Raising a family in New Zealand. How much has where you grew up determined your personality?
June 19, 2009 9:02 AM Subscribe
How much has where you grew up determined your personality? How important is location? Those who grew up in New Zealand, how much has its culture and limitations shaped you? Children of expats, how did having expat parents influence you? Any Americans in NZ want to tell me why they are raising their children there?
posted by scazza to Society & Culture (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
And I'm not asking this since I just saw "Away We Go." It just occurred to me the similarity of this question. I often think about where would be the best place to raise a child. Yes circumstance usually dictates, but let's forget that for the moment. I am American but also a New Zealand citizen where my large family on my father's side lives in Auckland. I have always heard that NZ is an amazing place to raise your child, however I have some concerns that maybe you all can help me with.
My experience has mostly been of Auckland and my own family. My family network there is very large and insular with very little room for individuality. I don't think anyone in my generation there has gone to college and they all work for the family business. They all talk of leaving but never do. They are an amazing family, but culturally ignorant and occasionally offensive (for example re gays). I am an artist, my partner a lexicographer, we adore the outdoors, but also like intelligent conversation and debate about everything, anything (University of Chicago life of the mind anyone?). We have considered raising our future children in NZ but basically I don't want them to grow up to be like the rest of my family there, isolated in terms of cultural and intellectual knowledge and respect, open-mindedness and curiosity. Individuality, achievement is a very American value, one that can sometimes be taken too far, but I don't want to rob my children of it if they grow in a more insular culture. My cousin tells me it gets more insular as you move south in NZ from Auckland but I don't know whether to believe her, and I wouldn't want to live in Auckland.
How much does or has location determined your personality? I think it's determined by your parents more than anything (contradicting conventional thought that it's your friends who are the most influential, but I've just never encountered that in anyone I know) but what about extended family?
I've heard Wellington is the culture capital of NZ, is this true? Are there other places? Is it true that cultural exposure declines as you head south?
Those who have grown up in NZ, have you felt a full cultural and intellectual exposure and life?
Any Americans in NZ want to tell me their stories? Why and where do you live in NZ? (Though it would be Saturday for you now, so are you even checking MF?)
Friends I've known who left NZ to see the world have all moved back. What's up with that?