Some fine examples of Kiwiana:
Are called flip-flops or thongs elsewhere in the world. The jandal (Japanese sandal!) is a piece of footwear designed for the beach but worn just about everywhere in New Zealand. Some food establishments or bars which like to portray themselves as having a ‘classy’ image will have a sign on the door ‘No jandals’.
Skellerup gumboots are an essential piece of farming equipment in New Zealand and most people have a pair for working in the garden as well. Gumboots, or gummies as often called, are calf-length rubber boots. Usually black in colour, but now you can buy colourful gummies as well. A gumboot throwing competition is an iconic New Zealand game enjoyed at gala days and local agricultural and pastoral shows, particularly in Taihape in the North Island.
Also referred to as a ‘swannie’, the swanndri is an iconic New Zealand brand, with its main product being a thick 100% wool jacket worn by farmers, trampers (hikers), etc to keep them warm and dry in winter. Usually made in a tartan or check pattern and often worn with a black singlet underneath, another iconic piece of Kiwi clothing, although a little dated now.
One cannot write about swannies without writing about stubbies. Stubbies were a brand of short shorts introduced to the New Zealand man in the 1970s. Simple cotton shorts with an elastic waistband -loved by tradesmen. Similar shorts are still worn, but they are currently considered unfashionable, times change and sometimes for the better!
Is a native tree fern. Like the Kiwi, it has long been a symbol of New Zealand. You will see the fern displayed on army insignia and on the uniforms of our sports teams. The silver fern flag is a favourite even though it is not the official flag of New Zealand. Our former (2015) Prime Minister, John Key, pushed for a change in our flag which would have included the silver fern. A referendum was held in 2016 at some considerable cost, several million dollars! the verdict, leave our flag alone!
Pohutukawa (“Christmas tree”)
The majestic Pohutukawa tree is a native tree that grows along our shoreline and flowers with beautiful, large red flowers in November and December, mainly in the North Island.
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