Some Countries die; some States are born

Posted: November 29, 2012 by jennroig in Articles, Commentary, English
Tags: , , , , , ,

Today Palestine was recognized at the UN as “observer state”. Whatever that means, it must be good because Palestinians have been celebrating the news.

Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images

Palestinians celebrate their “Statehood”

I’m glad for them, though I’m not sure how their “lifestyle” will actually get better after that, or how that will smooth the tensions between Palestine and Israel, for the good of people from both countries.

But that’s not the point. Thing is that while learning about this news, I remembered Zaire.

Zaire used to be a country when I was a girl, and it no longer exists. Apparently countries emerge and disappear from the maps all the time, or quite frequently. Ask a Polish if you don’t believe me. Or even better, take a look at Poland’s history by yourself.

I have a friend, Katica, she’s not even 30 and she has quite a collection of passports by now. She was born in Yugoslavia. Then Yugoslavia broke and smaller nations emerged, Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia… some others. Now Serbia and Montenegro is no longer a country, but two. And then there’s Kosovo. It’s definitely a good case of how geopolitics can make a mess of your knowledge of Geography.

Taiwan, otherwise known as Chinese Taipei, it’s another messy case. China claims it’s part of its territory, as it does with Tibet, but the USA and others defend it as sovereign State. The end is they don’t get to march with their own flag in the Olympics, and they can’t hear their anthem when they win a medal.

Puerto Rico is also confused. Some of them say they are a nation without a State. But the fact is that they keep a flag, a language, a culture, but they have US passports and can’t vote for a president, only for a governor.

These are some other countries that don’t exist anymore:

– USSR

– German Federal Republic

-German Democratic Republic

– Czechoslovakia

That’s why I get confused by all the new names in the Atlas.

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