Posted by: scribe9 | October 4, 2010

C’mon, baby, do the hokey-pokey

New Zealand is occasionally referred to as Godzone, as in “God’s Own Country,” a poem written by the author of the national anthem, “God Defend New Zealand.” (As many have pointed out, the humble approach of “God Defend” suits the Kiwi psyche, in counterpoint to the swagger of the Australian national anthem, “Advance Australia Fair.”)

New Zealand may also be thought of as the land of hokey-pokey, a caramel foam candy. It’s sold in bulk, in chocolate-coated chunks, as well as showing up in ice cream and cookies. It’s one of our favorite guilty pleasures. In the US one can buy Violet Crumble, a chocolate-covered bar of hokey-pokey, but that’s a harder, Australian variety that lacks the slumming charm of the bulk candy.

Of course, the hokey-pokey is also a song with motions, and yesterday we sang and danced it in church. Obviously I attended the modern, not the traditional, service. I was somewhat appalled until I realized that it was introducing the text of the sermon, 1 Corinthians 12, on how the body, symbol of the church, needs all of its parts except, as the preacher pointed out, the appendix, which is only there for surgeons to practice on.



  1. I can imagine your shock at the hokey pokey in a church service, but what a great way to express the idea, especially to little children. Glad you had gorgeous weather for your last days in New Zealand.
    Hope you get a chance to vote in the mid-term elections. Our side needs all the help it can get, unfortunately. Take care. We look forward to seeing you next summer! Kate

    • Yes, dancing the Hokey-Pokey is a good idea, and I intend to tell my church here about it.

      As to voting–early and often, as always!

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