cenosillicaphobiac replied to your post: cenosillicaphobiac asked:Hi medie…
Sorry! As some of the other notes have said, I meant this sort of thing: “Of course. Asia and Europe aren’t even a separate landmass, after all.” (on your Europe tag) -> arbitrary line down the Eurasian continent…
The idea of Europe and Asia being culturally two different, separate worlds is pretty laughable for us who live closer to the “border”… I mean, throughout our (Croatian) entire history the basic theme is “oh god no the Ottomans are trying to conquer us”. I think pretty much everyone in these parts is more-or-less aware that the Ottomans were here and that their Empire was huge and stretched far to the East as well. I mean, just look at how damn huge it was.
What is happening in Croatia now is a striving to be recognized as a part of the “West” (we recently got into the EU, that helps). The general idea is: West=culture, Vienna, civilized, Europe; East=primitive, Balkans, ‘polluted’ by Ottoman influence, barbaric, ew. The average Croat who likes to think of themselves as cultured and civilized will cringe at the thought of being associated with the Balkans or Eastern Europe. They prefer being considered a part of Central Europe, something close to Austria… Children in school are trained to think this way, too. I remember that our geography teacher in high school spent like half an hour proving to us that: 1) the Balkan peninsula doesn’t exist as a geographical term (as if that’s important) and 2) even if it did, Croatia wouldn’t be considered a part of it.
Not to mention that we’re on the Mediterranean. I
think hope people are aware that this sea connects Europe, Asia & Africa and that various peoples inhabiting these parts had ships. I live in a place that has been populated by so many different peoples and conquered by several multi-ethnic empires* and instead of being excited and curious about all those different cultural influences, people consider anything and everything eastern negative and undesirable and consciously reject it.
*ok yeah all those different cultures, peoples and religions is one of the reasons for these parts to be full of conflicts, but that’s no reason to reject variety and strive for uniformity and “westerness”
I’m sorry, I kind of went off-topic here and this turned into a kind of a rant ://
Thanks for this perspective, and it sheds a bit more light on some of the rather scary backlash I got from the Czech Republic over this game.
They seemed pretty obsessed with the idea that I was only talking about Black people (with the predictable torrent of explicitly anti-Black racism), and I kept saying, “I’m trying to say Asia is literally like right there and also there was a lot of war and Empire-making, read the text sources ffs”, and I didn’t realize there was so much anti-Asian sentiment happening in Central Europe overall. Maybe I should have since I knew how bad the antiziganism is.
No one really bothered to respond much to any of the stuff I posted on the documented immigration into that area, during and immediately preceding the time in question (including varying perspectives). I guess it’s just easier to screech racial slurs than admit that the xenophobia is apparently a more modern occurrence than a historical one?(warning: link is actually pretty antiziganist. wtf?)
I’ll go ahead and post the map you linked to:
As I said in the OP, I really have no clue on many existing biases going on in modern Europe-because, of course, I’m American!-but it still affects us, as you can see with the issue over the game.
Thanks again for sharing your experiences. It’s definitely a learning experience for me.
I submitted to you an image of Turkish invasions of Croatia’s next door neighbour Slovenia and asked a question about the positive image of the Turk/Ottoman in Western European art before the 19th century literally as soon as I started following this blog. :( In it I touched upon the Bosnian perspective and how this nationalistic hatred of the Turks and Islam caused wars, bloodshed and genocide up until the 1990s.