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Thread: New Zealand Culture And Language Help

  1. #1
    Third Year Ravenclaw
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    New Zealand Culture And Language Help

    I am planning to write a fic based on a passage in Quidditch Through The Ages about the New Zealand Ministry for Magic.

    I am a Kiwi so it is not really New Zealand I want help on as opposed to the steriotypical view that other countries may have about New Zealanders.

    So my question is "How do people from other cultures view New Zealanders?"


    @ Mods - If this is the wrong place for me to ask then feel free to move this thread somewhere else


    Thanks
    Jess
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  2. #2
    tatjanablack
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    Hello Jess,

    Good question. All I can say that all the Danes I know say that they connect New Zealand as the beautiful place where the Lord of the Rings films were filmed and kiwis are cute. but I don't know about which view my country has on a New Zealanders. But if you ask me... I still think of NZ as the Lord of the Rings country and I think that people there can be very open.

  3. #3
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    My Dad's a kiwi and I spent two months there on my gap year but these are some of the stereotypes/ impressions I got.

    The main stereotype was "New Zealand is Britain from the 1950s", which is in some senses fair and in others horribly in just (I'm sure Britain was much, much worse in the 1950s).

    Another New Zealanders care ALOT about Rugby, the outdoors. It also has a reputation as very 'green' country re- renewable energy/ carbon footprint. And it's beautiful (though this many people have only realised since the LOTR films).

    It's also considered a bit of a cultural black hole. I know this isn't entirely true, but compared to London it kind of is. That's why my Dad got out- he loved the fact that in Europe he was able to get to a different culture with a short plane ride/ drive.

    Kiwis on gap years/ working in London are broadly very, very nice and lovely but do make alot of noise on ANZAC day (which is fair enough entirely). They can also be- shall I say sometimes naive? I know Auckland is becoming increasingly multi-cultural but compared to London it isn't. And sometimes Kiwis have stereotypes about other cultures which the British find really, really offensive/ stereotypical, like a Muslim friend of mine who, when a girl just off the boat found out his religion, assumed he was an extremist and wouldn't talk to him again.

    Kiwis have a reputation for being fun/ open/ and somewhat no-nonsense and will talk to anyone. I have to say I have never met a shy kiwi, though I'm sure they exist.

    I hope that helps- if I think of anything else I'll add it in
    Alex x

    EDIT- just a quick note to say I was rewriting a chapter and found one of my characters getting annoyed with kiwi and aussie gap year students. They don't annoy me (possibly because my Dad was one forty years ago) but I think this was based on something an actual friend of mine said. It was just a bit of a weird coincidence. Oh and for the record I'm British/ Londoner (despite my misleading name)
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  4. #4
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    For the record, I'm an American. I doubt most Americans know or care very much about New Zealand. The statistics on what Americans know about foreign countries is kind of horrifying.

    What I know off the top of my head (kind of random, so please do take with a pinch of salt)
    - Lord of the Rings was filmed there
    - There was not much film industry there before Lord of the Rings, and so the actors union fighting with Peter Jackson over The Hobbit was considered rather problematic
    - Their flag is quite similar to Australia's and there is a movement to change the flag
    - Former British colony, current member of the Commonwealth
    - oh, here's an actual stereotype: suspiciously over interested in sheep.
    - judging by the Kiwi newspaper that is one of the international newspapers posted in front of one of my uni's libraries, the Kiwis aren't particularly interested in international affairs. While every other paper will be talking about Egypt, the Kiwi paper will have something about some murder. Once the headline on the front page was something about a mother getting locked in the closet. ... I don't know who decided that of all the Kiwi papers to post, we needed the most tabloid type one, but there you have it.
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  5. #5
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    From the people I know (who are supposed to be globally aware) and my own ideas, I think that we just lump New Zealand with Australia. I know people who lived there and someone from Australia, and they say about the same things about the countries (my goodness I sound completely sheltered!). What we think of is beatiful landscapes, Lord of the Rings, Narnia, cool wildlife, peacefullness, and wicked awesome accents.

    EDIT: Bridge to Terabithia (such a good book), Avatar, and Yogi Bear were also filmed there! Neat!
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  6. #6
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    Thank you everyone


    suspiciously over interested in sheep.
    This made me laugh so much

    I think that we just lump New Zealand with Australia.
    I was hoping someone would make this point (and prove my country's suspicions to be true) because most of the people I know get kinda offeneded by this generalisation, especially the Rugby fanatics (my brother sadly) .I think this may transfer over to my Quidditch fans and my antagonist


    AidaLuthien- I think you're right about the lack of interest in international affairs. we only seem to care if there is a Kiwi caught up in the drama

    ...and for all of you who mentioned the Hobbit - In my local paper today there was an article saying that filming starts in Hobbiton in the next week


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  7. #7
    Midnight Storm
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    I'm Aussie, and when I think of NZ I think ... sheep. That's the main stereotype. Seriously, there used to be an ad on TV about it, and everything.

    Aside from that, there's just the 'it's a gorgeous place' kinda thing. I imagine lots of sloping hills covered in green, lush grass.

    Oh, and everybody says 'fush and chups' instead of 'fish and chips'. That's how you tell a New-Zealander from an Aussie.

    ~Annie

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