St George’s Day: Nationalism or Multiculturalism
Going back to history – George was born in modern day Turkey and that too, to a Greek family. Well, that’s not all – he worked in the army of an Italian city and died living in what we today call Palestine. In fact his parents, though Greek-speaking, were from Turkey and Palestine. So, he was born Turkish, with a Greek lineage, worked in an Italian workforce and died a Palestinian.
He was an immigrant
Moving countries for better economic benefits isn’t a phenomenon of the modern world, considering that’s what St George did. George moved countries looking for work, probably immigrating from Cappadocia to Palestine to be employed as a palace guard for the emperor Diocletian. He moved between the provinces of the vast Roman empire in the way a skilled manual worker might travel between the member states of the EU to find better employment.
He spread new religious ideas from abroad
St George’s claim to fame was spreading his foreign, Middle Eastern religion to the west. For centuries the Romans worshipped their native Gods, but it was St George who convinced Empress Alexandra of Rome to adopt Christianity (the new expanding religion of the time).
St George: The patron saint of diversity
St George isn’t just the patron saint of England – but of Bulgaria, Palestine, Ethiopia, Greece and Lithuania. In fact Georgia celebrates St George’s day twice a year!
He was a soldier for a multicultural European super-state
As a tribune in the Roman army, George was fighting for a Europe-wide super-state that famously let its inhabitants keep their local traditions. In the imperial capital of Rome there were Britons mixing with Greeks and people from Palestine and Gaul. As long as loyalty was pledged to the emperor, the local religious and cultural customs could continue and were incorporated into the empire.
He was persecuted by people intolerant of his foreign religion
As an immigrant with a foreign religion, St George was at the receiving end of discrimination and persecution from the Roman authorities. He was hit by a new law to crack down on Christian soldiers. George objected and was imprisoned and tortured and ultimately executed for his foreign ways.
There is no doubt that St George would have stood for tolerance towards diversity and the values of modern day Britain- Multiculturalism.
Here and Now 365 has always prided itself for promoting multiculturalism and celebrating the ethnic diversity of the UK.