There are a couple of Nation States that I find inspiring;
Firstly theres France.
France is a Nation of Payes (Pay-ee), a Nation who’s people are connected to the past, to the land, to tradition, local tradition. As a State its probably the best example in Europe of a State within the Union, pro-union but with a selfconfidence; remarkable. The best example of France’s connection to the land is the Salon de l’Agreculture. Its a farm show held in… Paris (no I’m not joking, it really is in the Capitol City). But its not like any farm show in the UK, its all produce, animals and food stalls (great food stalls actually), the €500k tractors are in a shed on the outskirts of the City well away from the real action. And the French farmers dont have any hang-ups about showing pictures of the food made from the living animal on show around the pen. In-fact the nearer to death the food is made the better. And not many would argue about the generally high quality of French food. If you’ve ever been to a French Town you’ll see the grocery supermarkets you find in any other European or US Town but you’ll also find family run butchers and bakers as well. The French know how to live and keep their identity, each region connected to the Terrain, keeping the old traditions alive through the food they produce, cook and eat.
Second there’s Israel.
A new Nation, a proud nation.
Unlike France it doesn’t have a food tradition but I’m inspired by the very nature of Israel’s existance. Against the odds they maintain (admittedly with massive US backing) their presence in a tougher than normal area. But you cannot ignor the facts, they took a barren desert and have turned it into a productive land with a more modern feel than many of the neighbouring states. All this in a shade more than 60 years and any number of military conflicts.
France = identity = inspiration
Israel = identity = inspiration