Monday, 15 September 2008

Awards of Unease

Good morning from sunny Wellington, where I’m preparing to chair a roundtable this afternoon at the 6th Annual Media Relations Conference.

All things going well, I’ll post about it tomorrow. For today, I’ve got some residual thoughts about national identity from the weekend.

This thought had three spurs:

  1. The book Marie’s reading, Caught Between Cultures by Jemima Tiatia (couldn’t find it on the Internet). It looks at the experiences of New Zealand-born Pacific Islanders, who are caught between the communal, “young-people-are-seen-and-not-heard” culture of the islands, and the individualistic, challenge authority ideals of the West. Thoughts: NZ-born Pacific Islanders often feel out of place in both settings, but where they excel is on the sports field - often in teams, with rare exceptions (eg Valerie Vili). There’s still the team aspect to the culture, and the collectivism, but the rules actually make sense, unlike many of the rules of Fa’aSamoa (I can’t speak for other island cultures but I have experienced the world of Samoan culture close up!)
  2. We watched the Qantas TV and Film Awards and it was … kind of weird. What are we kiwis about? When we watch the Oscars, we “get” what Hollywood is about. When we watch the Baftas, we get a taste of the slightly more cynical British culture. But with us, everyone bar a few such as Wendy Petrie and Geraldine Brophy, came across as uncomfortable and out of place. The clothes and setting looked right, but the confidence, the magic wasn’t there.
  3. We watched snippets of the rugby (oh how I wish now we’d watched the whole match!) where we fought off the Wallabies to win the Tri-Nations and Bledisloe Cups. Got home after the match was over, had to ask Twitter for the score, and got it from (among other places) our friend Ron, who’s in Ecuador at the moment!

What connects these three things? I don’t know. That’s why this is a blog post and not an article :) Good luck seeing if you can find a connection!


Luigi Cappel said...

I don't think Valerie feels out of place anywhere, what a great role model. She was one of the first New Zealand Representatives to pledge herself drug free.

The media got stroppy because she wouldn't give them interviews before her events at the Olympics, but she gave and gave afterwards.

As to you, rather watching the media awards than the rugby? Mate!

I've got this thing called a DVD Recorder where I can watch one program and record the other. It's less than $200. What were you thinking!?

Simon said...

What can I say? I'm not a sports person (but I know a good game when I see the highlights of one... :)