South Africa in New Zealand

There are so many South Africans living on the North Shore, that it almost feels like a mini-South Africa here. Ja nee. Most times I visit Foodtown I hear an SA accent - sometimes even some Afrikaans! Honestly, there's such a big SA contingent on the Shore that Steve Hofmeyr thought it viable to do a concert here. Seriously. I kid you not. It happened.

And no, we didn't go.

Okay, so here's how crazy this is:

  • Grant's doctor in the city - South African (Grant played rugby with his brother).
  • Grant's dentist in the city - South African (friend of my folks).
  • Our dentist on the shore - South African (recommended by SA friends).
  • Our butcher - South African.
  • Our tenants - South African.
  • My hairdresser is a Kiwi, but she works at a salon which is owned by an Afrikaans South African woman.
  • The woman who does my nails (yes, yes, moving along ^_*) works at the same SA owned hair salon - South African.
  • Our cleaner - South African.
  • Our ironing lady - South African.
  • Jessica's teacher - South African.
  • Sarah's teacher - married to a South African.
  • Luke's teacher - South African.
  • Number of South African teachers at the school - many.
  • Our electrician - South African.
  • The man who checked our telephone lines - South African.

And with all these South Africans here, it's meant that we've had the familiarity of the SA accent around,  the knowledge that you share a similar past.  It's also been great to have a 'brotherhood' of people who, like us, have made the move from SA.  The South African presence is definitely making our move to a new country, much easier.

Having said all this, we certainly don't want to be a group of South Africans who stick together and don't integrate.  While it might be easier (better the devil you know), easier is not necessarily better.  Initially it just so happens that you surround yourself with other South Africans and seek them out, but as time passes, we're also meeting some really great Kiwis.  And there are a few lovely friendships developing.  It just takes time to become part of the place, to start feeling comfortable in our new life, to make authentic new friendships in our new country.  Every day we immerse ourselves in our surroundings - listening to the radio, watching television, reading the local newspaper, chatting to people at school and at the shops, driving around, inviting new friends around for lunch, meeting new friends for coffee, getting involved.  Every day we make new memories. Every day things seem to feel more 'normal'. And every day we move closer to feeling like we 'belong'.

A South African in New Zealand...

3 comments

  1. Hi Bianca,
    The next thing there will be South African running for president! and Afrikaans will be your second language!
    Valentina.
    (enjoying your posts - especially the one on Woolies and having to peel and cut butternut - don't like doing that either!)

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