Patriotism and Expat vs. Immigrant

Patriotism and Expat vs. Immigrant

Several days ago, we received this flyer in our mailbox.

Calling German Patriots Flyer 1



Citizens of this country: Unite!

to a mass demonstration against the Islamic and left-radical fascism in German. Our land needs once ALL patriots on the streets!

Resistance East/West, Frankfurt on Main    20th July ’15


At first I didn’t think much of it, but, noticing the words “islamischen” and “linksradikalen” connected to “Faschismus” – I figured this wasn’t really for us.

Calling German Patriots Flyer  2


Friends, Patriots, awakened Citizens of Germany,

It has long been echoed by West and East: So many people on the streets, so many groups. It’s time to join the resistance, pull together the forces.


For the purposes of “Not left, not right – straight ahead” is EVERY AWAKENED CITIZEN of German invited to join the “Resistance East/West” demonstration.

We want to be no competition to other movements, unite only for this day together to bring Germany to tremble!

In the Roßmarkt in Frankfurt on 20th June ’15 from 13:00 – 17:30

And translating that into English makes it sound even more crazy pants! I wondered how it ended up in our mailbox. While the Verlobter has a typical German name, I do not. Many of our neighbors are Turkish, and I wondered if this may have ended up in their mailboxes as well. But my name is likely more English than anything, so would it have been viewed the same way as a Turkish name to the people who put these in mailboxes? And while I can look at these flyers with a bit of humor, how might it make my neighbors feel?

I may not have posted this had I not just read “Do You Call Yourself An Expat Or An Immigrant – And What Is Really The Difference Between The Two?” by Meg at Geek Mädel, but the combination of her post and this flyer highlighted how I am viewed differently than my neighbors.

I have used both “Immigrant” and “Expat” to refer to myself, because I have generally interpreted “Expat” to refer to moving as a personal “choice”. I realize that there is a certain privilege to that and that as an American, people make a lot of assumptions about me that generally put me in a more positive light than other immigrants. I’m not here for better financial opportunities or because where I lived was not safe for me, and somehow I think I get treated better for that, which is really strange. But it wouldn’t be much different in America. Had the Verlobter moved instead of me, he also would have been treated differently than immigrants from Eastern Europe or Central America. And, like me, he would get a ton of compliments for speaking the language of the country, though his English is a million times better than my German.

I don’t think I will entirely get rid of the Expat label – it gives me a way to find others in similar situations to me, who have made similar decisions and are facing similar struggles. But I am also an Immigrant, and I think it’s important to also find others who identify that way as well. I’m here to stay, which is a different experience than many expats have.


4 thoughts on “Patriotism and Expat vs. Immigrant

  1. Wow, that flyer is all kinds of crazy. Like you, I would have shook my head and then thrown in the trash, but you are so right in saying that other immigrants would not have had that luxury as it was their religion that was under fire and I can imagine that it may have made them feel unsafe. There are times that I truly believe that we live in terrible times, this is one of them.

    1. It’s just a shame that pretty much everywhere you go, there’s always a closed-minded group that hates people different than them.

  2. Sweden does this thing that when political parties mail stuff they put it in special sleeves to let you know the material inside might not be to your liking and beware, what makes me laugh though is the stuff for Fredriks nursing union also comes in them!

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