A stone’s toss away there is a memorial park boasting the “Danish Village Archway.” Now, according to the naming of the town of Denmark the Americans after the Revolutionary War were often very keen to European affairs and named their town in solidarity with the Danes whose city Copenhagen had been bombed. Most assuredly the nomenclature had nothing to do with a rush of immigration from Denmark at around the same time.
As it went, some thousand or so Danes immigrated to the Portland area around this time. They held onto their traditions, established little Danish Lodges to a Danish Brotherhood. Churches were built, in Lutheran style of course. One such Church, as it goes, I’ve driven past on my way to this job or that. The Danes of Maine, Daines if you like, also held whopping cultural events which drew impressive crowds.
The Danes were not alone, of course. There came also Swedes and Norwegians and Finns from the Nordic Bloc countries. Maine specifically sent for more Norwegians on account of their logging prowess, asking for “more of those wood people.” Unsurprisingly this led many of them North, toward the County. I’ll note with a smile that in recent years I’ve seen a bit of a burgeoning Norwegian pride around Portland. I’ve counted a dozen or so Norwegian flags either in number sticker or pole format. This doesn’t include other paraphernalia like “Norwegian pride” stickers or simply “Norge” as bumper plates or stickers. So I’ve seen a rise in Finnish sentiment too.
But nothing Danish. The second European civil war seems to have killed Danish patriotism. As the story goes, following the war, Danish-Americans voluntarily dropped the hyphen. They wanted to be good players. I believe that story. I know a handful of Danish families. Their assimilation into (post) Anglo-Saxon, or WASP culture was so thorough that they often consider themselves as having stopped being Danish. Some identify readily as Anglo-Americans, or whatever term you like. A few in my bubble are actively researching what it could mean to be Danish in this context, but their parents and sometimes even grandparents had done precisely the opposite.
Now all that’s left of their cultural imprint that I can see is an archway leftover from a motel struck up in the style of Ribe, a village where the architect came from. So for number of reasons my trip to the Dane Gate was sobering. First is, as it goes, I’ve been there before. It’s not that I’d have none because the Dane Gate was moved to the Memorial Park later. The park was the last place I saw my grandfather alive before the disease that took him did its work. My grandfather, coincidentally, had employed a number of Danes when he owned and ran a local mill.
I find it sobering because it seems to me to be a clear lesson in what happens when your roots are, not only ripped up, but then neglected after transplant. There among the commemorative cherry trees stands the Dane Gate bearing very strange fruit indeed. One should make sure to water their roots, how else does one tend the tree of life?
Of course the Danes are not alone. In New England the founding stock of this country is estimated to account for less than a quarter of the population. I’ll wager the gross estimate is similar elsewhere, on average. Like with the Danes, true Yankees (English stock tracing back to Old England) think of themselves first as Americans and maybe later as hyphens. It’s not hard to see what follows. Your average Yankee claims that the Founding Holidays are for everybody – and they can be, but it should be remembered that everybody else was not there when we came. The average Yankee builds his home according to the fashion of the day, which is determined by magazines printed Away.
The essential culture of New England has every potential to be swallowed up in the sea of “progress” and kept “alive” as a poorly resuscitated thing for gawkers to do their best at. And then those few Yankees left can go be tourists in the land their ancestors made and think, ‘huh, this all seems familiar.’
A solution is to raise your children accordingly. There was a time where parents could count on the culture surrounding them to imprint itself on their children. This time is gone. There is no “culture” in the System (schools, TV, etc) which is not hostile to your ancestors’ culture. 100 years ago, history was a collective enterprise of the deeds of your father’s or the host nation which hosts you. Now? It is a free-for-all concerned with studying foreigners to spare their petris dish feelings. The argument is made that history had been exclusive, but it still is.
Culture has been thoroughly revealed as existing only where the people are. Reliance on The System ensures that your progeny resemble what “they” want and not necessarily what you want. It is not hard to pass culture onto children. It’s much easier than arguing with a woman. Children are sponges. They’re made to learn. Their brains don’t have as many closed circuits as we do. They will grow, neural pathways develop. Future culture will be in those closing circuits, whether you like it or not. And since the federal government has long determined it wants the prevailing culture to be sludge, we see failure among the citizenry to tend to itself reflect in a monstrous descent into highly public degeneracy, and monstrosity.
If having children meant your genes were good enough to pass on, than why wouldn’t the culture that’s in your blood be? Why do we need to pretend to teach our kids that being a disassociated drone is some civic virtue when civilisation as a whole makes nobody happy?