Remembering back to the origins of Anzac Day New Zealanders and Australians have long enjoyed a special camaraderie or ‘mateship’ and a friendly rivalry in the true spirit of the Anzac soldiers from long ago. Whether it be heated debate over which country invented Pavlova or who has the best sports team, we’ve always enjoyed our iconic rivalry and our friendship. Our special relationship is no more so when it comes to sport, in particular our national games – rugby and netball.
By Associate Professor Kate Hunter
Our focus on Anzac Day tends to be on people, especially combatants and their families, and their experiences of fighting, wounding, dying and grieving. Those experiences were powerful – catastrophic in many cases – and their aftermath long-lasting. The re-telling of their stories connects us to the generation who endured the Great War and, because those emotions and rituals are powerful forces they resonate in our own lives.
Hugh Mackay recently spoke at Victoria University of Wellington as part of a tour to promote his new book Beyond Belief.
Globally, religion is on the rise. Almost three-quarters of the world’s population identify with Christianity, Islam, Buddhism or Hinduism, and the graph is pointing upwards: by the middle of this century, 80 percent of the world’s population will identify with one of the four major religions.
Two years ago, I undertook a pilgrimage to the Somme with my Kiwi fiancé and our baby son. I’m not a religious person and I don’t bandy about the term ‘pilgrimage’. But as the great granddaughter of a Somme veteran and the fiancée of a former New Zealand army officer, there was indeed something of the spiritual in our passage around those beautiful green fields of France.