Culture played an important role in creating the idea of ‘nation’ in Europe:
1. Romanticism was a cultural movement that believed in emotions, intuitions and mystical feelings over reason and science. They tried to evoke the feelings of a common past and shared heritage.
2. Romantics like Johann Gottfried Herder believed that German culture was alive among the common people- das Volk. The idea of nation was popularised through the folk culture of songs, poetry, and dance.
3. Local culture was sought also to reach the large population of illiterate people. In Poland, Karol Kurpinski turned the folk dances and music into nationalist symbols.
4. The language was also essential as a nationalist identity. When Polish was forcefully removed from schools and Russian was imposed everywhere after Russian occupation, the people saw the use of Polish language as a sign of national resistance.
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