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Thread: Are Kiwis Foreigners?

  1. #1
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    Question Are Kiwis Foreigners?

    I know I will be the foreigner in NZ and most people reading this forum are foreigners. Just was wondering, if you've been living there for more than a year, if you still think of Kiwis are foreigners, or if you feel that you have been assimilated completely. (Sounds a bit Borg like that, for Star Trek fans). So are they you and are you they? and happy happy you shall be? Do you feel you stand out like a sore thumb when you speak and don't sound like a Kiwi?
    Last edited by PorkChop; 17th June 2012 at 04:33 AM.

  2. #2
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    Whilst I am only answering this from a standpoint of a regular visitor. There are so many different accents and certainly a lot of British people out there, some who have lived there for donkeys years - like my Uncle - and who still don't sound like a Kiwi.

    So you go about your daily life and unless something happens that means you engage in a conversation that says you aren't a 'local' they assume you are.

  3. #3
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    Nah bruv, arrive Pakeha nek minnit Kiwi.
    Can only speak for Auckland but it is completely cosmopilitan and there are all sorts of accents and you can't tell how long someone has been here from them. My team of nine at work is Kiwi, British, South African, Malaysian, Chinese, Cambodian and Phillipino and we have a load more nationalities in the office.

    Pronouncing place names can be a bit of a give away that you are a newcomer but even then I've told I was saying a name wrong to hear it said that way on the TV or radio.

    Simon

    Simon

  4. #4
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    In Palmerston North while people realise I'm American, they don't seem to treat me any different now (having been here 4 years). Occasionally people assume I'm a tourist (mostly at Petrol stations) and will ask where I'm from, and I just tell them where I live.

    The funniest one was on my way home from work, wearing gum boots, shorts, and a big jacket- IMO looking VERY kiwi and the petrol attendant asked how long I was in NZ for and where I was from. I told them I live just down the road and had lived there for 4 years, and have no intention of moving any time soon. He looked very abashed and apologised. I just laughed it off.

    After awhile I think it comes more from your own attitude. If you think of yourself as an outsider, you'll act like and outsider, so people with think of you as an outsider. However, if you think of yourself as a local, you'll act like a local, and people will think of you as a local. The ability to truly think of yourself as a local doesn't come over night, but the sooner you do your best to contribute and fit in as a local, the sooner you'll be one.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dilanium View Post
    After awhile I think it comes more from your own attitude. If you think of yourself as an outsider, you'll act like and outsider, so people with think of you as an outsider. However, if you think of yourself as a local, you'll act like a local, and people will think of you as a local. The ability to truly think of yourself as a local doesn't come over night, but the sooner you do your best to contribute and fit in as a local, the sooner you'll be one.
    That's a great insight!! It seems weird to start thinking of myself as a local in New Zealand. I suppose its something that only time can help with.

    It sounds a bit poncy, but seriously, what do you think are the best ways to become a 'local'. (I've already picked up that I'll have to wear shorts and wellie boots to the office and tell Brits they need to toughen up every time I get the chance. )

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dilanium View Post
    After awhile I think it comes more from your own attitude. If you think of yourself as an outsider, you'll act like and outsider, so people with think of you as an outsider. However, if you think of yourself as a local, you'll act like a local, and people will think of you as a local. The ability to truly think of yourself as a local doesn't come over night, but the sooner you do your best to contribute and fit in as a local, the sooner you'll be one.
    This is pretty much out experience as well. When people notice your accent and ask "where you from" and you answer with "insert NZ town name here" instead of America, you have sort of turned the corner in my mind of being a local. We have only been here 3 years almost and America seems and feels like a foreign land to us now. The faster you try to be a local and adopt and assimilate into the NZ culture, the faster you feel a part of it rather than just a foreigner living here.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PorkChop View Post
    That's a great insight!! It seems weird to start thinking of myself as a local in New Zealand. I suppose its something that only time can help with.

    It sounds a bit poncy, but seriously, what do you think are the best ways to become a 'local'. (I've already picked up that I'll have to wear shorts and wellie boots to the office and tell Brits they need to toughen up every time I get the chance. )
    I think the only way to become a local is to adjust your attitudes to being one. Being a local is not about how others look at you or what they consider you to be, but rather how you look at yourself and what you consider yourself to be. If you think you are a kiwi and generally act and think like one, that is pretty much what you are. It is more about how you identify yourself than how others identify you.

  8. #8
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    Don't worry about what you wear. Heck I'm most often bundled up. I would say participating in local activities, sports teams, etc. Inviting friends out for drinks after work, etc. (it's nice cause generally they'll not expect you to pay).


    I do recommend not complaining or exploring the differences to what you're used to with a kiwi unless they ask. They don't care that shampoo was far cheaper where you came from because the prices here are what they've always lived with. Besides, you'd better get used to those things since you'll have to deal with them as well. I did find approaching it from a point of- "I find this expensive, is there a better place to buy these things?" a good way to go. Kiwis (in general) are nice and helpful and will happily point out to you a cheaper place to buy something, or giggle at you if you buy anything full price at Briscoes.

  9. #9
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    I myself feel pretty much local! The question 'Where are you from' I always answer 'I'm from Dunedin', depending on the context I elaborate too where I was from. This is after having lived now six years here and not having English of any kind as my mother tongue.
    The vast majority of my friends are Kiwis, a few are also immigrants and just one of my former home country. And convinced that's way to go to really immersing yourself here.

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