic sense, is "ana vatan" (lit. mother homeland), while "baba ocağı" (lit. father's hearth) is used to refer to one's childhood home. (Note: The Turkish word "ocak" has the double meaning of january and fireplace, like the Spanish "hogar", which can mean "home" or "hearth".)
In some languages, there are additional words that refer specifically to the place where one is home to, but is narrower in scope than one's nation, and often have some sort of nostalgic, fantastic, heritage connection, for example:
^Wilensky, Gabriel (2010). Six Million Crucifixions. QWERTY Publishers. ISBN9780984334643. What we have to fight for is the freedom and independence of the fatherland, so that our people may be enabled to fulfill the mission assigned to it by the creator