How to be a Kiwi

If you're a newcomer to New Zealand, you might be stuck in the illusion that hobbits dwell here and our country is over-ruled by sheep.

While the latter may be true and the former possible, there's much more to New Zealand than that, and if you want to fit in, there's a few things you need to know about New Zealand society.

So, let's say you are heading out to a low-key rugby match with some of your new Kiwi mates.

You'll need to know how to dress, what to talk about and what food and drink you should consume to become a Kiwi.

Firstly, chuck on a pair of jandals no matter the weather.

Yes, even if it's snowing, you should be wearing your very own pair of jandals (or flip-flops, as some might say).

Although, if you really don't want to wear your jandals, either because you're a bit of a wimp when it comes to cold weather or because of the fact that you have none, a pair of gumboots is also acceptable.

Along with your jandals or gumboots, you should ideally be wearing a pair of shorts, preferably a bit dirty, and a good old t-shirt and you'll be all set.

At the match during half-time, you'll need something to prattle on about with your mates.

Consider partaking in one of New Zealand's adventure activities beforehand, so you have something to brag about and don't have to endure awkward small talk.

Queenstown is supposedly the adventure capital of the world.

Note: don't attempt to argue with anyone about this fact.

So take a wee trip there and do a bungy jump or skydive. Your mates will surely think you're well on your way to becoming a true Kiwi.

Beverages come in handy at a match where you'll probably be sitting under the blazing sun and screaming until your throat is hoarse, so bring along a chilly bin.

Make sure it's stocked with heaps of cans of L&P so you can offer some around and make some new mates.

Food is another important aspect of New Zealand life.

Even if you won't have the opportunity to bring food along to the match, you will need to know a thing or two in case anyone brings up the vast subject.

For example, if someone asks you around for a `barbie', and you're sitting there thinking ''Barbie? As in the doll?'', you might just lose a few popularity points.

Barbie is short for barbecue, or BBQ, and if you're going over to a mate's for one of these, you can expect to be served a variety of different meats and maybe a tiny serving of greens.

You should also be prepared in case you get a few visitors to your house after the match.

If you serve your mates caviar and $100 wine, they might not be too keen on visiting you again.

However, if you order some fish and chips from the local store, they'll surely be back again soon.

In conclusion, becoming a true Kiwi isn't too hard.

Make sure you remember to wear the appropriate clothes, talk about interesting subjects and indulge in the correct food and drink.

If you follow these easy steps you'll be sure to gain some new mates in no time!


• By Sasha Budd, Year 10, Wakatipu High School



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