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"Native land" redirects here. See also: Indigenous land rights.
La liberté guidant le peuple by Eugène Delacroix personifies the French motherland

A homeland (rel. country of origin and native land) is the concept of the place (cultural geography) with which an ethnic group holds a long history and a deep cultural association —the country in which a particular national identity began. As a common noun, it simply connotes the country of one's origin. When used as a proper noun, the word, as well as its equivalents in other languages, often have 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 may refer to a mother country, i.e. the place of one's birth, the place of one's ancestors, the place of origin of an ethnic group or immigrant, or a Metropole in contrast to its colonies. Russians commonly refer to Mother Russia as a personification of their nation. Many Russians around the world refer to Russia as their motherland. The French commonly refer to "la mère Patrie" as France; Latin Americans and 19th century-upper-class Filipinos, commonly refer to Spain as "la Madre Patria", but currently without any ideological meaning.


Fatherland is the nation of one's "fathers" or "forefathers". It can be viewed as a nationalist concept, insofar as it relates to nations.

The term fatherland (Vaterland) is used throughout German-speaking Europe, as well as in Dutch. For example, "Wien Neêrlands Bloed", national anthem of the Netherlands between 1815 and 1932, makes extensive and conspicuous use of the parallel Dutch word.

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:

A corresponding term is sometimes used in Slavic languages, in Serbian is otadžbina or отаџбина in Serbian Cyrillic alphabet, Macedonian татковина (tatkovina), Bulgarian татковина (tatkovina) as well as otechestvo, Czech otčina (although the normal Czech term for "homeland" is vlast), in Polish ojczyzna (besides macierz "motherland"), Russian otechestvo (отечество) or otchizna (отчизна) (although rodina "motherland" is more common).

In Latin America a common way to refer to one's country is Patria which has the same connotation as Fatherland, that is, the nation of our parents/fathers (in Spanish Padres or Papás). Curiously, Spain is usually referred to as la Madre Patria (the Motherland of our forefathers).

Various connotations[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Noonan, Peggy (14 June 2002). OpinionJournal – Peggy Noonan. Retrieved 8 September 2007. 
  2. ^ The Encyclopedia of Aboriginal Australia. 1994. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]