Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Census Night

Tonight is Census Night in New Zealand. Here are some excerpts and explanations from my completed form.

Ethnicity: Other: Pakeha.
I am proud to identify my ethnicity as Pakeha. Like Maori, it is an ethnic identity unique to New Zealand (ie non-Maori New Zealander). Being Pakeha claims this country as my home, and this evolving, challenging, interesting culture we share and negotiate into existance as my own. (NB contrary to some spam I received this week, 'New Zealander' is not an ethnicity, it is a nationality- an equally artificial construct as ethnicity is, but with a different meaning).

Religion: Jewish
Last census there were (I think) about 8,000 Jews in New Zealand. In the past I've hesitated before finally checking this box, as I felt my Jewish identity was cultural, political or ethnic rather than religious. And my spirituality was a masala of too many elements to really fit into the Jewish religion box. But in the past five years I've joined a synagogue and thus become part of a Jewish religious community. And in the process, my spirituality has continued to evolve into and through Jewish practice. I still have strong JuBu (Jewish-Buddist) tendencies, but now I have not a jot of hesitation of ticking the Jewish religion box.

Income in the past 12 months: $5,000-$10,000
And I suspect I am erring on the generous side of my estimate. The upside of so little income is (I hope) very little tax! A very small proportion of my income has come from artist's books, even though that is what I mostly work at. The previous year's income was at least 5 times greater, and I saved half of it- so that's mostly what I have lived on for the last year.


elbowlina said...

I am glad I'm not the only person putting Pakeha instead of New Zealander.


zydeco fish said...

Sadly, in the US & Canada, many people identify their religion as Jedi. They are the geeks, I suppose.