New Zealand People described in just 5 words!

Describing a nation of people in 5 words is ludicrous.
But let's do it anyway.

A friend of mine from Perth, Australia once described Kiwis as feral, which means "wild or uncultivated". I think that's a bit harsh, especially coming from someone living in Western Australia. Erm, but I knew what he meant.

So here's my attempt at describing 4 million people in 5 words:

1. Casual

New Zealanders are certainly not ones to dress-to-impress or insist on always putting on makeup when they leave the house.

Totally the opposite - you regularly see supermarket shoppers wearing pajamas and slippers. In fact, it's the fashion of choice at Countdown supermarket in the Eastgate Shopping Centre, Christchurch.

At funerals I'd been to in England, everyone dressed formally and lots of the men wore a black tie. I went to a funeral in New Zealand last year and most people dressed casually (jeans and a T shirt) and no-one was wearing a black tie. To me, that made it somehow more real, more intimate.

I once saw a businessman in Auckland wearing a formal shirt and tie ... and surfing board shorts. He looked great. That's definitely not a look you'd see in the City of London.

2. Stoical

Stoical: Enduring pain and hardship without showing feeling or complaint. Unmoved by emotion; extreme self-control.
There's an astonishing story of All Black legend Wayne Shelford. During an International rugby union game in 1986, the French rugby pack, known for being "physical", gave him a concussion, a few less teeth and a ripped scrotum. Unperturbed by the sight of one of his testicles hanging out, Shelford instructed the physio to stitch him up on the side of the pitch so he could play on.

3. Educated

New Zealanders are 3rd highest in the world for reading literacy, mathematical literacy and number of years schooling (more)

4. Inventive

"Necessity, who is the mother of invention" was said by Plato, the Greek philosopher, who lived from 427 BC to 347 BC. More than two thousand years later, he could have been talking about New Zealand.In 1900, New Zealand had the highest per-capita number of patent applications in the world and since then, the country has produced a bewildering array of inventions.

My little theory was that they invented because they had to: Early settlers came to a wild and remote land that must have rewarded ingenuity. But it turns out the country was inventive before the Europeans arrived. The native Maori people were skilled weavers and carvers. They designed and made stone weapons, fortified villages and ocean-going canoes with sails.

5. Stoners

New Zealand has the highest cannabis use per person in the world. (source)

I'm no anthropologist, but I'd say it's mainly due to two factors:
1. An excellent climate for growing weed.
2. Lots of people who like to get baked.

So ... New Zealanders are “casual, stoical, educated and inventive stoners.”

Oh dear. I think I might be in trouble.

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