My personal life is uneventful -- which is how I like it. So it's only occasionally that I find something worth noting on my personal blog. Something I noted there recently, however, sparked a train of thought. I noted how many Presbyterians there are in Korea: about 20% of the South Korean population, if I remember rightly. Yet Korea was never one of the many British colonies. India, on the other hand, was dominated by the British for centuries yet Christianity of any kind is rare there. Most Indian Christians in fact have mixed ancestry -- Anglo-Indians.
And then there is Fiji. The British presence in Fiji happened with a large degree of consent from the native Fijians -- via their traditional chiefs. Queen Victoria was simply recognized as the chief of chiefs. And Fijians to this day recognize Queen Elizabeth as their queen. And there are so many Fijians in the British army that their has been talk of putting a cap on their numbers. So what religion are the Fijians? They are almost all Methodists, and Methodists of the old school at that.
I am sure there is a moral there but I am not certain of exactly what it is yet.
And then there is another old British/Australian custom that probably prevails in America too: A sort of defiant custom. I think the most amusing example occurs in David Niven's autobiography. When he was about to graduate from Sandhurst, he was asked what regiment he would like to join. He put down: "Anything but the HLI". The Highland Light Infantry wear trews (tartan trousers) and Niven did not like that image at all. He was of course immediately posted to the HLI.
Another example of it occurred when the father of a friend of mine inadvertedly spoke with some satisfaction of his expense account. He was of course immediately told that he had to take us to dinner at a good restaurant on it -- which he was in fact glad to do, though it clearly was not an example of a work expense.
So is there an underlying principle or moral there too? I suspect that there is. An attack on hubris, maybe?
Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH