Klyuchevsky says that a people become a nation by passing
through some great common danger, which remains
afterwards as a collective national memory. Perhaps this
explains why countries such as New Zealand, and probably
Australia, are not yet truly nations. Gallipoli is the nearest
we have come to a "great common danger," and it was
several thousand miles away, on someone else's soil.
‘There’s all of Greece in here, all of the Greek pain’—so says
a character in a Kapka Kassabova novel, referring to
someone’s poetry. So what, if anything, is the New Zealand
"New Zealand," says James Ritchie, "has to get an overall
collective memory, not just the nice things, the sweet songs.
Things like child abuse and Maori rapes have to be included
in the national consciousness..."
Well, we're working on it.