I was having lunch all by my lonesome self when two of my colleagues plop down beside me with their lunch. I stop reading my book as I have found that people will continue talking to you regardless of the fact that you’re not paying attention or even interested. So I thought why not just be sociable for once and be polite like how my mother wanted me to be.
So we chatted about inane and not so inane things. For one I have just found out that Nick is not only a model but a budding property manager and is busy renovating a house that was built in 1972. He and his twin brother (with the help of their dad) are doing everything themselves, getting down and dirty with the gibs, painting, insulation doing all those men stuff that men do to a house.
Anyhoo, they asked me where I was originally from and then Jared was commenting how humid it was and how everything just moved so slowly there because of the heat. Then I said “Oh, you’ll get use to it gwailo”. They mocked me for mocking them and then suddenly the conversation went all serious when Jared continued on “Yeah I don’t mind you calling me gwailo cause I am a white man but you know what I don’t like? I hate being called Pakeha. It is literally translated as white pig and people accept it as the norm. In the news, shows and conversations. I don’t like it. I also don’t like it when a consensus or a survey comes along and they want you to identify yourself as a New Zealand / Pakeha or European. I always end up ticking ‘other’ and write New Zealander. It doesn’t matter, cause we were born here and that makes us Kiwi. I think all this does is segregate the people and create divisions which in turn can breed racism.”
Nick agreed with the sentiment and I for one didn’t know how to react. I thought it was normal but I guess it’s not. I think to them having the word Pakeha in official documents is like having Samoa/Coconut on it (apparently since there are a lot of small islands around New Zealand the inhabitants more often then not migrate here for work and study, They get called ‘Coconuts’ because of the way they speak and act, macam urang kampong la urang bilang). It’s offensive and politically incorrect in this try-hard politically correct society that we are living in.
I just thought that it was interesting to hear and observe such sentiments. What do you think?