In USA the first thing that springs to mind is the fruit. But the fruit was named after the reference residents of the country it came from give themselves, and that came from a unique native bird.
In New Zealand, we don’t call the fruit “Kiwi,” like you all in the USA. We call it Kiwifruit. Because a Kiwi is not only our unique one-of-a-kind-in-the-world native bird, it is what we call ourselves. Perhaps because we think we’re pretty special too J So, the Kiwi bird came first, then New Zealanders started calling themselves that, then we named a fruit that we grow lots after it. The bird is native to New Zealand, but the fruit is not. In fact when I was growing up in the 70s, the fruit was called the Chinese Gooseberry. But somewhere along the way we found it grew really well in New Zealand and started growing lots of it and then the masterstroke was renaming and rebranding it to our own. The Kiwifruit. And it worked. Now wherever in the world it’s grown, it is called the Kiwi.
But when I refer to myself as Kiwi, I am not calling myself a fruit or a bird. I am calling myself a native of New Zealand; a unique creature from a small and beautiful coastal country at the bottom of the world that does things its own way. I was made in New Zealand. And even though I have spent much of my adult life in other countries, there are many shades of myself that I know from my upbringing in New Zealand; that I recognize as Kiwi. See how I did that? Show you how we reference ourselves?
Both the bird and the fruit are brown, round and somewhat fuzzy. Most New Zealanders are not! We’re a pretty diverse bunch. I myself am fair, long and curvy. And I practice and teach yoga…hence the name Curvy Kiwi Yogi in the yoga world.
So, just to be clear. When I refer to myself as Kiwi, and I often do, I’m not saying I’m a fruit. I’m saying I’m a New Zealander. Funny accent and all.