Monday, October 18, 2010

Jah Rastafari

Now for a post about actual New Zealand things...

#1 introduction to Thanksgiving
I decided that since I'll be in Aotearoa during thanksgiving that I should have one here with my whānau (family) that I've got here. I think the best part is introducing everyone to foods that have no importance or are eaten commonly here. These include: Pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, cornbread, biscuits, and (basically) Turkey. It was even better when questions like 'what does pumpkin pie look like??' and 'can we dress as pilgrims and indians??' were asked. I can't wait to have a proper thanksgiving dinner with kiwis. I've never made whole meals from scratch, but since biscuits, cornbread, and cranberry sauce don't exist here, it'll be exciting times prepping for that.

#2 savory baked goods
Another thing about Aotearoa is that the baked goods that mostly exist here are savory. Beef and cheese pies, ham scones... The baked goods that are sweet and DO exist, are really not very nice. The cookies are hard, cakes are called things like 'chocolate slab', fruit loafs are often topped with a strange pink frosting, and doughnuts do not taste like doughnuts should. Not to seem ethnocentric, but as an American lover of pastries, these pastries just don't cut it. Though I do appreciate a nice potato-top pie (hamburger meat inside, mashed potatoes on top), I like to keep my pies sweet and fruity.

#3 slang
I thought since I've been here for quite some time now, I've collected quite a bit of slang and haven't really posted about it before now.
New Zealand words = American translation

mean = cool
shot = thanks/cool
fully = totally
dear = expensive ex. "those sausages are quite dear."
tea = any meal really, but usually dinner
pudding = dessert
pissed = drunk
otp - on the piss = getting drunk
keen = willing ex. "I'm keen as to get pissed"
churr = no real translation.. hard to explain really, but sortof a farewell derived from cheers.
(adjective) as = hella (adjective) ex. "that salad was fresh as!"
snapped = caught ex. "he got snapped cheating on his exam"
suss = sort ex. "suss out who's going to be driving tomorrow"
heaps = tons ex. "there'll be heaps of food!"
feed = meal ex. "we're going to have a mean feed"
hard = word of agreement. ex. "that was awesome." "hard."
hardout = intensely ex. "She'll be studying hardout tomorrow"
lad = boy, male ex. "he's a big lad."
lollies = candies
nice = delicious
mince = hamburger meat
gap = leave ex. "let's gap it out of here."
cuppa = any sort of hot drink ex. "want a cuppa?"
fizzy drink = soda
flash = cool, expensive or neat ex. "that's a flash phone, is it an iphone?"
flog = steal
fringe = bangs (this being one of the must frustrating ones as I continually refer to my bangs as .. bangs.. and people give me odd looks because of it)
knackered = tired
crook = sick or hungover
capsicum = bellpepper
chemist = pharmacist
winge = complain

okay i'm sure that's enough, but hopefully that was interesting. It sure was interesting slowly learning what each of those words meant...
+ a bunch of cities have nicknames...
Palmerston North - Palmy
Wellington - Wellyz
Christchurch - Chch
Auckland - Aucks
Gisbourne - Gizzy

#4 preference for 'meatier' girls
I've noticed the men here tend to prefer girls who aren't all that skinny. I don't really want to say much more on this, except that I've noticed it and think it's interesting.

#5 candies
the "lollies" here are also quite different to the ones at home. More generally, it's gummy candies that are preferred here to things like skittles, starburst, and even chocolate bars. I find them quite tacky, but some can be nice. There are strange, old-fashioned candies like things called Redskins or Eskimos, which are basically gummy lollies in the shape of native americans and, you guessed it, eskimos. Pretty sure that wouldn't fly at home.

#6 P.C.
New Zealanders are way less "P.C." than Americans. I heard a commercial on the radio for an Asian restaurant with an Asian man speaking in an outrageously stereotyped Chinese accent. I couldn't believe I was hearing it on the radio, but everyone else thought it was normal. As well, there was a commercial on TV about erectile disfunction (And this wasn't playing too late at night.. maybe 8pm) and it showed two men with their pants down, hands up, playing the piano standing up... I'll leave that one up to your imaginations. Either way, Kiwis are not afraid to say or advertise what they want.

#7 Reggae
Reggae music is huge here (especially amongst Māoris). A certain connection was Rastafarian beliefs has been established and many sing about Jah and whatnot. However, I'm not too sure how aware of Jah and Zionism Kiwis actually are, as one of my friends once asked me 'what IS Jah?' Either way, I am a HUGE fan of Kiwi Reggae bands, as well as a Hawaiian reggae group called Kalohe Kai

This is 1814 (Who I saw at the Waitangi Day Festival in Auckland at the beginning of the year..) singing Jah Rastafari


  1. Awesome post! I miss NZ. Thanks for the reminders. Especially nice=delicious.
    See you soon?

  2. Wow! It is going to be soo cool to share Thanksgiving with them! Oh and I love the question about pilgrims and indians hahaha