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A homeland is the concept of the nation to which one belongs; usually, the country in which you were born. The word (and its relatives in other languages; e.g., Heimatland in German) has ethnic nationalist connotations for many people. For others, it simply connotes the country of one's origin.

There are synonyms with varying connotations: fatherland, motherland, mother country[?], country of origin[?], and native land[?].

In apartheid South Africa the concept was given a whole new meaning. The white government transformed the 13% of its territory that had been exempted from white settlement into regions of home-rule. Then they tried to bestow independence on these regions, so that they could then claim that the other 87% was white territory. See homeland (South Africa).

[Could have a whole section on aspirations to attain a homeland: Basque separatists, Israeli-Arab conflict, Tibet, Kurdistan.]

See also: homeland security

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