A colourful history lesson on Kiwi culture

April 18, 2009

Kiwiosities, by Gordon El (New Holland Publishers):

Here it is: everything you could ever want to know about New Zealand’s traditions, ideas, folklore and history.

And perhaps a few things you didn’t realise you needed to know.

Kiwiosities: An A-Z of NZ Traditions and Folklore is a cross-referenced, alphabeticised offering covering everything from “A good keen man” to “Zealandia” and everything in between.

We all know about those classic examples of kiwiosities, such as pavlovas and the haka. We know what they are and what they mean, but what about the not-so-well-known?

What about duffer rushes and the Spanish helmet? They are all in here, and more.

This would be a great book for a homesick Kiwi overseas, for a new Kiwi struggling with some of our idiosyncracies.

Or for that matter, just any Kiwi wanting an incredibly colourful history lesson.

Jillian Allison-Aitken

I come from the other land down under, where men are men, and sheep are nervous. I'm a sub-editor and in the past have been a proof-reader, news editor and web editor. I am also an ex-columnist, and book and software reviewer for the local daily newspaper.I still read. A lot. And surf the web. Also a lot.You'll find a little about both of those pastimes here, and on By George.

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