This article is about native lands. For the Showtime television series, see Homeland (TV series). For other uses, see Homeland (disambiguation).
Liberty Leading the People 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. The United States is referred to by its people as the Homeland, but very rarely as Motherland or Fatherland for historical reasons, namely, the various ethnic groups which comprise the population of the nation have their ancestral origins elsewhere.


"Motherland" redirects here. For other uses, see Motherland (disambiguation).
Further information: Metropolis
Bharat Mata statue accompanied by a lion at Yanam, India

Motherland refers 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. People often refer to Mother Russia as a personification of the Russian nation. Within the British Empire, many natives in the colonies, as a result of propaganda, came to think of Britain as the mother country of one, large nation. This view however was not shared by many in Britain, leading to racial tension as immigration increased. India is often personified as Bharat Mata (Mother India). The French commonly refer to France as "la mère patrie";[1] Hispanic Americans and 19th century-upper-class Filipinos, commonly referred to Spain as "la Madre Patria", but today this refers to a more cultural and linguistic relationship based on a long and complex mutual history.


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 often used in Slavic languages, in:

In Romance languages, a common way to refer to one's home country is Patria/Pátria/Patrie which has the same connotation as Fatherland, that is, the nation of our parents/fathers (From the Latin, Pater, father). As patria has feminine gender, it is usually used in expressions related to one's mother, as in Spanish la Madre Patria or Portuguese a Pátria Mãe (the Motherland).

Various connotations

See also


  1. http://www.lexpress.fr/actualite/societe/ces-tirailleurs-senegalais-qui-ont-combattu-pour-la-france_906248.html
  2. Noonan, Peggy (14 June 2002). "OpinionJournal – Peggy Noonan". Retrieved 8 September 2007.
  3. "The Encyclopedia of Aboriginal Australia". 1994.

Further reading

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