God's Own Country


God's Own Country

God’s Own Country, often abbreviated to Godzone or less often Godzown, is a phrase that has been used for more than 120 years by New Zealanders to describe their homeland. It has subsequently been adopted by some other countries, notably Australia, but this has declined as the phrase has become increasingly associated with New Zealand. In recent years the phrase has been adopted as a tourist slogan by the Kerala state government in India.

New Zealand

The earliest recorded use of the phrase was as the title of a poem about New Zealand written by Thomas Bracken [ [http://gutenberg.net.au/dictbiog/0-dict-biogBr-By.html Project Gutenburg Australia, Bracken, Thomas] ] some time in the 1880s. It was published in a book of his poems in 1890, and then again in 1893 in a book containing a selection of his works, entitled "Lays and Lyrics: God's Own Country and Other Poems." [ [http://www.dnzb.govt.nz/dnzb/default.asp?Find_Quick.asp?PersonEssay=2B35 Dictionary Of New Zealand Biography ] ] God's Own Country as a phrase was often used and popularised by New Zealand's longest serving prime minister, Richard John Seddon. He last quoted it on June 10, 1906 when he sent a telegram to the Victorian premier, Thomas Bent, the day before leaving Sydney to return home to New Zealand. "Just leaving for God's own country," he wrote. He never made it, dying the next day on the ship "Oswestry Grange". [ [http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:YQqCkmb8Z8sJ:homepages.paradise.net.nz/taylorma/SkeletonWatchFeb04.pdf+Bracken+died+on+Oswestry+Grange&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=nz] ] Bracken's "God's Own Country" is less well known internationally than "God Defend New Zealand" which he published in 1876. The latter poem, set to music by John Joseph Woods, was declared the country's national hymn in 1940, and made the second national anthem of New Zealand along with "God Save the Queen" in 1977.

Rhodesia

The phrase "God's own country" was heard in Rhodesia (formerly: Southern Rhodesia) during the 1970s, where most people perceived the land as beautiful despite the ongoing Bush War at the time. Evidence of the phrase being used earlier in reference to Rhodesia can be found in the book entitled "Chartered Millions: Rhodesia and the Challenge to the British Commonwealth" by John Hobbis Harris; published 1920 by Swarthmore Press (refer to page 27). The phrase "Godzone" is distinctly different and was not used in Rhodesia.

Kerala

The slogan "God's Own Country" was first used in the context of Kerala in South India by Dr. Vipin Gopal when he created the first webpage on Kerala in 1993. [cite web |url=http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~vipin/kerala.html |title=Kerala: God's own country! |publisher=cs.cmu.edu] Later, the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC), a government agency, that conducts and regulates the tourism prospects of Kerala has been using the brand "God's Own Country" for its campaigns. The slogan now holds global Superbrand status.cite web
publisher=Government of Kerala
work=Superbrand status of Kerala Tourism brand
url=http://www.superbrandsindia.com/superbrands2003/kerala-tourism/index.htm
title=Kerala Tourism — Superbrand
accessdate=2006-08-09
]

Yorkshire

In the United Kingdom the phrase is used by people from Yorkshire to describe that county, sometimes substituting the word county for country.cite news|url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/religion/Story/0,2763,1443745,00.html|publisher="Guardian Unlimited"|title=An ark park for God's own country|date=24 October 2007]

References


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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • God's country — (also Austral./NZ informal God s own, NZ informal Godzone) noun an area or country regarded by its inhabitants as favoured by God …   English new terms dictionary


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