Well, it seems I have struck a nerve. I was about to reply to some of the comments on my last post, but it seemed that it was more blog worthy.
All of the comments were very interesting, and revealed that this is a topic that is close to the heart of those of us who form the majority. This flies in the face of what many scholars think about majority groups, but confirms what my feelings are. In this day and age where ethnicity and culture are so important, the question arises in those of us whose culture goes unacknowledged, particularly by the modern media.
I choose the term Pakeha to describe myself for several reasons, the first being that the myth of its negative origins is now well and truly exploded. Pakeha does not mean village flea or maggot or white pig. Rest your minds! The second is that it acknowleges the Maori culture which is important to me, because I both love and respect it. Thirdly, for me, the term New Zealander is incomplete, since it does not acknowlege any ethnicity. Whatever the politicians would like us to think, we are not 'one people' but many peoples, and learning to live with each other and celebrate difference is a key challenge. Fourthly, well you know what I think of 'New Zealand European', although I was both challenged and comforted by Lynn's point of view.
So, I love the term Pakeha, and what it represents in and of itself. But my question remains, what is my culture? Do I have one? Yes, clearly I have an identity, but what is that constructed of. Perhaps more clearly, my question is, what is my ethnicity, what is it about being Pakeha that is different from any other ethnicity?
This is my journey. Your comments uplifted me, and challenged me. Thanks for joining me on it.