Talk:National myth

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The section about China, what part of Sun Yat-sen in his role for the creation of the Republic of China a myth? The wikipedia articles on gunpowder and compass clearly indicate those are Chinese inventions. Are we saying these articles present myths? --Kvasir 02:44, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

"A national myth is an inspiring, or patriotic story or anecdote that serves as a national symbol of a country, and re-affirms a country's "national values." A national myth may sometimes take the form of a 'national epic'."

This definition, in the first line of the article, doesn't seem to be in consistent use throughout the article. Several of the "myths" are very dubious examples of "national myths", and display an obvious USA-centrism in their much wider interpretation of the term for that section than for any other sections. See "Rosa Parks' resistance to compulsory racial segregation in the Montgomery, Alabama bus system is celebrated as the spark of the American Civil Rights Movement. Certain elements of the story have been arguably mythologized, however—Parks was an NAACP activist, and not the first to challenge segregation laws on a Montgomery bus or otherwise." If we included every significant figure in every nation's history whose importance has (debatably) been exaggerated or whose every minor background detail is not universally known, we'll need to make this page two hundred times as long, because countless other historical figuers have been similarly romanticized in terms of importance alone. I thought a national myth had to have elements of the story that were idealized, not just the importance of the story itself in a certain part of history overstated? And even then, Rosa Parks is indisputably of great historical importance, one way or another, so what's the point of this? -Silence 16:10, 18 October 2005 (UTC)


As a French person I was rather amused to see your choice of myths. This selection would still have been acceptable 50 years ago, but I think later events (the Resistance for example), loom larger in French memories. And the best remembered episode from the French Revolution is not the execution of King Louis, but the storming of the Bastille.--Anne97432 15:49, 27 October 2006 (UTC)


The entry for Estonia lists Kalevipoeg. I'm not sure it's entirely appropriate alone, as this does not appear to fully match the definitions specified above. Perhaps, myths dating from the Estonian War of Independence should be added. Digwuren 00:02, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Inflammatory reference[edit]

Petri Krohn has twice ([1], [2]) introduced a "For communication of falsehoods, see National mysticism" link here. While I agree that the reference is useful, I believe that this description is problematic, and so have replaced it with a standard "See also" template. Digwuren 02:57, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Template {{seealso}} is not a standard hat text template, template {{for}} is!
As for the clamed POV: Category:National mysticism is included in
  1. Category:Historical revisionism (political)
  2. Category:Pseudohistory
  3. Category:Pseudoscience
All three are included in Category:Communication of falsehoods. I can see no argument that National mysticism is not "communication of falsehoods". In fact, this is the defining characteristic that differentiates it from a national myth, and should thus be stated in the "for" text.
Besides, the only reason User:Digwuren is here, is that he is stalking me, and has for the last month summarily revered every edit I have made. -- Petri Krohn 02:12, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

It would be the purpose of this article to elucidate the various shapes and forms taken by "national myths", from merely anecdotal or traditional folklore, to national mysticist or ethnic nationalist fanaticism. Of course a national myth includes "communication of falsehood". The question is, who is fooling whom. In Switzerland, for example, there is the Rütlischwur. Nobody assumes this is anything like a historical event. It is nevertheless treated as a venerable fable symbolizing national origins. A bit like Santa Claus -- nobody is going to stop the custom just because it involves "communication of falsehood". At the other end of the scale, you have fanaticist stuff like the Battle of Kosovo in Serb nationalism. The battle itself is, of course, historical. But the national myth that has grown up around it is just as obviously a "communication of falsehood", but in this case, one of relaxed folklore and tradition, but one used to whip people into ethnic hatred and civil war. This makes for a complicated topic, and the article fails to address any of it in more than a superficial WP:LEAD sort of way. I suggest we need to lose the "list of national myths" and implement a coherent discussion of the topic instead. --dab (𒁳) 12:00, 23 November 2008 (UTC)