Gidday bro, a long way from home

New Zealand has a strong under current of Maori culture. Not just street signs but language that has been turned into slang.

What can only be called a mannerism is the silent greeting. Two friends in New Zealand meet in the street, give each other as sign of greeting and acknowledgement an upward flick of the eyebrows, accompanied simultaneously with an upward nod towards the receiever. It was only after I’d sat down on the seat next to one of my students on the bus that I realised that I’d just given the ‘gidday bro’ eyebrow flick and nod.

He returned the culturally estranged greeting by giving me the thumbs up. I just thought how, at 8.15 in the morning, I wasn’t quite awake.

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