Friday, 11 May 2007

National Pride

There is a profundity about national pride which strikes me is more significant than the jingoism that Australians often settle for. The huge flag which drapes the vacant space of the Arc de Triomphe is a powerful statement......I sometimes see the great flags in Victoria Square almost capturing something similar about our aspirations in little old SA.
Around the Arc last night there were (of course) tourists but also lots of young people and rap dancing with loud music.
The flag blows where it wills, and sort of watches over this mess of humanity.
Paris proclaims that its identity is about its culture, music, visual art...the beauty of its cityscape, the food the wine.
Institutions boldly close on Tuesdays, because that is what you do. On first Sundays all public museums are free and everyone flocks.....what a statement it is of how important a thing it should be for the ordinary folk to be allowed to see their national heritage......what encouragement do we give to our young to see the art of the falmous?
The shops close despite the flood of tourists.....I guffaw of the Chamber of Commerce telling the Parisiains that people will think they are a backwater if they dont open 24/7.
We hold not a candle to these people. We play a game instead of taking our culture seriously, mistaking commercioal expediency for cultural sophistication.
I hope one day we might grow up

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