Thursday, December 30, 2010


By now, some of you may be aware that I have another blog that features NZ-made clothing labels (and hopefully soon, stores that sell mostly NZ-made clothing labels).  So it can be correctly surmised that I am fairly patriotic.  And I do love this country & started the blog, in part, because of concerns about employment, small businesses, and how community and economy affect each other.

I think we have a very special deal in this little country of ours.  It could use a lot of work though & we could stand to be a bit more protective and appreciative of it.  I think this country lends itself to more boutique-style enterprises, as far as customer demand is concerned, but unfortunately the government seems uninterested in helping small business.

But mine is not an unquestioning, wholesale love.  Growing up all over, I considered myself a citizen of the world.  Because I moved around so much & because my mother's Indonesian, it felt weird to align myself so completely to one country.  Of course, it didn't help that I was never really interested in sport.  It is easier to critique something from the outside, and patriotism seemed to me to be rife with faulty thinking and dangerous antagonism.  (After all, wars have been fought over nothing less / more.)  What I do think is important is a sense of community, of valuing each other.  Appreciating what we've got.  And preserving it for future generations.

There seems to be a fair amount of capitalising on national pride and nostalgia at the moment in NZ.  Sometimes I get an uneasy feeling that I am just being manipulated.  Like "Kiwiana" is being used like some kind of artificial flavouring in ads to sell us to us; or in movies and TV shows to tug on our heartstrings & as some kind of substitute for actual substance.

There are numerous T-shirts and hoodies with strong patriotic messages, cashing in on warm fuzzies, that are in fact made by "our friends" in China.  (Most of the NZ Music Month gear is not NZ-made; though to be fair, they are trying to do more than sell clothing.)  Like the truly obnoxious T-shirt emblazoned with the image of NZ & the words BORN HERE, that was of course not made here.

I wasn't born or made here.  But I live here.  And I love here.  I know how special it is.  And I don't need the message constantly fed to me.  Especially by those happy to sell NZ out.


  1. Hi Angeline,

    I am also a citizen world. In my opinion everybody has to have the same rights and I would like a world no borders. But it does not mean an uniform world. I think all the races, all the traditions, all the customs, all the ways of life have to be mixed so that we have a colourful and amazing world.
    So I agree with you regarding you must defend your local business and your way of life. I would like to travel to NZ and find something different. I would like to be able to learn a different culture.

    I am sorry for Mac Donalds, Coke,...


  2. Both those companies have always been very good at adjusting their advertising to appeal to each country they infiltrate (though, in my experience, KFC changes its actual menu the most). It's a lot more obvious when huge overseas companies do it. And I certainly can't say that I never partake in any of their products! It's the inside jobs that bother me the most...