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Название: Parish and belonging
Автор: Snell K.D.M.
‘Where do you come from?’ must be one of the most frequent
opening conversational lines in English. It can be interpreted in
a number of ways, yet it always produces a reply and reciprocal
interest, and its answer often appears to be confirmed by accent,
personality, and appearance. It may establish rapport, but occasionally
arouses distrust. Each place, and the many ways in
which a person may be attached to it, has different cultural and
subjective connotations. These indicate the crucial importance of
ideas of belonging, or the wish for it, even in the modern world.
Similarly, the search for ‘roots’, for one’s genealogy, fills record
offices with people, inspires much local historical research, and
manifests the same interest.
In many other areas of culture we also witness the desire for
belonging and attachment to place. We hear this in popular song,
from nostalgic nineteenth-century emigration songs, like ‘The
leaving of Liverpool’, and earlier ballads like ‘Loch Lomond’,
to ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’, ‘Show me the way to go home’,
‘Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner’, through to the more recent
lyrics of ‘The green, green grass of home’, ‘I’m going home’,
‘Going to my home town’, ‘Clare to here’, and so on. Geordie
oil workers, returning from the Scottish rigs, roar in deafening
crescendo ‘I’m coming home Newcastle, wish I’d never been
away’, as the train approaches their destination. Thousands
more, in football stadiums, chant supportively for their home
or adoptive town – even if they do not live or belong there, and
even if their ‘local’ team includes not a single local player.