We often watch movies or news stories about people in other countries and their national pride. Although Kiwis are a proud people, I don’t think we are quite at the same point as Americans with their Independence Day celebrations, or even the Aussies with their Australia Day. Is there something we can do with our children to develop this pride?
Recently, my husband and I have been hosting German exchange students, and so we find ourselves showing off our country. And it becomes more obvious how much we want people to enjoy New Zealand, to appreciate all the things that we appreciate. But not only that, how special New Zealand really is. I think we have started to see our surrounds through a visitor’s eyes and see things in a whole new light. How lucky we are to live in a beautiful country, with such places as the black sands of Muriwai beach, the geysers of Rotorua and the expansive golden beaches of the Coromandel Peninsula. And that’s just the landscape, not taking into account the (generally) friendly people, relaxed way of life and Peanut Slabs.
With the Rugby World Cup we have been talking a lot in class about New Zealand and the All Blacks. The children are surprisingly knowledgeable about these topics – naming players, cities, and keeping up to date with the results of the games. If you came to our RWC opening ceremony, or even watched the video, I’m sure you can see the excitement that had taken over Matipo on that day. What better way to encourage our children to be proud of their country? I think all of New Zealand enjoyed a brief time in the spotlight where people enjoyed supporting their team, watching them win and proclaimed the All Black victory as “Not bad, not bad”.
I think we are becoming an increasingly proud nation, which becomes much more apparent as people go for their OEs. Who hasn’t sent a Mr Vintage t-shirt or Pineapple Lumps to a friend or family member living overseas? I know that I certainly rely on such Kiwi inspiration when sending gifts to my brothers who live abroad.
So, are we really not a proud nation? Or is it that we are just not very vocal about it?