Tourism and Nationalism

Tourism and Nationalism – TEFI Assignment                                Ella Speakman

Write a short blog about your own encounter of nationalism when visiting a heritage site (domestic or international).  Relate to TEFI Values.

Hello, my name is Ella and I am from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand.  This lecture was particularly interesting to me as it used examples from a range of heritage and ancient ruins sites from around the world, emphasising particular nation’s long lasting history.  New Zealand is one of the youngest countries in the world, with a history going back only 200 years.  So our perception of a heritage site and something that represents who we are is very different to the likes of Europe.  However I consider the Waitangi Treaty Grounds at Paihia in the Bay of Islands as a symbol of NZ culture.  This heritage site is extremely special to New Zealanders as it represents where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between the indigenous Maori Chiefs and the British Crown.     It symbolises the uniting of two peoples and really is the starting point of New Zealand’s known history.

When I first visited the Treaty Grounds, I automatically felt a sense of pride and identity as a New Zealander.  As obviously a domestic tourist, it helped me understand what went on at that time and allowed me to gain an appreciation for all the information I had studied during school.  As a site it truly represents ‘NZ as a whole’, combining two different backgrounds/types of people into one.  Since then, New Zealand has grown to become a largely diverse and multi-cultural society.  Therefore the Treaty of Waitangi heritage site signifies the beginning of a ‘combined and united nation and culture’.  While I am not of Maori decent, I have a lot of respect for their culture and believe it is an integral part of what NZ stands for.  The historical site binds the two heritages (Maori and European) together which I believe is the foundation of what NZer’s represent today.

In regards to the TEFI values, nationalism and the Treaty Grounds in Paihia represent knowledge about ones society/heritage and mutuality which highlights the collaboration of two cultures, inclusion, diversity and equity.  Ethics is also tied in as nationalism represents the authenticity and pride in oneself.


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