Mir wëlle bleiwe wat mir sinn
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Mir wëlle bleiwe wat mir sinn ([miːə̯ ˈvələ ˈblɑɪ̯və vɑt miːə̯ ˈzin]; Luxembourgish for "We want to stay what we are"; archaic spelling Mir wölle bleiwe wat mir sin) is the national motto of Luxembourg. The national motto is also translated into the other two official languages, French and German, although they do not have the status of a national language: "Nous voulons rester ce que nous sommes" (French) and "Wir wollen bleiben, was wir sind" (German). It refers to the ambition of the Luxembourgish people to remain separate from, and independent of, those neighbouring countries around it that have traditionally tried to dominate it politically, economically as well as militarily and, as final goal, to annex it: Belgium, France and Germany (Prussia before the first German unification of 1870–71).
The phrase's origin can be traced back to De Feierwon, a patriotic song written in 1859 to pay homage to the first international (cross-border) railway in the country. Its chorus reads:
- Kommt hier aus Frankräich, Belgie, Preisen,
- Mir wellen iech ons Hémecht weisen,
- Frot dir no alle Säiten hin,
- Mir welle bleiwe wat mir sin.
In English, this reads:
- Come here from France, Belgium, Prussia,
- we want to show you our fatherland
- ask in all directions,
- We will stay what we are.
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