Thursday, December 6, 2007

National Jandal Day

80% of Kiwis own a pair or more of jandals - this Kiwi has at least four pairs lying around somewhere - so what better way to raise money for Surf Life Saving New Zealand, than to pay to wear your jandals to work. For tomorrow (today in NZ) is the inaugural National Jandal Day!

Jandals are an icon in NZ - Ozzies call them thongs, as do the French, Yanks are more likely to call them flip-flops, as do the Brits. In Hawaii they're called slippers and in Guam zorries... But they're that ubiquitous bit of summer clothing that nearly every Kiwi finds an essential piece of wardrobe kit.

The modern design rubber jandal was first patented in New Zealand in 1957 by Maurice Yock. On a trip to Hong Kong, Mr Yock had seen a similar product called a Japanese Sandal manufactured from plastic by John Cowie & Co. The Japanese were wearing their "Japanese Sandals" made of woven and wooden bases for centuries before the word "Jandal" was coined. And legend has it that the word jandal came from the combination of Japanese sandals: Japanese + sandals = jandals.

And, of course, the Ozzies think they invented the jandal - didn't, of course.

National Jandal Day is all for a good cause. Last year 1,440 lives were saved by NZ's Surf Lifeguards. NZ has a drowning rate twice that per capita of Australia, which is pretty shocking, so let's hope everyone wears their jandals to work today!


DaveO said...

Maybe AT work but certainly not TO work. Its Sorel boot weather in this part of the planet with more snow forecast for tonite. Bring it on!

Capt'n "O" Dark 30 & Super Boo said...

I'm with daveo... we have frozen tundra, with scattered ice,sand and salt splatter and it isn't even winter yet!

Silbs said...

What a fascinating post. You made my day.

Dawn (aka SandyBottom) said...

In Hawaii they used to be called Zories, more recently they are called slippers. Growing up as a child I wore them everyday and to school. Even today outside the front entry of most homes in Hawaii, you will see piles (as many as 10 pairs) of Zories, as noone wears shoes in doors.

David said...

I first encountered these in the early '60s as zories in Florida--probably an export from Hawai'i, as Dawn notes. Back then, they had rubber soles with a woven grass (I think) footbed. More comfortable, to my way of thinking. I still see this version occasionally.