Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Basking in my identity

As if my previous post didn't allude to enough tensions in my identity. There is this article by Stephen Oppenheimer about the myths of British ancestry from Prospect Magazine.
Going back no more than 150 years I have fairly even mix of English (Yorkshire), Scottish (Strathaven), Irish (Cork) and Swedish (Somewhere) blood. This would indicate a solid mix of Anglo-Saxon, Viking and Celtic breeding. Or so I thought.
Now I find out that :
"The genetic evidence shows that three quarters of our ancestors came to this corner of Europe as hunter-gatherers, between 15,000 and 7,500 years ago, after the melting of the ice caps but before the land broke away from the mainland and divided into islands. Our subsequent separation from Europe has preserved a genetic time capsule of southwestern Europe during the ice age, which we share most closely with the former ice-age refuge in the Basque country."
At least that's not quite as far to straddle.
Interestingly have a look at the Basque flag & the Union Jack. The flag makers seemed to have established a link long before the geneticists.


Third World Ant said...

With all that heritage, is there space for the South African in there? ;)

How many generations ago did your parental lines come to SA?

I'm a second generation African, get irritated when people introduce me to others as being Italian. I certainly have the heritage, but is not how I describe myself.

VallyP said...

Basques eh? I always knew those poms got their bloddy minded stubborn streak from somewhere. That explains it!

And Ant, isn't that the beauty of being South African? It's a wonderful meld of everything you can think of, not to mention being a lot about feeling that that's what you are. I still 'feel' more South African than anything else despite being such a drifter.

ATW said...

We've been here in some form or other since 1857.