Saturday, April 12, 2003

More on Winston

One other comment from the Winston Peters thing: during the questions, Mr Peters was asked "apart from immigration policy, how can we rebuild our national identity?" His answer was that we needed national symbols we can be proud of - starting with a flag that can be distinguished from that of Australia. He also thought that we need a new national anthem; he asked people to try and think of the last time we saw someone stand up in a pub or at a party and sing "God Defend New Zealand". For some reason he thinks people should do this more often (apparantly the Scots do it all the time).

To me, this seems, well, fundamentally un-New Zealanderish - we just don't do those sorts of overt displays of patriotism, except in the context of sport. I don't know why - colonial reserve, recognition that we can't sing, desire to avoid an unhealthy flag cult like they have in the US - but we just don't. This doesn't mean New Zealanders don't feel pride in their country, but we just don't express it - at least not until we leave.

Or maybe I'm just weird, and everyone else is bursting to spontaneously demonstrate their love and alleigence to the nation...