Nationalism can be defined as a feeling that people experience of being loyal to the country they are from while retaining a high sense of pride and a firm belief in the fact that they are better than other countries. Nationalism can also be summed up as a loyalty and devotion to a nation (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nationalism).
Nationalism in Nicaragua can be defined from many different aspects. This country is no stranger to dictatorship, revolution, and civil war. When considering nationalism, one must take into consideration the roots of national identity. For starters, what are children being taught about their own country in school? When analyzing nationalism in Nicaragua, we must consider other factors as well including: history, racial makeup, ethnic makeup, customs, traditions, and as previously mentioned – education. What children are taught in school are the foundations of the image they begin to construct in their mind of their own country. Another factor to consider is the art that is displayed in the country. Artists, anywhere from architecture of buildings to the colors of homes, their productions also have an impact on nationalism that we may not immediately consider (https://www.bowdoin.edu/latin-american-studies/student-research/research-grants/student-projects/ChristopherRobleto-NarrativesOfNationalismInNicaragua.pdf).
Before the history of Nicaragua was so commonly taught in schools, the country’s nationalism was forged in its relationship with European powers and later on with the United States in a colonial manner. As time went on, the people of Nicaragua started putting their foot down and worked up the courage to create a revolution that consisted of a life free from colonial restraint. Their motivation behind such courage was the fact that they felt oppressed. Once they were able to overcome this colonial obstacle, they started to create an image of and for themselves which led to its present nationalism (https://systemicdisorder.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/colonialism-nationalism-liberation-movements/).
In his book, “The Post-American World”, Zakaria writes about the danger in the rise of nationalism. He states, “A further complication: when I write of the rise of nationalism, I am describing a broader phenomenon – the assertion of identity” (Zakaria, 41). He proceeds to discuss how nation-states are considered a newer concept, although the people that make up these nation-states practice traditions that trace back to very many years ago whether it is religious or linguistic. The issue doesn’t arise until we recognize the fact that these identities of these countries are the cores of what make up life as a whole. If these communities stay together, the amount of power they retain will increase. Zakaria brings to our attention the concept of sub-nationalism. This is where the danger of an increase in nationalism becomes present. He states, “The bottom line: it makes purposeful national action far more difficult” (Zakaria, 41). With this being said, he has made it clear that the rise of nationalism proposes danger because it is causing sub-nationalism to grow as well, which gives these countries the idea that central government is no longer a necessity.
In the past, Nicaragua has dealt with some conflicts among the nation-state and the people within the area. For the time period spanning from the early 1960s to late 1990s, there is documentation that a ‘crisis’ emerged between the central government of Nicaragua and an ethnic group identified as ‘indigenous peoples’. Nicaragua’s first real nation-state crisis occurred at the hands of a new power taking over the region. Their goal was to stimulate the flowering of local cultural values, which resulted in hostility among the different ethnic groups that resided in Nicaragua. The country is home to several ethnic groups and when an attempt is made to generalize the region, emotions will be drawn from certain people. The power that had taken control was considered to not even know much about the culture or tradition of the region, therefore causing more distress among the people of Nicaragua. Due to this, new organizations were founded by these indigenous people in attempt to fight this generalization the area they’ve grown to know so well in accordance to what the reigning power ‘thought’ Nicaragua was all about (http://cupola.gettysburg.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1024&context=poliscifac).
Although inequality is still a problem in Nicaragua, it has slightly declined as time went on. Poverty is also steadily decreasing. Inequality plays a crucial role in Nicaragua because it impacts land ownership among residents. Land ownership is known to be unevenly distributed, regardless of what type of reform is in action. The government has main control over what is being done on what land and their current policy focuses on land titling and land administration projects. Inequality is also an issue because when it comes to land, the current policies benefit the rich, but leave the poor with nothing because they are the ones who tend to lack proper documentation for their land. I feel that although inequality is slightly declining in my region, more action should be taken to put into effect more policies that do not result in the rich getting richer, while the poor remain poor. I consider this inhumane because not everyone has the same luxuries to further their income and everyone should be presented equal opportunity to do so. In the end, Nicaragua as a whole can benefit from this small investment. These issues are currently being addressed with attempts of passing new policies and an increase on detail to reports made as far as land conflicts (http://www.diis.dk/en/activity/inequality-in-nicaragua-land-titles-land-markets-and-tenure-security).