Another Quora Answer

I couldn’t resist answering this:

If you’re from a country that was colonized in the past, how do your people feel about the countries who once were rulers? How do the Vietnamese feel about French, Brazil about Portugal, etc.? 

In the land where I was born, sadly none of the original inhabitants appear to have survived colonization by the Britons. But when those Britons were colonized by the Romans, although some of them may have resented both the exploitation of their resources and the loss of their Druidic culture, others saw the banning of human sacrifice and cannibalism as having a bit of an upside – and some of them also came to appreciate all the roads and baths. Indeed, after the Romans left, they sought to maintain aspects of Roman culture (including eventually its new “Christian” religion) but unfortunately they were invaded again – many times.

Some came as colonists, others as pillagers, and others as outside rulers. For many years the land was ruled by Saxon kings, who were themselves from time to time subject to imperial control and/or taxation by the Danes. Eventually many of the people came to appreciate the relative peace and order of Saxon hegemony, but sadly (for some) this was not to last.

In 1066 the land was invaded again, this time by Normans via France, and the Saxon ruling class was largely terminated (often with extreme predjudice). The people now had to deal with rulers who spoke a foreign tongue – calling oxen “boeuf” and sheep “mouton”, but eventually they came to enjoy a bit of mutton pie even if they were not important enough to become Beefeaters. By all accounts, rule by the Normans was pretty harsh for many years, but eventually most people got over it and some even started to identify with the new aristocracy, which became diluted by interbreeding with locals (and also had its headship outsourced to Dutch and German families). Others however did not – and that is part of the problem with this question.

So how do “the” British people feel now about their Italian, Saxon, Scandinavian, French, Dutch and currently German rulers? Well, as I suspect is also true of all the other examples mentioned in the question, there are many answers. Some care, others don’t. A few even still mourn the loss of Druidic culture, and a lot more still resent the class-based system that descended from the cruel Norman aristocracy, but most just live in the present as they find it, and work for change to improve the future rather than to recapture the past. And most of the people who I choose to associate with think of themselves just as people rather than as part of a people.

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