Thursday, April 13, 2006

Don’t come back from the moon

DearReader.com put me onto this one. “Don’t come back from the moon” is about blue-collar America, so not something I know a lot about. But what attracted me to the book, apart from its original idea and readable style, was the portrayal of second-generation emigrants who are the protagonists of this book. People with names like Kolya or Tom Slowinski consider themselves pure USA, yet they happily eat kielbasa and celebrate Paczki Day. The mixing and matching and melding of nationalities fascinates me as much as my daughter’s flexible accent which she adjusts for pre-school and home.

I saw a discussion about that recently: Americans (rightly or wrongly) are fiercely proud of being American. What can New Zealand do to achieve the same level of patriotism? Are we too tolerant of different cultures here, too eager to preserve our home languages and customs, and is that what’s preventing us from bubbling happily in the melting pot as True Blue Aotearoans?

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