“Every nation has idiosyncrasies which differentiate it from others and make it feel isolated from, attracted to or repelled by them. The outward manifestations of these idiosyncrasies usually seem strikingly repugnant, or at best ridiculous, to another nation. . .The true character of a nation, on the other hand, is seldom recognized or understood, not by outsiders or even the nation itself. Nations, like human beings, are unaware of the workings of their inner nature, and ultimately we are surprised, even astounded at what emerges.”  –Goethe