A homeland (rel. country of origin and native land) is the concept of the place (cultural geography) to which an ethnic group holds a long history and a deep cultural association with —the country in which a particular national identity began. As a common noun, it simply connotes the country of one's origin. When used as a proper noun, the word, as well as its cognates in other languages (i.e. Heimatland in German) often have ethnic nationalist connotations: Fatherland, Motherland, Mother country, each having some distinct interpretation according to nationality or historical usage.
Patria remains the common term for "homeland, native land" in many languages, based on the Latin patria [terra] "native / ancestral land". Hence also the English terms patriot, patriotism.
Motherland may refer to a mother country, i.e. the place of one's birth, the place of origin of an ethnic group or immigrant, or a Metropole in contrast to its colonies. People from Australia and former British colonies would sometimes describe the United Kingdom as the "Mother Country", often carrying a strong British Imperialist connotation, and not always in a flattering manner.
Russians commonly refer to Mother Russia as a personification of their nation. Many Russians around the world refer to Russia as their motherland.
Hispanic Americans often refer to Spain as "motherland", a term coined during the colonial times.
Hindi, Marathi and Sanskrit have mātrubhūmi (Devanagari: मातृभूमी), literally "Mother-Earth".
Chinese 祖国 (simplified Chinese), 祖國 (traditional Chinese) (pinyin: zǔguó) literally means "ancestral land" and not necessarily "motherland" nor "fatherland." However, in English this is almost exclusively translated as "motherland." In Taiwan, the term 母國 (literally "motherland") is also used, though that may be due to Japanese or Western influence.
Fatherland is the nation of one's "fathers" or "forefathers". It can be viewed as a nationalist concept, insofar as it relates to nations.
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