Why should I be ashamed to be proud?

It doesn’t have anything whatsoever to do with either Chile or food, but I just have to start this post giving credit to the webpage www.urbandictionary.com. When desciding on the topic for this post  I got to think about (as the title might hint) the field of tension between being proud and ashamed of something, and for some reason I chose to google these 2 words. This let me to the urbandictionary and the word “proshamed” with the definition “the state of being both proud and ashamed at the same time”. I’ve always loved puns which might also be one of the reasons I find Barney from How I Met Your Mother so funny, so this page just cracks me up… check it out if you want to expand your english vocabulary.

The reason why I’ve chosen the theme “proshamed” (yes I am gonna use this word as much as I can in this post!) is that I got to think of how nationalism is perceived very differently in different countries. A few weeks ago I went to the 30 year anniversary concert of the Chilean band Los Tres. The first thing that struck my mind (after of course enjoying the music) was the political touch of the concert – film clips were shown of the suppression of the dictatorship, Pinochet was imitated and buhed at (is that a verb?) and this strong political positioning created an environment in the crowd that was hard for me to feel a part of. Not because I’m politically positioned very differently, but because I don’t share the same history as the Chileans. And so it wasn’t just “the red flag” that united the crowd this evening but the very fact that everyone (execpt for the tall blond on row 43) was Chilean. To be honest it made me a bit uncomfortable when everyone started shouting “Chichichi-lelele-Viva Chile” and I started wondering why that would make me uncomfortable and then I realized… In Denmark nationalism is seen as something bad. Something connected to excluding differences, being narrow-minded, being affraid of change and closing off from the world outside, but does it have to be like this? It is not my impression that the Chilean nationalism I experienced that night at the concert had these parameters included; it was simply a community being proud of something they have in common – being Chilean. And why shouldn’t it be ok to shout out that you love your country, nationality, traditions and culture? I don’t believe that this necessarily implies that you don’t like other countries or traditions (though it has sadly become like that in Denmark in many cases) which is why I now say “I will no longer be ashamed to be proud of my country. I will no longer be proshamed of Danishness. I love Denmark”! And I also love Chile and the traditions here, so I hereby give you a proud Chilean traditional dish called “Porotos” to celebrate Chilean food culture. This dish is definetely something the Chileans can be proud of and as a “new-Chilean” I am as well.

Find the recipe for porotos here.

*As a last note I just have to mention another word I found in urbandictionary.com that defines something I think most people are familiar with (I personally know it VERY well): “dreamathon = The act of hitting the snooze button over and over again and having a different dream every time you fall asleep”. Hahahaa (as you would say in Denmark) or jajajjjaja (as written in Chilean)…!

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5 comments on “Why should I be ashamed to be proud?

  1. As a Dane in Chile I completely understand and agree with your thoughts on nationality in Denmark vs. Chile/rest of the world. I think e.g. Germans may share a similar feeling due to their history, and Americans might as well not wear their I<3NY shirts if travelling in the middle-east or Central America. But for me, I am in on being proud of my country, so without looking me over the shoulder here I go: I love Denmark!

    • Your comment actually makes me think of a time when I was more ashamed than proud of DK – when the Muhammad drawings were up. That was when I took off my Danish flag from my backpack before going travelling. Before that I was proud to show my nationality but the narrow-mindedness of “my people” made me very much ashamed and unfortunately I don’t feel like it’s getting any better. So even though I am also proshamed sometimes, just like Lisa, I guess my point is, that it is a shame that nationality in Denmark is not accepted as something that can be combined with love for change, differences and other cultures and customs.

  2. Lisa says:

    You are right. For most danes nationalism is seen as a “dangerous” thing. Kind of the same way as jealousy is seen as a disease. It is a human thing that can not be avoided completely but if it comes in too big doses, it can be “dangerous”. I’m proud of some of the things that we danes have accomplished together in our history, but I’m for sure also ashamed of some of it. So I guess I am proshamed of my nationality. Very good word you found there. Keep them and the recipes coming:-)

    • I completely agree with you Lisa. Everything that becomes too extreme is in my eyes bad (I was trying to find an example for “except for…” but it really isn’t posible…). In the end extremists are always narrow-minded and arrogantly believes that their belief is the best in the whole world and that everybody else is wrong. Kind of like mac-lovers or people that just can’t drink Pepsi;).

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