Celebrations in Both India and Australia

Question of The Day January 27, 2013 ~ Celebrations in Both India and Australia

January 26th was national holidays of country celebration in both India and Australia. If you live in either of those countries, feel free to share what you did or what the day means to you. If you don’t live in either country, then feel free to talk about what either or both of those countries means to you personally.

Ausy is the country that Kiwi’s love to hate (being our closest neighbour only 1200 miles away across the Tasman.

We do a sort of friendly battle over most things. A Kiwi prime minister some years ago famously quipped that Kiwi’s leaving for Ausy raised the IQ on both sides of the Tasman.

My older brother has been living in Tasmania for 40 years, and my younger brother (no blood relation) has been in Brisbane for many years, and is now running the Queensland Royal Flying Doctor service. So I have lots of connections to Ausy, as most Kiwi’s have.

It’s still fun when our Rugby or cricket teams beat them (Rugby more often than cricket 😉 ).

We take some delight in that Australia was set up as a penal colony, while New Zealand has the distinction of being set up by treaty with the previous local Maori inhabitants (during a brief period of more enlightened British rule).

Australian land was simply expropriate from the prior inhabitants, and while a fair amount of that eventually went on in NZ also, there was a least a pretence of acknowledgement of aboriginal rights (much more fully acknowledged in the last 30 years than most of the preceding 150 years).

Best wishes from across the ditch Andrew & Ian, and any other Ausy lurkers.

India is a nation that I have had very little to do with.

It seems to be an area rich in history, displaying some of the best and the worst of human culture.

As the birth place of Buddhism it has particular interest.

In more recent times the mechanism it used to eject the British was of much more interest, though the subsequent mechanisms they chose to fill the power vacuum are much less to be admired.

I look forward longingly to the day that nations play only a minor sporting role in the human affairs, and the universal cooperative of sentient life is the prime paradigm in operation, then all “national days” will simply be minor notes of historical interest (like cultures).

[followed by]


There are many ways in which New Zealand can be seen as a nation formed by commonality of space, and a certain level of enlightenment. NZ had commonality of purpose in its formation at many levels. Certainly some violence came later, and not at the formation.

And I think your definition of all nations being formed from violence is a little harsh, and inaccurate.

Certainly, until very recently, violence was a common aspect of most levels of society. Certainly nation states often act violently towards each other, and there are many aspects to why that is so, not least of which is ignorance of the oversimplification that is necessarily part of most mass communication (appealing as it must to the lowest common denominator).

And there are many other aspects of commonality – as in agreeing rules of law and commerce.

Many nations are primarily based on commonality of language, and most have some natural geographic factors as well.

So to me, it is far less “black and white” than your post implies, and certainly, there is a power elite that has historically (and concurrently) used state sponsored violence for various economic and political purposes.

Reality seems to have as many perspectives to it as there are sentient entities within it at any instant 😉

[followed by]

Hi OM,

What about New Zealand?

New Zealand was formed by a treaty, signed between the British crown and the various acknowledged sovereign tribes of New Zealand.

Now however much argument there is about the various meanings of the various forms of the text of the treaty in different languages, the general gist of it is there, and the vast majority of Maori Chiefs signed it (a few notable exceptions).

Certainly there was some conflict about, and not significantly more than the normal background levels of conflict common to that period of history in both Maori and European cultures.

So there is a very credible case to be made that New Zealand as a nation was formed by agreement.

And sure, there did develop conflict of arms, at several later times, as was common throughout the world in that general cultural of the period.

[followed by]

While there is some truth in what you say, there is nowhere near as much truth as you seem to imply.

Several of the paramount chiefs of the time had made the sea voyage to England, and had some experience of British culture. The Maori concepts of power were quite well developed, in terms of tikanga and mana and mauri and kaitiakitanga, and there were certainly some cultural gulfs, as exist today in political discourse.

Saying that there was no attempt to bridge cultural gaps is a gross over simplification.

Many individuals and groups made much effort to bridge cultural gaps, and not all bridges were as effective as others, and some were essentially one way in their traffic. Such is the continuing nature of humanity – some people spend far more time on “transmit” than they do on “receive”. I find both are required – much more receive than transmit (in proportion to the people involved).

Maori understood rules. They had well developed customs or tikanga, that were semi judicial in nature; and all acknowledged the ultimate reality of force.

There were many Europeans, mostly whalers and sealers, present in New Zealand, and many settlers who had made arrangements with various tribes and chiefs around the country, and it was mostly the lawless and drunken behaviour of sailors who had been at sea for many months, and sometimes years, upon encountering Maori women, that were the main concern of the chiefs.

So there was a clear understanding at some levels of there being an exchange, and in the culture of that specific period of English history in the late 1830s and early 1840s, there was some integrity in the paradigms being offered. Changes in the English power structure would shortly thereafter lead to changes that invalidated the original intents, and those changes need to be seen in the broader contexts in which they existed.

So while there is some truth in what you say, it is also a gross simplification that hides much of the reality that was actually prevalent for the relatively brief period of a couple of decades of English history.

Thus my view remains, on balance, and acknowledging that there were very many different dimensions and paradigms at play, that New Zealand was born out of agreement, rather than out of overt power struggle; and there were certainly no shortage of power struggles present at the time, that was the reality of the age – everywhere on the planet.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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