Continuing in our series of Migrant Tales – first hand immigrant stories about life in New Zealand, taken from locations around the net.
This post was left on an international emigration forum, one that caters to migrants in many different countries. It was made by a New Zealander who comes from Christchurch and although it is brutally honest don’t shoot the messenger, s/he admits these are sweeping generalisations and there is no intention to offend.
We’re showing it here because it may help many Americans to understand why they find it hard to be accepted into small town minded New Zealand:
Its True – Kiwis dont really like Americans.
We generally don’t like or trust Americans. Sad but true. Sorry. If you are an American, make sure you know other Americans that you plan on socialising with when you come out to NZ. Otherwise unfortunately, as many of you are finding out, you are likely to remain socially isolated. Out of all the English speaking world, Kiwis dislike Americans the most (probably unfairly).
Don’t shoot the messenger but here is a bit of a heads up about how we Kiwis think. Please try not to be offended; be aware that these are sweeping generalisations, they are NOT necessarily the truth of the situation but I have outlined some of the ways that Kiwis generally perceive the USA and Americans.
Rightly or wrongly WE:
a. View your political antics on the world stage with suspicion
b. Are scathing of the arrogance with which the USA has dismissed UN directives (eg over Iraq) and initiatives such as the Kyoto Protocol – truly your arrogance on the world stage is breathtaking;
c. Believe that your country thinks it is a law unto yourselves and we don’t respect that
d. Feel you selfishly gobble up far too much of the world’s resources – much more than your share
e. Believe that given the size of your country, you have had the capacity to do things like end world hunger but because it is not in your political interests to do so, you don’t bother
f. View your extroverted nature with suspicion as some sort of attempt to dominate others by being the biggest and loudest and having a superior attitude (much as you attempt to dominate the world stage)
g. See much of your sense of humour as being corny and simplistic (eg the only sitcoms we really like are those that rely on an ironic, more sarcastic or dry humor)
h. Cant believe how many people in the USA seem to be gullible and just not all that intelligent (that’s the result of those day time chat shows/media/trashy magazines/Hollywood superstar silly behaviour that don’t present you in a good light)
i. Resent that the USA sets a trend and a few short years later we have it happening in our society eg increasing obesity. Given media influence and the economic power of your corporates, we feel powerless to stop this and really really don’t like it.
These are some of the ways we think and the attitudes you are up against. Thought you should know then you wont be surprised when you don’t get a fair welcome and open offers of friendship.
You may also be interested in the following selection:
Studying in New Zealand – An American students tells what it’s really like to study in New Zealand
Immigrants caught in a cold poverty trap – An American and Australian couple
American ‘put downs’ in the NZ media – 2 examples
1:30 “What happens is these big fat americans, of which there are plenty you gotta admit, they’re up to here with MacDonalds..they’re huge blubbery people…”
0:24 “You’re fortunately then one of those Americans who are aware that Australia and New Zealand are two separate countries?”
10:13″‘Well Rugby is our national game, it’s a little bit different to (American) football, you have to be a real man to play it”