- OUR DEAR NEIGHBOURS, THE KIWIS
There are many people who have very little knowledge about Australia, and even less about New Zealand. There are people who even think that New Zealand is part of Australia!
Comparing Australia and New Zealand is not easy, there are many similarities and many differences too.
What I always say is that just two words are enough to describe Australians and New Zealanders: laidback attitude.
Both have a relaxed and carefree approach to life, based on solidarity and deep trust in others. “No worries mate!” is the phrase you will hear the most.
They are serious workers but, once the closing time comes, they completely detach their heads from work and devote themselves to enjoying life.
At times, these countries are like two brothers, separated by a strip of sea which is the Tasman Sea, similar but very quarrelsome and each with its own well-defined personality. There is solidarity between the two, there are solid diplomatic, economic and commercial relations, yet there is some competition between the two and not only during the heartfelt rugby matches, but also in everyday life.
As far as I know, the Kiwis (nickname for people from New Zealand) at times resent the “elder” brother perhaps because it is bigger?
I'll just tell you this, my Kiwi friend told me that when Kiwis travel abroad and do something cool or clever they say “I'm from New Zealand” and if they do something silly or act a bit slow for some reason they say “I apologize, but I'm Australian!”.
It’s just a joke but I said it all.
Australians, on the other hand, love to tease Kiwis using jokes related to the high number of sheep in New Zealand which are more numerous than people in the country.
You will find people in both countries walking around barefoot without any problems. At the laundry, on the street, at the supermarket…I once saw one even walk into the bank barefoot.
You will find that the climatic conditions are only a secondary event, nothing more. Is it raining, windy and the playground ground has become a disastrous muddy mess? Never mind: if the children have to go to the playground they will.
Both countries, although noticeably different in size, offer a diverse environments, especially in New Zealand which is almost thirty times smaller you can find everything: rivers, lakes, valleys, mountains, glaciers , beaches, cliffs, geothermal areas, forests, waterfalls, volcanoes and more.
When it comes to differences, in Australia 80% of the population is concentrated along the coastal areas because the climate is undoubtedly better there.
In New Zealand, over half of the population lives between Auckland and Wellington, with the remaining half more or less evenly distributed across the other areas of the country.
I must say I love Australia and it always hurts for me to talk about the biggest problem in Australian culture: the relationship with Aboriginal people. Although many steps have been taken, in my eyes the integration of the Aboriginal people into social, political and community life is not yet complete, on the contrary and perhaps it never will be.
Of course some Aboriginal people live in cities and lead a “normal” - integrated - life but a certain racial detachment is always noticeable.I
In New Zealand, on the other hand, you notice the difference quite immediately. The fact that the Maori language is the official language together with English is already a good sign and the Maoris tend to be more integrated into the social life of the country and it is much easier to find them around and in different working and social positions.