A fair number of comments to this blog have raised provocative questions and heartfelt concerns about the linkage between ethnicity, including the problematic concept of "race," and Pagan spiritual traditions in much of modern-day Paganism or neo-Paganism. This is something I have also struggled with, and I am not yet sure who or what has won the struggle!
I have divided loyalties between two different European Pagan traditions, the Norse or Nordic Paganism of Iceland and Scandinavia, and the Baltic Paganism of Lithuania and Latvia. I have Czech and Lithuanian ancestry, but was exposed to Norse mythology at an early age--I am not ashamed to admit it was through the comic book "The Mighty Thor!!"--but always felt a great curiosity about Lithuania, from dribs and drabs that my mother would relate to us, based on her mother's recollections of her childhood in Lithuania in the early 20th century. In undergraduate college, I did a research paper on Nazi appropriations of Norse mythology--highly ironic as I am now working on a somewhat higher level research paper on the same topic that I hope to publish in a scholarly journal like "Nova Religio" or "The Pomegranate." When I started graduate school in the mid-1980s, I made Norse Mythology one of my areas of study. This carried on with study of the Old Norse language at the University of Wisconsin at the end of that decade, and led me to obtain a Fulbright Fellowship at the University of Iceland in the mid-1990s, which led to participation in Asatru Fellowship activities in the Reykjavik area, and continuing connections with Iceland and Asatru.
However, the same year that I went to Iceland, I also went to Lithuania, where I came to know Jonas and Inija Trinkunas, the husband and wife leaders of the Lithuanian Pagan group Romuva. This led to further visits in 1998 and 2002. A bit later, after teaching in Japan several years, I scored a second Fulbright Fellowship to teach at Siauliai University in Lithuania from fall of 2004 to spring of 2005, and was once more highly impressed by Lithuanian spirituality, but also frustrated at my inability to learn the Lithuanian language, which was really necessary for me to fully participate in Romuva.
I came back to the USA in 2005 with a pragmatic sense that I would henceforth concentrate on forging links with people involved in Nordic Paganism, largely because it was more accessible with most of the materials being translated into English, with several generations of Asatru in America having developed a workable American version of Nordic Paganism. However, I still feel connected to Lithuania and Romuva, and do not by any means renounce my ties to them. (Hey, what's the point of being polytheistic if you can't be pluralistic?) I see the traditions as kindred branches of the Indo-European spiritual tree, anyway, with Perkunas being the Lithuanian version of Thor, and Velnias being the Lithuanian version of Odin, and the Lithuanian World Tree being no less of a vivid symbol of interconnectedness between mankind and nature than Yggdrasil in Norse mythology. In many ways, I see myself as an Indo-Europeanist, which also allows me to feel at home in other related spiritual traditions like Hinduism.
However, I am such a shameless spiritual slut, or religious eclectic, anyway, that I cannot really accept being walled off from other traditions that appeal and make sense to me. Having lived in Japan from 1999-2004, I am very appreciative of Shinto, which of all religions I have known, is the one whose closeness to nature has most impressed me. When I pray to my various gods, spirits and ancestors, I often bow and clap my hands twice, Shinto-style, and I do not imagine that Odin or whoever else I am addressing feels slighted by this elegant and respectful gesture. Furthermore, my analytical mind tells me that all names and forms of the "divine" (or whatever you want to call It) are just provisional place markers to help the human psyche reach out to something beyond yet deep within itself; however, I find certain god-images and personalities emotionally moving. And, at the risk of sounding ridiculous--and I can assure you I am not saying this in a flippant way--I like the fact that in religion, we can return to the child in us who enjoys playing with dolls and toy figures. I think that play is actually highly significant.
An acquaintance of mine in Sweden made a very pertinent point about this kind of eclecticism. He told me that he likes to worship the Scandinavian goddess Freyja, and has also taught his daughter to do the same, but that if she were to decide to instead worship the Greek goddess Diana, he would not have a problem with it, as he sees them as ultimately meaning very much the same thing. However, he would PREFER that she worship Freyja, as this would be more in keeping with their particular cultural and ethnic context, but he would not insist on it. I think that is a lovely attitude, and I am grateful to him for sharing that.