Identity, It’s Not Rational

Wherever I am in the world I smile a little when I glimpse the logo of KLM, TomTom, Philips, or Unilever. I once even took pictures of an airplane flying circles over the city of Chicago, with a slogan of Heineken behind it. Why? I don’t even drink beer!

It’s because these businesses are Dutch, and I am Dutch too.

There’s nothing rational about it. I rarely want to hang out with other Dutch people when I’m abroad. I usually find them lacking good taste, manners, humor, and spare change. But beware! Don’t ever make the mistake of writing my name with an umlaut, thank-you-very-much. My name is Jurgen, not Jürgen. I’m Dutch, not German.

Strangely enough, except for some misfits who are either recently imported or incurably catatonic, I seem to be the only Dutch person not participating in football parties or Queensday celebrations. I really don’t care that much about the cheese hats and lion pants. But when I’m on the other side of the planet, I admit I will proudly wear orange.

I told you, it’s not rational. It doesn’t make any sense.

How about you?

Would you proudly wear a t-shirt with the flag of your country? How about the name of your spouse? A drawing by your children? The symbol of your sports club? The colors of your political party?

How about the logo of your employer?


Identitysymbols-front-frame-miniThis text is part of Identity Symbols, a Management 3.0 Workout article. Read more here.

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