NEW ZEALAND CULTURAL CRINGE…



Today, we discovered something about that we never knew existed.
The cringe culture.
WHAT is it? WHY does it happen, & something every arts lover moving to needs to be AWARE of.

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36 comments

  1. I've never heard it called the NZ cringe culture before, but what you were referring to is definitely a part of our tall poppy syndrome.

  2. The phrase is cultural cringe not cringe culture.

  3. I quite agree with Brian. Previously NZ didn't think they were good enough and therefore proper broadcasters had to speak with a toffee English accent – to be good enough. But now when we have [started] to cut the strings to the mother country we feel freer to be ourselves. But it's still a journey we are on.

  4. If Kiwi's can continue to embrace, consume all the cultures in New Zealand, live with a passion and love for enlightenment, not only will we develop our unique culture but also have better barbecues.

  5. Wow – I saw Elaine Paige in London in Sunset Boulevard as well. I am not a great fan of musicals but my Aunt was visiting me for 4 days (her one and only trip out of NZ at 75!) and she loved Elaine Paige – it was brilliant and definitely one of my favourite performances ever too. I must admit that theatre in NZ and music has improved a lot in the last 20-30 years. I have always loved theatre but I didn’t see a really good live performance until I went to London in the late 80s – when I moved back to NZ after 15 years in London things had changed dramatically. I think in part by things like Lord of the Rings etc – people saw better theatre – theatre teachers had better training and experience etc… If you haven’t seen a performance by NZSO you should – they were called “the best little orchestra in the world” by critics when they did a tour in the UK (the little was a bit patronising but the spirit was there). Gemma New is an amazing NZ conductor who is normally based in the US and is conducting them this season.

  6. I'm glad my comments inspired such a strong video with such obvious and infectious enthusiasm. There is a rather sobering angle to this cringe factor however. That's what I call Kiwi backlash. This is where a new arrival into the country is shunned or shut out if they're perceived to be swanning in to rule over the serfs. An example of this can be where a degree from Oxford or Cambridge trumps everything else. Pure speculation on my part, but I believe so many who arrive do move on within 5 years or so due to this factor. I've had neighbours in this category say they were leaving the country as no-one would talk to them or become more than just acquaintances.

    When it comes to announcers on radio and TV, I've lived through several phases, most notably the revolution within radio and its move to private stations. This started out with Radio Hauraki, then such stations as Radio Avon where the kiwi accent was in full flight. State owned radio had to change or die. Who will forget 3ZM in Christchurch with the morning team of Ken Ellis and James Daniels, "James and Ken the moron men." This was two Kiwi guys making utter fools of themselves every morning. One guy spoke with a plummy Fendalton accent, while the other with a down-to-earth Aranui accent. An example of the type of argument they'd have, that would go on all morning with the whole of Christchurch listening and debating later at morning tea, was how to say Ellesmere, was it El-les-mere or Ells-mere? Hard to imagine this would consume a city for a day but it did. This was in the 1980's.

    Movie: I note people mention good Kiwi movies, personally I recommend people interested in the subject check out the first movie funded by the NZ Film Commission: Skin Deep (1978) is about small town NZ, provincial North Island to be exact. The local business association decide to set up a massage parlour to improve the profile of the place and to boost business. It's humorous but is also an accurate reflection of NZ society at the time.

  7. Funnily enough the cringe started way back with the early settlers in the mid 1800's. My grandmother's family taught the children never to develop 'the' accent. This was carried on to my mother and to us. One of the worst for this attitude ie be ashamed of how you speak and how natural Kiwis are was one of the countries foremost authors Dame Ngaio Marsh. She ridiculed the accent and the behaviour of kiwis in her books often.

  8. I really enjoy the format of these videos and how friendly they are!

  9. Funny when Brian says if you can put the accent aside in your head… As Kiwis that's something you do from day 1 with entertainment from all over, we're used to a myriad of accents. My British and American colleges get to think my accent is so cute and foreign whereas I don't get to do that about theirs.

  10. Kiwi's are okay with a pat on the back and a "Cheers Mate Well Done". Anything past that is dramatic gushing lol. Our earlier movies from the 70's and 80's had common things like "the man alone" genre or kind of film noir feel to them. For me, ONCE WERE WARRIORS and WHALERIDER gave Kiwi's a wake up call to the level of talent and our ability we have to story tell. I think it opened our minds to watching locally made entertainment. Btw two of our biggest exports is Russell Crow and Alan Dale. The creator of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW and the guy who played Riff Raff is kiwi Richard O'Brien (Well to be fair, he was a British Import when he was 10 and grew up in Tauraunga). Sam Neill is also British but considers himself a kiwi. OOOOO…. the greatest cringe classic line in NZTV is "You're not in Guatemala now Doctor Ropata" Nurse Carrie talking to Dr Hone Ropata from SHORTLAND STREET. That's the gift that keeps on giving. Every kiwi worth their salt knows that cringeworthy line. Her pronounciation and diction is classic overkill. Hahahaha it still makes me smile.

  11. Cultural cringe has all but gone, that was then now we’re way more confident as a people and embracing everything we do, sport, art, food, Maori culture… everything part of what us us is so much more positively embraced now. You’d have to go back a couple of decades to see how it once was. Will be interesting to see how things develop over the next few decades as we continue to find our voice and selves

  12. I hope you've seen Whalerider ?

  13. In a British survey of 5,000 people published in 2009, participants thought the New Zealand accent was the most attractive and prestigious non-British form of English.

  14. I watched an eminent Oxford professor being interviewed on TV speaking with a Received Pronunciation accent. However, I noticed some vowel sounds which sounded very kiwi. I Googled her & sure enough she was a expatriate kiwi. i & e vowels get swapped. I still pronounce check as chick & I've lived overseas for 35 years. You can take the kiwi out of the country but you can't take country out of the kiwi. ????

  15. I actually love your guys channel! Thank you for exposing NZ culture to the world. Again, thank you ❤️

  16. Love you guys. You're both genuine, warm and real ?

  17. Temuwera Morrison's accent and terrible acting in Star Wars does it for me

  18. Another great podcast. Keep up the good work

  19. US has dozens of "okay to brilliant" soaps, including a parody of soaps called Soap! NZ tried their best, but could only do Gloss and Shortland Street. UK had the Spice Girls, so NZ thought "we can do that too" (wrong LOL) and came up with the failed group TrueBliss – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqmY0kUTkZ8 – plenty of cringe there on the NZ side.

    I'd rather bring back the old style Telethons we used to have, 24 hours on one channel and the artists who appear don't ask for money, that's been the NZ system for a while – and then TV3 killed the idea by copying USA and getting artists who WERE PAID for their time, so the charity got nothing!

    But A week of it (NOT Seven Days or The Project on TV3) way back was good entertainment, the the play sequel to Gliding On was brilliant IMO – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neA3T2cJmOw

  20. Connery in Hunt for Red October, only Russian with a Scottish accent.

  21. Check out the Hamilton Operatic Society productions – Founders theatre is a wonderful venue, every seat has an uninterrupted view and the productions are world class.

  22. Our TV til the 60.s were very English sounding if you watch old TV footage. Philip Sherry, and many more. My high school in 60s was very English with teaching as well. Things have changed drastically lately. I lived in south Africa its full of English people too. Their accent is unreal.

  23. Great to hear from you guys again.

  24. Kiwi Cringe Culture example
    Miss World or miss universe shows. The accents were lovely to listen to. Then Miss NZ speaks aaaand criiiinnnggge compared to other cultures kiwi accent caused kiwis back then to go aaaahhh! Oh noooo

  25. I still have cringe culture… most kiwi's don't like our accent… Back in the day TV presenters have what was known as the BBC accent and when we heard the kiwi accent it was cringe… then again I haven't watched TV in 15-20 years… soooo

    I have been told by my US friends I am to layed back… not a lot upsets me… and I don't like showing off… not giving myself enough credit … too humble etc… I usually answer with a "meh!"… lol I work hard play harder… and don't let the humbleness fool you Kiwi's don't like being backed into a corner and will lash out…

  26. The thing that makes me cringe is NZ "comedians", I mean they try hard, bless them, but they will never be as good British comedians. A perfect example the TV show Taskmaster, the UK version is just so funny full of side-splitting full on hilarity whereas the NZ version is just a cringe fest because of how bad and unfunny the comedians are.

  27. I don't think the cringe culture is still active, we used to feel inadequate in the arts…made worse by the accent, but now generally nz films and actors are well respected. Movie reccomendation Once were Warriors

  28. Condolences for England's loss!???. As for your clip… magic yet again! Love how you're unrehearsed and that you two quibble about little points of difference. I was born in the 50's and for some reason most of us inherited the trait of humility. Don't stand out in a crowd because if you did you'd become part of our famous tall poppy syndrome! Yet some of our arts and scientific people have been, or are, held in esteem internationally. And of course our sports people have always been magnificent and belie the fact they have come from such a small nation! Together, from Ed Hillary to Lorde, from Valerie Adams to Peter Jackson, we punch above our weight and have reason to really only cringe when Mike Hosking gets airtime!
    You're amazing ambassadors and we love you heaps!?

  29. I've never heard the term in NZ in my life. Nor has anyone I have asked.
    The theatre crowd might have had this issue based on budget constraints in the past, but most people I ask only feel such things when NZ attempts to replicate a big budget tv show with a fraction of the money.
    As far as cinema goes or original tv productions, Kiwis are usually quite complimentary of their own.

  30. The show sounds amazing. My mother used to take me to see musical productions when I was a kid as we got tickets through my intermediate school. I loved them. My daughter and I also regularly went with my mum-in-law to our local players yearly productions. There are so many talented people around and also some great NZ movies.

  31. Just to pick up on one thing you were saying, at one point, received pronunciation was compulsory for TV presenters. There was a lady called Karyn Hay who was the first one to speak with a kiwi accent on air back sometimes in the 80s.
    This is what Wikipedia says about it:
    "She had a New Zealand accent in an era when BBC style received pronunciation was compulsory for New Zealand television presenters, and they were required to attend elocution lessons. She either refused to attend, or was let off. Hay was the first New Zealand television presenter to speak with a New Zealand accent.[7] Journalist Veronica Schmidt recalled that "although the BBC plum was no longer stuffed in every announcer’s mouth, appearing with an entirely raw Kiwi accent was still unheard of".[8] Listener writer Diana Wichtel remembered her unreconstructed Kiwi vowels as "depending on your point of view, the end of civilization as we knew it or a breath of indigenous fresh air". For her part, Hay was unrepentant, telling the New Zealand Listener "I’m a New Zealander. I’m not ashamed of my New Zealand accent".

  32. I think The Conchords took the cringe factor and made it a mainstream art form,don't think they're so well known in the UK but the Americans seemed to lap it up. When I was young nearly all our programming came from the UK,so I think Kiwis had to try and live up to that standard and probably felt they were falling short,but NZ productions have come a long way since then.

  33. So many kiwi flicks: the quiet earth, came a hot friday, utu, footrot flats, good bye pork pie, scarfies. Enjoy Naki clan

  34. And you're correct, Kiwis on public radio in the "olden days" were required to have "BBC accents".