Thursday, February 5, 2009

Kiwi Culture, Part 1

Now for a lesson about Kiwi culture. As a true journalist, I've put in hours of painstaking research and only accepted information as fact after cross-checking from the most distinguished news sources. First, allow me to introduce Flight of the Conchords, a musical duo from NZ who came to the states and hit it big, even though no one from here had really ever heard of them. (Warning: brief, blurred-out-but-fairly-harmless male nudity in this one. May not be safe for work, depending on your boss's sense of humor.)

Lots of folks back home told us about this show, which I guess is on HBO. And since Jake and I are anti-paying-for-tv, we never saw it until we came here and found it on YouTube (where you can find more funny clips). 

Among all of the interesting facts and insights we've learned about New Zealand from the locals, the country's struggle for a separate identity from Australia gets a lot of focus around here. New Zealanders are extremely proud of their nation, as they should be, and it becomes a heated rivalry in sport (yes, I left the "s" off the end on purpose -- that's what they do here) and jokes that go back and forth. 

For example, check out the Flight of the Conchords web site:

"Australia is full of crap that will bite you, eat you or have a good old go at killing you. Even after all this time the most dangerous thing in NZ are bumblebees (every year there a few folk who get stung and discover they are allergic to them and have a bit of a bad reaction). Short of a cow going to sleep and falling on top of you, you're pretty safe in good ol' NZ."

See Mom, I told you we are safe here.

Read more delightful nuggets, including how NZ has yet to forgive the Ozzies for an infuriating underarm bowl in the 1981 Cricket World Cup. Not sure what I'm talking about? Me either. Anyway, it's worth a quick read if you're curious. Plus, learn how to speak Kiwi.

Another good resource is a TV commercial for a hardware store that gives you:
1) an idea of what the accent is like here
2) some kiwi slang
3) embedded insult to Ozzies (notice the one kid is wearing Australian colors yellow and green)

Don't worry if it doesn't hold that much meaning for you. After being here a while, this commercial is much funnier than when I saw it the first time. 

Hope you've enjoyed this enlightening cultural lesson. Hope you were paying attention because there'll be a test on Friday.



Dave said...

Thanks for introducing me to the Conchords...I ended up watching their vids for 20 minutes...hilarious.

Dick Grove said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

That's pretty ironic, considering Mitre 10 is an Australian company.