Yellow Peril by Tze Ming Mok

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Yellow Peril: the identity game

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  • Manakura,

    Lets all hold hands and sing we are the world.

    And Kumbaya (spelling?) of course.

    Dang,and lets not forget that state primary school hit of the 70s and 80s 'This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land'. Such sweet and subtle poetry in those lyrics.

    O please sir may we have a thread we're we can get all nostalgic about the songs we were forced to sing in primary school? It's all coming flooding back.

    Whaingāroa • Since Nov 2006 • 133 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Lea,

    If NZer does become an ethnicity I'd hope that it would be an inclusive one that is not just shorthand for white and english speaking. But it may not.

    Sure, if it did it would be the same as 'Asian' being inclusive of Chinese/Japanese/Korean etc. In the same way that 'New Zealander' would include Maori.

    So we are still left with needing a label for the white, English-speaking New Zealander ethnic group. Take your pick: New Zealand European/Pakeha/something else.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Songs we used to sing at primary school: late 60s, semi-rural NZ, music teacher; Mrs MacFarlane, a mildly sardonic 67-year-old Scotswoman. What did we sing in std 2 school music? Wall-to-wall Beatles.
    (What did the kids sing? Noone seemed to know the words beyond "Pokarekare ana": it was all "Teacher hit me with a ruler...etc" Ah, them was the daze.)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1434 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    Perhaps a song we sang at school had some ethnic/national themes buried under the nonsense, maybe from one of the wars:

    Eye tiddly eye-tie, eat brown bread
    I saw a sausage fall down dead
    Up jumped a saveloy and bashed him on the head
    Eye tiddly eye-tie,
    BROWN BREAD!

    It's surprisingly resistant to googling so no idea where it first originated.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 780 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Eye tiddly eye-tie, eat brown bread

    I've proven to my own satisfaction that Google will be of limited help. You can do phrase searches for each line. There''s a noticabely different nonsense poem (that seems to be a transcribed from " I Saw Esau", rhymes collected Iona and Peter Opie c1947) and someone's google-cached myspace page has "Up jumped the beefburger".

    Someone may need to look in a book.

    Can you tell it's Friday afternoon? Oh yes.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1094 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    So we are still left with needing a label for the white, English-speaking New Zealander ethnic group. Take your pick: New Zealand European/Pakeha/something else.

    How about "white New Zealander" or "New Zealander who happens to be white" ?

    The US has categories "Black" and "White".

    On the songs you all must have sung "My grandfathers Clock" and changed the lyrics to something similar to
    "clock", along with the soldier song about 'balls', hanging low, do they wobble to and fro?', etc etc.

    We also sang Country Road by J. Denver and managed to change them there words too. Makes me wonder what the point of singing was when we just took the opportunity to be obscene. Can't tell me the teachers couldn't here 50% of the students swearing during the songs. Guess which 50% it was ;)

    Ah, those were the days.

    Since Nov 2006 • 862 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    here = hear. I'm not too drunk just yet.

    We also murdered a Bob Marley song into lyrics which make me cringe a bit now.

    Since Nov 2006 • 862 posts Report Reply

  • Chuckie L,

    Shit, you're onto it, Manakura. Great stuff. It's ironic that you should mention Government newspapers from the 1800s because there have been a fair few articles more recently in Chinese language newspapers here that denigrate Maori but avoid detection by their being not accessible to non-Chinese speakers. I guess gross generalisations and perceptions of ethnic superiority are pretty universal.

    Shore • Since Dec 2006 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Manakura,

    Ha Ha! The thread that would not die rears it ugly head again. I was being a geek in the Hocken Library yesterday and came across this:

    ‘Letters From Maoris and Half Castes’, MS-582/b/10
    Excerpted from Mamaru Te Au to J. Herries Beattie, dated 09-09-1946:

    The word Pakeha was created with the very first Maoris on their way to this country in their canoes Arawa, Takitimu and others. On that sea voyage they met with a very large white bird, (presumably the wandering Albatross), which they saw for the first time and its ability to skoon [??] swoop and glide supplied the words. ‘Pa’ is skoon, ‘Keha’ something pertaining to white, light, etc. Then when the first white men came here in their ships of big white wings skooning towards the land the Maoris cried out ‘E Pakeha, E Pakeha’, and since then the white man has always been called Pakeha.

    The wider context is an editorial or letter Beattie published in the Auckland Star to which some Pakeha had taken offence to the use of the word Pakeha. Te Au was writing to Beattie to tautoko him and offer another explanation of the word's etymology. This had been published in the Star, and elsewhere. He also noted that Pakeha had come to refer to all non-Maori people in New Zealand.

    Wow, Che perhaps it was much earlier that Pakeha acquired its negative quotations. Also, this was one of a series of letters, public and private exchanged between parties disagreeing over 'Pakeha'.

    Just like PA System but with paper and beautiful handwriting.

    Whaingāroa • Since Nov 2006 • 133 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    surely the pedigree can't be that old. unless the myth is so strong that it was floated in the 40s, and made a comeback in the 80s?

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2024 posts Report Reply

  • Manakura,

    surely the pedigree can't be that old

    Well the documents I looked at were pretty clear on the dates and the context of the debate, such as it was. The only thing I couldn't discern was what exactly it was about 'Pakeha' that offended the person.

    Whaingāroa • Since Nov 2006 • 133 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    interesting... looks like we might have an interesting research project on our hands.

    do you have the motivation for the umbrage at the word, 'pakeha'? was it the recent centenary of the signing?

    my researcher alter-ego thinks there could be something interesting in this, but hasn't quite put it's finger on exactly why.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2024 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    I think we should keep one Yellow Peril thread alive and hold it hostage until Tze Ming agrees to return. How about this one?

    Anyway, I've been pondering the whole Babel-label question again today.

    Two young Asians appeared at the Auckland District Court. They were our nation's newest national (no, global) heroines, appearing as star witnesses in the case of Lisa Simpson versus Monty Burns. Exhibit A: Vitamin C (absence of). Top work, girls. Insert obligatory reference here to Kiwi Ingenuity.

    And in every report I've noticed so far, they have been New Zealanders. Which should be obvious, and unremarkable except ... what if they were in the same building, but in the dock?

    Just a thought.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 692 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    my favourite moment of the weekend was telling a tory mate, "good thing we have immigrants. your lot would never have come up with that"

    we were not amused.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2024 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    Top work, girls. Insert obligatory reference here to Kiwi Ingenuity.

    Suck on that, Coddy!

    my favourite moment of the weekend was telling a tory mate, "good thing we have immigrants. your lot would never have come up with that"

    we were not amused.

    *puts on Basil Fawlty hat*
    Don't mention the Battle of Singapore! Oh, and don't mention the Suez Crisis either!
    *takes off Basil Fawlty hat*

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4058 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    I think we should keep one Yellow Peril thread alive and hold it hostage until Tze Ming agrees to return

    good plan

    our nation's newest national (no, global) heroines

    yes that was good, even got airplay on BBC world, and gave TV3 the chance to quote the trite old favourite of all tabloid stories, the "David and Goliath" line

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    They get bonus pay points for saying that. Also they get 2.50 for each mention of the word "smacking". Toni's writer is totally creaming it with the weather innuendo.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    what's the going rate for 'political correctness' references these days, they must pay quite well?

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    hey... no wandering into any kind of liberal-lefty discussion or tze ming will start sending me angry/ranty emails again...

    seriously.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2024 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    oh no fear of that, this is just about payment for words

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Che, sooner or later you're going to have to hang tough with Tze.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    pash the antelope che

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Sorry Che, but Riddley just made me snarf all over my bad dual heads.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    we're no longer speaking english.

    this is a good start.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2024 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    what? what's wrong with pashing antelopes?

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

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