Nationalism is a belief, ideology, faith that involves an individual identifying with one’s nation, respectively it involves national identity by supporting state’s actions.
There are different types of nationalists, but all of them create a group of people with the same beliefs ad exclude others. Some of them define nationalism in ethnic, linguistic, cultural, historic, or religious terms (or a combination of these). Sometimes for some people a mythic homeland is more important for the national identity than the actual territory occupied by the nation. This is the case with us Albanians.
Nationalism was introduced as an emerging force during the 19th century, which resulted with creation of nation-state and multi-national dynastic empires of Europe. A nation-state defined as a place whose citizens share the same history, culture and are ruled with the same laws.
If we go just one century back and take a look at the map of mid-18th century we will find that there were no nation-states like today in Europe. Europe was divided into Kingdoms, Duchies, and
Cantons, and there were no states like we know them today (France, England, Germany, Spain, etc). By the last quarter of the 19th century, however everything changed. During this period nationalist become greedy, increasingly intolerant with each other and ever ready to go to war.
The Balkans states too were affected by this epidemic. They become extremely jealous of each other and each hoped to gain more territory at the expense of the others. Matters were further complicated because the Balkans became the scene of big power rivalry, which lead to a series of wars in the region
It was 1912 when Greater Albania was separated between more powerful countries in the region by living behind only a small piece from it – which today is known as the Republic of Albania. Greater Albania was divided between Serbia (Presheva, Bujanovc and Kosovo), Macedonia (cities of Tetova, Gostivar, old Skopje city, etc), Montenegro (Ulcinj, Tivar, etc), Grece (part of it known as Cameria), Itali (known as Arbereshet). 102 years have passed and still our hearts beet as one. We have one language, one history, one culture and three religions. It is strange I totally agree, because worldwide we are known only for negative things, we are known for selling each-other, cheating each-other, fighting to money and fame, but yet when we see something that is threatening our nation we become one.
When our nation is insulted, all Albanians living in 5 different countries (without including enormous diaspora living worldwide) feel the insult as a personal attack to their identity. This is exactly what happened in match between Serbia and Albania. For you who don’t know because of political pressure and in order to avoid incidents UEFA forbidden the Albanian cheer-leaders to participate in the match, however they couldn’t stop a drone flying in the stadium carrying the Great Albanian flag. Of course this not something to be proud of (because at the end of the day we have abandon the UEFA rules, but everyone who feel Albanian, felt the flowing blood of nationalism, felt the love for the red flag and the readiness to die for it.
Is it good I’m not the right one to answer your question, because surely I will be bias answering you question. Does it feel good? – Hell it does?- Is it good and right? – Surely it’s not. its effects are questionable. It can be dangerous, very dangerous. This is best proven in Scottish National Anthem, which says
Those days are passed now
And in the past they must remain
But we can still rise now
And be the nation again
‘and be the nation again’ is the fear everyone feels for Albanians. We were raised with the history which showed us how our nation was torn apart, we were raised with the idea of ‘we are one’, we were raised with the love for each other, we were raised with the love for flag and nation, we were raised nationalist.
Nationalism has left too many war graves around the world, has sowed hatred for other and is the cause of many innocents’ people being persecuted, and as such is inclusive and profoundly dangerous. While nationalism can generate strong bonds and feelings of unity and togetherness, it surely separates them ‘others’- and this is in itself dangerous.
Therefore we should be better than that. If we love our nation, and we want to be proud of our nation we should be better than that. We should understand nationalism as the virtue of victory, because there is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people. We should be an example of a nation that everybody would wish to be born at. We should be the change we want to see in the world