Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix personifies the French motherland

A homeland (rel.[clarification needed] country of origin and native land) is the concept of the place where a: cultural, national, or racial identity had formed (usually refers to the ethnic groups involved). The definition can also mean simply one's country of birth.[1] When used as a proper noun, the Homeland, 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.


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 came to think of Britain as the mother country of one, large nation. India is often personified as Bharat Mata (Mother India). The French commonly refer to France as "la mère patrie";[2] Hispanic Americans and 19th century-upper-class Filipinos, commonly referred to Spain as "la Madre Patria". Romans and the subjects of Rome saw Italy as the motherland (terrarum parens) of the Roman Empire, in contrast to Roman provinces.[3]


Fatherland is the nation of one's "fathers" or "forefathers." The word can also mean one's country of birth depending on how the individual uses it.[4]

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 Italian la Madrepatria, Spanish la Madre Patria or Portuguese a Pátria Mãe (Mother Fatherland).

Various connotations[]

See also[]


  1. ^ "Definition of HOMELAND". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 2018-12-23.
  2. ^ "Ces tirailleurs sénégalais qui ont combattu pour la France". lexpress.fr. 14 July 2010. Archived from the original on 3 January 2015.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "Definition of FATHERLAND". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  5. ^ Noonan, Peggy (14 June 2002). "OpinionJournal – Peggy Noonan". Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 8 September 2007.
  6. ^ "The Encyclopedia of Aboriginal Australia". 1994.

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