27 January 2011

what makes an identity?

Occasionally I am pulled up and reminded that I am a New Zealander through and through. Yesterday two waiata had me softly singing along, appreciating every gentle note. Today a powerful haka reminded me that the haka is so much more than an opener for a sports match.

Driving the roads and admiring the scenery doesn't do it for me. I am a tourist in my own land, wrestling with memories and missing my Italian home. I enjoy the music of the Italian anthem, and of course the wonderful opera and other concerts make me grateful that I am there.

I appreciate my interesting and challenging life, but will never be really Italian. In New Zealand I'll always be a pakeha New Zealander, but Maori music and dance in an emotion-charged setting stirs me right to my core.

Today I am grateful for my cultural heritage.

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