After being in NZ for 10 yrs now, do you consider yourself a kiwi?
Nabigla ako sa tanong at napa-isip, because I’ve never thought of it before. I guess the reason being that we never made any conscious effort towards assimilating with the kiwi culture. For some of us, when we decide to live in another country, we just live there and make the country an extension of our own. There is no deliberate attempt to change one’s personality from Pinoy to something else. If part of me has become kiwi, it would have happened at the subconscious level.
I’ve learned to like NZ food. Beef and lamb, cooked bland with a pinch of salt and pepper. Fresh, raw oysters (sarap!!!), green salads, mussels but cooked our Filipino way. Sandwiches ang baon ko sa lunch instead of rice. But given a choice, I’ll settle anytime of the day on sinigang, nilaga, adobo, asado, paksiw, piniritong isda o baboy, tuyo, tinapa na may sawsawan na kamatis at patis at bagong saing na kanin. Kamayan at taas pa ang isang paa. Sa dessert naman, yung pavlova nila sobrang tamis (parang yung brazo de mercedes sa atin). Mas type ko ang leche-plan o kaya yung sans-rival ng Pampanga.
I follow NZ sports like rugby and cricket, but still can’t appreciate their netball. Basketball pa rin ako. NZ history, I know very little of. It’s not as eventfull as ours anyway. In arts, their Maori dances are impressive, but ours, in my opinion are more graceful. I liked the kiwi films Whale Rider and LOTR but I still miss Filipino movies.
We only have very few kiwi friends. It’s still Pinoys we mostly mingle with. (Come to think of it, maybe it’s time we should actually make an effort to mix with more kiwis).
So that’s about how kiwi I am. Kaya siguro nagkaroon ng mga salitang “Kinoy” at “Piwi”, (terms we used over here to refer to Kiwi-Pinoy at Pinoy-Kiwi) because for most Filipinos in NZ, we always think of ourselves as Pinoys and that we can only be 50% kiwi at the most.
So Jinkee, yan ang long answer ko sa tanong mo. My short answer is: No, I’ve never considered myself a kiwi. Sa pasaporte lang ako kiwi. Sa isip, wika at gawa, Pinoy pa rin. Maging sa pagtulog, mga panaginip ko sa Pilipinas pa rin. And that probably won't change even in the next 50 years.