Identity and culture in Tamazgha
It is essential to distinguish between identity and culture. What is identity?
Identity is the persistent, unique, authentic, self-attribute, qualities, and persistent unique of something, person, or group of people that distinguishes them from others. (Sources: Oxford Dictionary, Intermediate Dictionary).
As for culture, it is knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, values, opinions, behaviors, customs, arts, ideas, lifestyles, and expressive forms that a person acquires or produces, and they are constantly changing and developing and interacting with other cultures. (Sources: Oxford Dictionary, Intermediate Dictionary)
Identity is a fixed subjective characteristic of a specific people within the boundaries of its original land and distinguishing it from other peoples. The identity cannot be issued, imported or mixed with other identities. The national identity of a people is its collective memory, defined by the factors of history and geography (time and place).
Culture is a set of objective ideas and knowledge that changes over time. It is interchangeable with other cultures and is capable of importing and exporting. It is capable of being shared by different peoples with different identities.
Language falls within the culture and not within the identity, because it changes with time and is spreadable outside its original land and does not require its new speakers to give up their original identity. A single language can be shared by peoples with different identities, without these peoples giving up their identities.
Religion is part of culture, not identity, because it spreads across borders and does not require new converts to change their identities. Divergent peoples with different identities can share a single religion without giving up their identities. Also, one people can be multi-religious. It also shows changes (superficial or radical) in religions over time in the form of doctrines, teams, schools of thought, renewal movements, or new interpretations.
- Whoever immigrated to a land that acquired its identity. The land and its indigenous people do not acquire the identity of the intruder immigrant, but rather the intruder immigrant is the one who must integrate and fuse into the identity of his new home (with the possibility of preserving or disseminating his culture and language).
North Africa (West of the River Nile) is an Amazigh land and its Berber population is identity, whatever their origins, ethnicities, colors, religions, languages and cultures. The Amazigh identity is not based on race, language or religion, but rather on history and geography.
North African countries are known to the Berbers as Tamurt Imazighen (or recently Tamazgha). It is known to the Arabs as "the country of the Berbers", and the Europeans have Barbary, La Berbérie and Barbaria. As for the four North African countries, they were known as "Barbary states" among the Americans and Europeans in the Middle Ages. They are the countries of Tamazega or the Maghreb.