Thursday, October 2, 2008

Nationality Versus Ethnicity

I decided to research about the difference between Ethnicity and Nationality. But first I would like to give the definition of the word Ethnicity.

Ethnicity- A subgroup that shares a common ancestry, history, or culture .

While the definition of Nationality is- The status of belonging to a particular nation, by origin, birth, or naturalization.

For some reason not all people can actually differentiate the difference between the two when they are asked. For example, when I was ask if my husband is American or not. My answer was Yes, He is American. And the other people eventually will ask another question, How come he is American when in fact he is non-Caucasian or White as mostly used to describe a Caucasian person. My answer is that He is American because he was born and was raised in America. And all people in America are called Americans by nationality or citizenship, unless they are living in the USA illegally of course.

Then I have to sight more examples like: If you are living in the Philippines and were born and raised there then your nationality is Filipino. Just like people who were born in France and resident in France then their nationality is French. Or people who were born and raised in Canada are called Canadians.

So that they can understand more I actually tackle my husband's ethnic background. I will explain to them that his origin is Hispanic or Mexican or Latino. Although His ethnic background is Mexican, Hispanic, or Latino, but because he was born and raised in America he is American by nationality. Furthermore, White or Caucasian Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and so on, are all Americans. Native Americans actually being the one ethnicity that can claim "American" as their ethnicity because they were the original inhabitants of the United States. This is the same when it comes to Filipinos, if their descendants are Chinese, Malay, European, etc. and are citizens of the Philippines, then they too are Filipinos.