10 examples of Australia & New Zealand national identity
Forget about the kilt that makes its appearance at various civic functions and the annual Christmas parade. I won’t tell anyone but it is definitely not ANZAC, it actually belongs to Scotland and Ireland. If we can’t claim the kilt and have no recourse to dinky dirndl skirts with garters for the men to hold up their trousers. What is left. Australia and New Zealand, ANZAC have a defined cultural identity in clothing, it’s not obvious to visitors as they probably think we are scruffy. Casual board shorts, polynesian flower power and black is the new cool are part of our emerging, emerged clothing ID.
The answer lies in the ubiquitous tourist shops that littered the international airport terminals and major visitor centres. The clue is the beach. Have you been to the beach yet in Australia? Aussie clothing culture has a beach feel about it. Beach identities are baggy board shorts to lounge about the beach looking nonchalant. Sunnies [translation sunglasses] and jandals, preferably with the thong of one jandal in danger of breaking. Worn down jandals are necessary as it proves you’ve got the beach vibe nailed. For the serious stuff like actually swimming, surfing, kayaking you’ve got underneath the boardies heavy duty swim layers. Naturally it is influenced by the weather.
Who said identity is tied up in just clothes, Accessories? An esky (chilly bin) with water, sunscreen, mossie repellent as well as a great place to store the mobile as well. And you don’t really need to worry too much about social distancing as we have beaches galore in both Australia and Aotearoa NZ. There are oodles of space for the beach shade umbrellas, eskies, boards, and whatever you haul to the beach. Forget photos of Bondi, honestly that’s not the only beach in Australia and remember not everyone in Australia lives in Manly or Bondi.
Aotearoa NZ beach identity is Lyra. New Zealand identity is really about not freezing your butt off. Our beaches and water temperature can be a test of endurance. Wetsuits are the norm even in the warmer summer months. Check the line of black lycra under the baggies. Cool polynesia design with practical lycra underneath is the model of the day for a kiwi beach experience.
Culture: Swanndri clothing
Swanndri, I forgot to mention New Zealand’s national identity is wrapped in a Swanndri. And have you looked at a Swanndri shirt? We are talking of semi-felted wool with a chirpy tartan design (perhaps it’s South Island bitter winters influence here) as a national ID thing going on. Kiwi felted clothing has great moisture repelling properties and while it might get a bit a wifi it does the job. Your pet can be accessorised with a nifty swanndri coat complete with leather side pockets. Head to toe kiwi clothing is practical. You certainly do not have a problem with a breeze blowing your kilt the wrong way as you are weighted down with copious amounts of felted wool.
Culture: ANZAC Jandals
Jandals are the core ANZAC clothing identity. Flip flops or thongs (although that does not refer to underwear). ANZAC kiwi’s have a love affair with rubber jandals, yes they look great with a Swanndri, as in summer you don’t wear shoes at all around your neighbourhood. Jandals are winter wear.
Culture: Flower power kiwis
Pacifica flower power is a new favourite colour accessories identity, especially in Auckland. It is fabulous as it brings the warmth of the Pacific holiday to New Zealand, plus the spirit of Polynesian seafaring.
Culture: Colour coded kiwis
Kiwis are laid back bringing the beach to the urban, suburban street where it’s cool to be casual. Kiwis have casual redefined as loose, Pacific colour, glorious flower power is a perennial favourite and the austere greys, browns and black of our local powerhouse ID Maori design with its geocentric swirls.
Culture: Black is the new cool
Is NZ monochrome and dull, of course not, black is the new cool, black is bright, it’s natural in the lush scenery of bush and forest. It’s part of Maori cultural ID which kiwis embrace with interpretations of the new black. Plus Aboriginal cultural colours are glorious hues of the desert, burnt ochre, blacks, whites and sand. New Zealand even labels it’s everything with the word black, sports teams, motorcycle gangs, biscuits,
Culture: Australia dress code
Is Australia too brash, too casual in its dress style? Definitely not, Aussies are teaching the world how to be relaxed and chilled. Aussies solemn and serious doesn’t mean a suit and tie. If a prime minister can be interviewed in his lycra bike shorts it is anything goes.
Culture: where to hang out
Get all your new gear and ready to dress in style. Where else to go but hang out at a beach and revel in the neighbourhood, you are invited to the party Aussie style. And if you listen carefully you will hear some kiwi accents in the background. Remember to stock the Esky with drinks and vegemite sandwiches, snacks (sausages for the Barbie BBQ), lamingtons for the kids, and a pavlova for ANZAC bonding.