Eric Hobsbaum - ‘Inventing Traditions’

On national tradition: ‘A set of practices, normally governed by overty or tacitly accepted rules and of a ritual or symbolic nature, which seek to inculcate certain values and norms of behaviour by repetition, which automatically implies continuity with the past. In fact, where possible, they normally attempt to establish continuity with a suitable historical past.’ (‘Introduction: Inventing Traditions’, in The Invention of Tradition, Cambridge UP 1983, p.11.)

‘An independent country proclaims its identity and sovereignty, and as such they command instantaneous respect and loyalty. In themselves they reflect the entire background, thought and culture of a nation.’ (Idem; or p.1 [by error].)


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