Page:Picturesque New Zealand, 1913.djvu/70

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34
PICTURESQUE NEW ZEALAND

It is possible that, for the development of character, New Zealand has had too much prosperity.

World-wide praise also has contributed to the New Zealander's self-complacency. With the world's eyes upon him, he sometimes proudly asks the visitor, "What do you think of our little country?" But his national pride is excusable. His land has accomplished something worthy. It has labored to alleviate the burdens of the commonalty; it has set the world a bright example.

New Zealanders are a busy, independent, and pleasure-loving people. Their popular sports are horse-racing, football, cricket, tennis, golf, swimming, and yachting. In every part of the country there is a weekly half-holiday for factories, shops, offices, the building trades, etc., and in addition there are from six to seven full holidays each year. Proof that New Zealanders enjoy themselves may be seen on any clement Saturday night, when, in the cities, thousands leisurely stroll the streets, crowding the footpaths and filling the roadways from curb to curb. Noteworthy, too, is the observance of the Sabbath. On that day scarcely a train moves; in some cities street cars do not run during church services; and all shops and hotel bars are closed. To those persons who find the customary fishing expedition or steamer excursion a tame diversion, Sunday in Aotearoa often is most pronouncedly dull.

Another noticeable characteristic of the New Zealander is his friendly feeling toward the United States. One of the stanchest supporters of friendly relations