New Zealand: the Other Half of the Anzac Legend
As the centenary of the Gallipoli landings approaches Australians need to consider the other half of the ANZAC acronym, University of Sydney history professor Mark McKenna writes for the Conversation. The rise of Anzac Day as Australia’s national day has been paralleled by the increasing importance of Anzac Day in New Zealand.
Where New Zealand’s embrace of Anzac differs from Australia is the place of the legend in national mythology. Former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark described the experience at Gallipoli as “a defining stage in the evolution of New Zealand” but only one important piece “in the mosaic that makes up New Zealand.”
The slickly produced programs at Anzac Cove are perhaps another reminder that New Zealand commemorates Anzac Day, while Australia tends to celebrate it.
One reason that New Zealand can more easily see the Anzac legend as merely one part of the “mosaic” of its national identity is that Waitangi Day, the anniversary of the signing of New Zealand’s founding document, provides an alternative founding moment.
Original article by Mark McKenna, The Conversation, August 7, 2014.
Photo by AFP/Getty Images.