Friday, January 30, 2004

NZ Culture

I'm not sure what "...for more than half of its history modern New Zealand functionally didn't have a culture..." means exactly.

UPDATE: I wasn't actually going to publish this post, it was a bit of musing that I felt didn't go anywhere and couldn't phrase it without seeming to have a go at Russell. But because of the technicalities of blogging it was published.

But since it is in the public domain I may as well expand. I think the theme of Culture and Identity in NZ is somewhat of a middle class thing. Every immigrant community that came to NZ brought a culture with them and also the first here had one of their own. As for having a singularly NZ culture and identity I'm not sure that this relies on having a particular level of artistic achievement at a particular time in our history. We had a pioneer culture early on in the colonization process and we now have a culture, or mixture of cultures, that has evolved since then.

A lot of angst has been expressed over this by the University educated middle class but I think most people get along with their lives, with their communities of network, with their shared knowledge and understandings, without the need for the priests of high culture to determine whether or not others have a cultural identity.

But it was a musing rather than an attempt at a pot shot.

Further Update: I suppose I consider "culture" to be an abstract mass noun, there is no such thing as "culture". But there is the myriad details of human interaction which, in summation, can be described as culture.


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