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Homeland

From Academic Kids

A homeland is the concept of the territory to which one belongs; usually, the country in which a particular nationality was born. When used as a proper noun, the word (and its cognates in other languages; e.g., Heimatland in German) has ethnic nationalist connotations. As a common noun, it simply connotes the country of one's origin.

There are synonyms with varying connotations: fatherland, motherland, mother country, country of origin, and native land.

In apartheid South Africa the concept was given a whole new meaning. The white government transformed the 13% of its territory that had been exempted from white settlement into regions of home-rule. Then they tried to bestow independence on these regions, so that they could then claim that the other 87% was white territory. See Bantustan.

The Soviet Union created homelands for some minorities in the 1920s, including the Volga German ASSR and the Jewish Autonomous Oblast. Often, as in the case of the Volga German ASSR, these homelands were later brutally abolished and their inhabitants deported to either Siberia or the Kazakh SSR.

It was extremely rare for the term to be used by United States citizens to describe their own country up until the term of President George W. Bush and the September 11, 2001 attacks. It was more common for people to use it to refer to the land of their ancestors, so many found the use of the term to be jarring.

See also

nl:thuisland

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