Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Great Britain: a primer


I was amused this morning by Lashes's geography homework, which is sort of a basic primer on Belgium.

You'll need to click on them to see properly, sorry.





It lists Belgian monuments:

Atomium

Manneken Pis

Lion of Waterloo (this is pushing it, frankly)

Er.. that's it.



Then it lists Belgian celebrities:


Justine Henin, tennis player (boring, but ok)

Axelle Red, singer (seriously? When did she last do anything? Also, best version of her only memorable song, Sensualité, is here:





Benoît Poelvoorde, actor (ok, I suppose)

Maurane, singer (Who? Connais pas)

Tia Hellebaut, high jumper (if you say so)

I think it might have been politic for them to include more than one Flemish person in the list, and how about Stromae? If Kanye knows who he is, I reckon he beats Maurane, whoever she is. Or, indeed, Dr Evil?

Then finally Belgian food:

Steak frites

Moules frites

Firstly, I do not think, Belgium, you can really claim steak and chips is "yours". It is everyone's. It is the people's steak frites and Nicolas Sarkozy will probably invade you to forcibly demonstrate the primacy of French steak and chips. Secondly, where is the américain? Chocolate? The mighty chicon? I asked Lashes and he just looked at me scornfully and said "Le chicon c'est pas Belge", which is an egregious lie.

I should be doing many things this morning, including faking an entry form for a cross-country run for my eldest child (yes, he has been quite bad recently), but instead I find myself wanting to recreate this document for Britain with similar brevity. I have made a start (you can click on these too, I would hate you to miss a detail of my incredibly skillful drawing):












I feel this has been a very valuable use of my morning. I would, after all, hate for my children to lose their precious British culture. If you feel I have omitted anything essential, do please let me know.

53 comments:

Alison Cross said...

You got the legs wrong on the haggis - they are shorter at one side to help it on the heathery hillsides.

Epic UK contribution from you, Waffle. But if that's all Belgium's got to offer, it should maybe keep quiet.

Didn't Belgium have the biggest paedophile group in Europe at one point. Not exactly suitable material for Lashes homework, granted *shudder*

Ali x

Ann said...

Bakewell tart?

And keep up pathetic whippet photo of the week, I adore Oscar and his model esque ways.

A Student Cook said...

It seems that Belgium wants to appear as crap as possible. This makes me suspicious that they are infact hidding somthing amazing.

Z said...

I suppose that steak frites is typical, if not exclusively Belgian. Last time I went to a restaurant in Belgium, I didn't understand the Flemish menu and ordered blindly, hoping that I wasn't going to eat horse. I knew to avoid the witloof.

You omitted Pippa Middleton's arse, which has been the best exhibition of British one-upmanship in many a year. And chicken tikka masala, a British recipe that has by now, I understand, been seen on menus in India.

Eireann said...

oh my god, that IS the perfect version of that song.

and i saw a pigeon with only one foot (two legs, one foot) eating a greggs' pastry the other day. no lie. amazing.

Anonymous said...

Famous Swedish monuments:
* The Billy bookshelf
* A boat which was so badly built it sank on its maiden-journey
* Streets mentioned in Stieg Larsson's crappy criminal stories

Famous Swedish people:
* Stieg Larsson
* ABBA
* The girls who framed Assange

Famous Swedish food:
* Daim eggs
* Raw fish
* Crisp bread occasionally used to produce desks

Tilia

Waffle said...

Excellent Tilia! Everyone else who is neither English or Belgian, you have to do it for your countries now.

I wonder if I can draw Pippa Middleton's arse, Z? I doubt it. The pigeon nearly defeated me.

Anonymous said...

I have a book about Belgium (dated mid 1960s) with photo of small blond child in smock eating giant waffle of course!
In New Zealand; Sights - Maori group performs poi dance next to geyser (yes I know how much you've enjoyed poi twirling before), Beehive building (site of NZ government in Wellington), bungy jumping into river which recently had Hobbits boating past.
People; Opera singer Kiri te Kanawa (or Hayley Westenra - younger model), comedy duo, Flight of the Conchords, the whole All Black rugby team.
Food; roast lamb with kumara, pavlova dessert with kiwifruit (yes, NZ not Aussie), Sauvignon blanc! H in NZ

ANNE BILLSON said...

Unfair to Belgium. There are LOTS of famous Belgians, many of whom are mistakenly thought to be French. For example: Jacques Brel, Cécile de France, Georges Simenon, Amélie Nothomb, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Hergé, Hercule Poirot, Marie Gillan, Olivier Gourmet, Yolande Moreau, Jérémie Renier (my current favourite actor), the Dardennes brothers, Natacha Atlas, Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, Martin Margiela plus zillions of mad painters.

As for symbols: beer, chocolate, frites. May be expanded to include waffles and endives.

MargotLeadbetter said...

I like to think of the North of England as a country in its own right. By which I mean Cumbria.

Landmarks: Hmm, mountains and lakes and that. Carlisle Castle. The civic centre.

People: Melvyn Bragg, Roxanne Pallet, the man who does the voice on the 'compare the meerkat' ads

Food: Cumberland sausage, rum butter, chips, lard.

Cumbria is very much on a par with Belgium in terms of illustriousness, I feel.

I fear that Yorkshirepersons everywhere are standing at the foot of their stairs in umbrage at your omission of Yorkshire pudding from your list.

Lisa-Marie said...

I feel quite strongly that Digestive biscuits should be added somewhere. And fish and chips( a fish supper as it is known in Scotland).

Lisa-Marie said...

Also, Scotland

Monuments - The Wallace Monument, where they have made Wallace look like the Mel Gibson version and you have to climb up a bazillion stairs. The Falkirk wheel, large waterway wheel, which you can go on on a boat. Nice view, but very boring after half an hour of moving very slowly round. Donald Dewar monument,people steal his glasses.

Famous People - we are quite good at this - Billy Connelly - amusing, but has a purple beard. Lulu - No description needed. Gordon Ramsay - can we give him away please?

Food - SCOTCH PIES - all the leftover bits of animals, ground up and mixed with pepper, coated in greasy pastry. Shouldn't be good but is. Deep-fried, battered chocolate bars - you just have to hope they don't use the same fryer as for fish. Tunnock's Teacakes - you are welcome world.

The Reluctant Launderer said...

Mais ou est le pissing boy? (A subject v v dear to my heart - and my constantly sodden hands - at the moment)

For my - easily identifiable - home country:

Monuments: A pub (any pub, as long as it's full of olde worlde objects and cantankerous old men who smell of piss and vinegar); lots of empty new-build apartment blocks; lots of similarly empty banks. (The view of all these monuments is obliterated by the lashing rain)

Slebs: James Joyce; Father Ted; Barack O'Bama.

Food: Guinness (natch); Tayto Crisps; Red Lemonade (banned all over europe for its glow-in-the-dark properties, but freely available here). (Luckily you never need to leave a pub to eat.)

Anonymous said...

Famous South African monuments:
* Apartheid
* Table mountain
* the alien spaceship in district 9

Famous South African people:
* The only one anyone else has ever heard of is Nelson Mandela
* Wolraad Woltemade (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolraad_Woltemade)
* Maybe Miriam Makebe?

Famous South African food:
* Rooibos tea (weeds cleverly marketed)
* Biltong (dried and spiced meat)
* Rhinoceros horn (thanks to poachers)

M. said...

I must do this for my adopted home: Singapore

Famous Singaporean monuments:
* The Merlion: half fish, half lion, wholly pointless.
* Marina Bay Sands: imagine the Titanic perched on top of three tooth picks.
* The Ministry of Manpower (aka MOM)

Famous Singaporean people:
* Lee Kuan Yew, the "Minister Mentor"
* That porn chick who slept with 250 men in a row
* Errrrrrrr...

Famous Singaporean food:
* Not Singapore noodles. It doesn't exist.
* Food you can argue about.
* All-you-can-eat food
* Food you can get discounts on with the appropriate credit card.

M. said...

Ha. Just googled famous people in Singapore, and this is what it came up with:
"Lee Kuan Yew - Founding father of Singapore
Zubir Said - Person to pen our National Anthem
Goh Keng Swee - Built up our defence
Dr Albert Winseimus - Helped Singapore to industralise
Yusof Ishak - First President of Singapore
Goh Chok Tong - Still my favourite Prime Minister."

Please to get me out of here. Stat.

neuroticnotes said...

Oh Lisa Marie, you got here before me. Good Scottish entries so far though. Here are some further suggestions:

re: Wallace Monument, here is the real version, and by real I mean, of course, the Mel Gibson version of history:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:BraveStatue_1200x1600.jpg

It's called the Freedom Statue.

I'd also like to mention our Queen, Lorraine

and our televisual prowess, perhaps unknown to those south of the border

We have not the One Show, but the Hour, featuring Michelle McManus:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1URSTgyxm8


and our soap, River City, featuring another national dish, the roll and sausage

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agtdwblVfUA

neuroticnotes said...

Oh Lisa Marie, you got here before me. Good Scottish entries so far though. Here are some further suggestions:

re: Wallace Monument, here is the real version, and by real I mean, of course, the Mel Gibson version of history:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:BraveStatue_1200x1600.jpg

It's called the Freedom Statue.

I'd also like to mention our Queen, Lorraine

and our televisual prowess, perhaps unknown to those south of the border

We have not the One Show, but the Hour, featuring Michelle McManus:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1URSTgyxm8


and our soap, River City, featuring another national dish, the roll and sausage

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agtdwblVfUA

ellen said...

For the USA

Monuments: Statue of Liberty (from France)
Mount Rushmore (son of Danes)
Empire State Building

Celebrities: Snooki, All of the Kardashians, Justin Beiber

Foods: "Pizza", "Hamburgers" GMO Corn

Sounds like I don't appreciate the great beauty of my country, but actually I love the natural outsoor world more than the manifestations of our current "culture".

Ellie said...

From Texas, which labors under the illusion that it is its own country (ask our secessionist lunatic governor):

Monuments: Ford F-350 Extended Cab. A cactus. The Rio Grande.

Celebrities: Cowboys (wholly imaginary, there are no longer any of them in the wild, except for Latino ones, and nobody seems very excited about them). George W. Bush. The population of San Antonio, fattest in the nation.

Food: Steak. Potroast. Chili (no beans).

Ellie said...

Good lord, I forgot brisket barbecue for food. With pickles. If you lived here, you'd know what a sacrilegious omission that was. Forgive me, Texas.

Miss Underscore said...

I would like to do Sunderland.

Sight: The National Glass Centre (has marginally fewer visitors than the Museum of Watching Paint Dry). The Jam Jar Room is sight to behold. 26 visitors per year, I believe, 24 of them are lost souls asking for directions to the local Greggs.

Celeb: I am choosing one from the area where I teach. No one can top this (drumroll) . . .Wearside Jack, also known as the Yorkshire Ripper Hoaxer.

Food: Curry Chip Buttie: chips on a stottie cake (floury white bread bun) slathered with chip shop curry sauce.

Waffle said...

Margot - I am a Yorkshireperson, so I thought it'd be ok. I tried to draw toad in the hole but it went horribly wrong.

I love all of these. I can't decide if I like Ireland or Sunderland best, they are both utterly brilliant.

Persephone said...

Oh, Canada...

Monuments: The largest nickel in the world.
The largest easter egg in the world. (Belgium is claiming this too, but theirs is made of Belgian chocolate and is therefore not permanent.)
The largest hockey stick in the world.

You get the idea.

Also, several statues of Terry Fox. Oh yeah, and the Mounties.

Famous Canadians:
Justin Bieber. (We're sorry.)
Celine Dion. (We're so sorry.)
William Shatner. (Oh, never mind...)

Canadian cuisine:

Poutine. (Look it up)
Tourtière.
Butter tarts.
Nanaimo bars.
Anything with maple syrup in it.

Pueblo girl said...

An immigrant's view of Spain:

Famous monuments:
The memorial to victims of the al quaida train bombing in Madrid(inspired by a roll of bubblewrap and situated in the middle of a roundabout surrounded by five lanes of traffic - six when drivers get imaginative or impatient). Just to make it exciting when any of their families wish to leave flowers.

Famous people:
Of international renown? Julio Iglesias. Bow, world, on your knees.

Famous food - or should that be infamous?
Choose from sheep's intestines rolled around a skewer to resemble a ball of wool (check out "zarajos" on Google if you don't believe me),stewed pig's ears, cow muzzle in batter, or salted pig face. You're welcome.

Waffle said...

Aahhahahahaaa battered muzzle. Also, 'salted pig face' is my new favourite insult. Please can you tell me how to say in espanish, Pueblo Girl?

Anonymous said...

Surely the fiancée of Prince Albert of Monaco must feature on the list of South African celebrities. And she looks exactly like that famous actress who is also South African.

Tilia

Anonymous said...

Oh, Denmark....

Monuments: The Little Mermaid - and Christiania. They are the destinations of our fully two tourist bus routes.

- ah, and we have a Meerman. With his seven abandoned sons. Their once stolen and raped mother went back on land. Well done, girl! You will probably find the lot entangled in a stolen bicycle thrown into the canal.

Food? lets not even go there.

Louise x

Pueblo girl said...

My pleasure: "careta de cerdo curado" (pig facelet, matured): I can even send you one by post for next halloween, if you like.

Pueblo girl said...

Oh, and image here: http://pueblowoman.blogspot.com/2009/08/holiday-snaps-2.html

Johnners said...

Newcastle is the home of Greggs and has great bridges. We also have Alan Shearer, who was just as boring at school. Gazza is nothing to do with us though, I think he's from Gateshead. Are the only famous people from Newcastle footballers? Ooh, no, Cheryl Cole, of course! And Ant and Dec. How could I forget?

WV = ploodics, which sounds sort of nice.

Cath said...

New Zealand (small country at right of Australia, but not connected by a bridge, as many think it is.)

Monuments:

The Auckland Harbour bridge. Usually clogged with traffic and the only way for anyone in the city to get to work. Does not go to Australia - see above.

Giant bottle of L&P (Lemon and Paeroa). In Paeroa.

One Tree Hill. Now has no tree due to militant Maori activisim some years back. Apparently they are growing another somewhere in secret. Meantime known as No tree hill. Really.

OK, famous people. From New Zealand? Are you kidding? You could possibly say the All Blacks, en masse. Other than that I would really struggle to name someone any of you would know. The British Queen is our Queen too, but I'd say that hardly counts.

Finally, food. I would nominate fish and chips, pronounced locally as fush and chups. You might also include the pavlova (Australians try to claim this as their own but they are devious liars.) Finally, perhaps a hangi, as a nod to Maori culture. Cooked in the ground under hot rocks traditionally, but nowadays found cooking at school fairs in monster steaming devices. Has a mixture of meat, kumara, carrots, parsnip, and possibly cabbage, all cooked for the same time. Remarkably tastes not too bad. Go figure.

theharridan said...

CATH YOU FORGOT CROWDED HOUSE! and Anna paquin. And....um, (thinking, thinking, draws a blank, struggles to remember actually ANYONE who is from new zealand).
Sorry for butting in

Liberty London Girl said...

I just have to honour the sheer fucking genius that is Johnners' comment re Newcastle:

"Gazza is nothing to do with us though, I think he's from Gateshead."

To the American readers I sent here...Gateshead is about 50feet from Newcastle - but crucially it involves crossing a river.

LLGxx

Mr Farty said...

Also sorry to butt in, Cath, but Peter effing Jackson!!!

And we've got Annie Lennox in Scotland. The noo.

Cath said...

Peter Jackson I will give you. Good thinking. Crowded house though? They pretend they are Australian too.

Anonymous said...

Wales, well
Famous people:
Catherine Zeta Jones
Manic Street Preachers
Ryan Giggs and coincidentally Imogen Thomas

Food:
Laverbread - made from neither lava nor bread but seaweed and oatmeal.
Cheese and chips
Chicken curry half and half (rice AND chips)
Welsh rarebit aka cheese on toast
Leeks

Monuments
Now that's difficult
Severn Bridge
Lots and lots of castles
a foot http://www.flickr.com/photos/ministry/2951719876/

Margaret said...

Because America is so overachieving—like that obnoxious cousin your mom is always mentioning—and has given the world so very, very much (first man on the Moon—boo-yah!—Donald Trump, Doritos, the atom bomb), I will share my knowledge of your countries or the country you chose to profile. And by “knowledge” and “profile” I mean “shocking ignorance” and “libel”.

Belgium: the Ghent altarpiece: People! Did you sleep through Intro to Art History?? (I certainly did. 9 a.m.? WTF?) Leonidas chocolate. Queen Fabiola, whom I only learned of here but now love and worship because (a) I knew someone named Fabiola in grammar school and (b) that hair.
South Africa: divestment rallies in college, PT DeKlerk, and pinotage (also District 9 was ROBBED at the Oscars—it is brilliant)
Spain: excellent gourmet canned goods, disastrous real estate market, and fascism
Cumbria: that taxi driver mass murderer. (Sorry. That’s all I’ve got.)
Sweden: universal day care and IKEA Swedish meatballs. Ursula Andress?
New Zealand: The cool Australia. Anna Paquin?
Scotland: golf, scotch, Charles Rennie Mackintosh
Ireland: My ancestors are Irish, so I’m recusing myself.
Singapore: Singapore Sling, Singapore Mai Fun is my favorite fake Chinese dish, aaaand….I’m out.
Texas: poorly secured cargo, fantastic Mexican, Korean, and Vietnamese food, Ladybird Johnson, and Central Market
Sunderland: I am at a loss
Denmark: Hamlet? Copenhagen, definitely.
Wales: No consonants in your words—love that. Most of the town names on the Philadelphia Main Line are Welsh. (I know how to pronounce Bala Cynwyd.) Catherine Zeta Jones
Canada: cheap prescription drugs, poutine (Persephone—I’ve been to Burlington, so I know what it is), Corner Gas, Don McKellar

mousedroppings said...

In Australia, we like to turn grisly murders into movies. For example "Evil Angels", a film about a baby girl who was supposedly taken by a dingo. Her mother was found guilty but that was later overturned. And recently "Snowtown" a film about a serial killer who hid the bodies in barrels.
I haven't seen either of these films.

Surely worse crimes than the "stealing" of the pavlova. Which is of course actually Australian.

vw - sequal - to Snowtown? Please no.

karen said...

And Australia is THE place for monumental Big Things: The Big Prawn, The Big Merino (with big boy bits), the Big Potato (which looks suspiciously like something The Big Merino might have left behind) ... the list goes on.

Celebs: We steal lots of NZers and pass them off as our own. Crowded House, Russell Crowe. Sam Neill is ours now, no?

Food: Fish & chips, steak & chips, pie & chips. Pavlova (hah!). And we like to eat our national symbols - emu, kangaroo, crocodile. Don't know anyone who's tried koala though.

vegemitevix said...

Don't forget NZ - home of Lord of the Rings, kumara, Bluff Oysters, bungy jumping, Hamilton jet, Earnest Rutherford, Sir Edmund Hilary. Yeah and Pavlova is ours truly I have proof on the blog - http://www.vegemitevix.com/2010/12/step-away-from-the-pavlova-little-aussie-battler/

Beatrice said...

Latvia is a small country (but 2 times bigger than Belgiumn) so nothing much to offer...

People:
Mikhail Baryshnikov, Russian actually, but is born-in-Riga ballet star who was Carrie's bradshaw's Russian lover in the Sex and City.
And that's it.

Places - almost nothing.
Riga itself for those who can tell Lithuania and Latvia apart.
But I suggest bonus: we think we invented the Christmass tree. There's a stone on the main City Hall square saying: Here stood the first ever Christmas tree.

Food: the black bread is ours, not German. Possibly also gingerbread, but that's purely my speculation.

But we have one of the best opera houses and singers if not in the world, then in the Europe for sure.

kate said...

Someone did Canada, but she used all this Québec stuff, which I suspect the Partie Quebecois forced her to do and she conceded just so Gilles Duceppe would shut up. I'm going to pretend for just a moment that I actually give a shit about Québec's sovereignty (I do give a shit actually - I'm totally against it) and do one for Québec, which will be celebrating it's gag-worthy "fête nationale" in a month:

Monuments - le Mont Royal, Olympic Stadium, Arcade Fire, hooker blowing a guy outdoors on Ste-Catherine Street in exchange for poutine

Famous Quebecois/Quebecers - Céline Dion, William Shatner, Many poor quality French speaking stand up comedians

Food - Poutine, Poutine Hot Dog, Poutine avec petit pois.

Laura said...

Vive le Québec libre!

Monuments: Olympic stadium already mentioned, Château Frontenac, and...erm...the "Farine Five Roses" sign?

Celebrities: Céline Dion (inescapable), Garou, the Montréal Canadiens (Carey Price, om nom nom)

Food: tourtière, pâté à viande (those 2 are NOT the same thing), the freakishly drinkable "Black Label" beer, "pain sandwich" (that's "pain" en français).

My husband is Québecois so I must stand up for my country-in-law but I have only visited there once so far and am therefore ill-qualified.

momosyllabic said...

Hey M.! I grew up in Singapore (am now in the US). It was lovely to see a reference to a Merlion. Sigh. Haven't thought about that Ovidian oddity in ages. Thank-you.

Surely pubs need to be on the British culture list somewhere?

I'm in Baltimore (USA):
crab cakes
the wire
homicide (film and crime stats both)

Love you, Belgian Waffle--AND your comments are always such a party.

Patience_Crabstick said...

The comments section here is as good as the original post.

kate said...

Farine Five Roses is a fantastic monument. Didn't think of that one. The orange Julep is kind of neat as well. But Garou, tourtière and pâté à viande... yeah. I rest my case.

Vive le bec libre!

Persephone said...

@kate: "All that Quebec stuff"??? I must beg to differ!
None of the monuments I mentioned are in Quebec. Poutine is big here in The National Capital (as are Ottawans, as a direct result), and toutière is also enjoyed in the francophone communities in Alberta, Manitoba, and New Brunswick which are not Québécois. Butter tarts and Nanaimo bars are not from Quebec. I'll concede that Celine Dion is "Quebec stuff", but William Shatner, born in Montreal or not, is a national treasure/embarrassment (pick one).

Pat (in Belgium) said...

Posh & Becks didn't "make" your British list? (Or are they considered "traitors" since they moved?)
Every time I hear Tia Hellebaut's name I think of chocolate. However, props where due: she DID win an Olympic medal & Belgium has all too few of these.
Any Belgium list omitting chocolate is, as daughter & crew would say, an epic FAIL.
Finally, having lived outside the U.S. longer than in my native land, I still would like to post the following American examples:

Monuments:
*(Ellen beat me to it, but it is that "iconic") the Statue of Liberty
*(Not to be confused with) Oprah
* the Golden Arches (McDonalds -- eat there at your peril!)

People:
* Brangelina & clan

Food:
* Coca Cola
* Hamburgers
* Donuts
(I would like to go on record saying I eat NONE of the above, however, my Florida sister just told me they've opened a Krispy Kreme -- yes, spelled that way, also very American) donut shop blocks from her house and...)

wv hapengum (GUM, GUM, how could I forget chewing gum!)

Veronica Wald said...

Note to Anonymous, reporting in on behalf of New Zealand re: opera singer(s): if you have not done so already, do yourself a favor and check out Teddy Tahu Rhodes. OF COURSE I'm referring to his *voice*

Fat Controller said...

Denmark:

Famous landmarks:

The Little Mermaid
...er..That's it
...Ok, Christiania.

Famous people:

Niels Bohr, as far as I know, the only quantum physicist to be commemorated on a banknote.

Jørn Utzon. Designed the Sydney Opera House

Ole Kirk Christiansen. Invented Lego

Sara Lund out of 'The Killing' on telly.


Food:

Hot dogs. Danish hot dogs are absolutely the best in the world. Fact

Pickled herring. the least said about which, the better.

Rød grød med fløde. Famously unpronouncable Danish dessert with strawberries and rhubarb, drowned in cream.

Truf said...

Ok, I'll do Bulgaria (and don't pretend you know anything about us)

Famous places:

Constantinople aka Istanbul - we've tried taking it for thousands of years, succeeded twice, surely counts?
All the Black sea apartments sold to UK buyers for 3 times their real value.

People:
Berbatov
The 3 fat ladies who sing folk songs.
Georgi Markov, for having himself stabbed with an umbrella.

Food:
Tomatoes (I claim we grow the best tomatoes, but unfortunately if they are ripe they don't travel).
Chocolate made without cocoa (I grew up on the stuff, it is beyond imagination).
Live yogurt.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Veronica, for reminding me of Teddy Tahu Rhodes! I suppose I was thinking of most-famous opera singer for NZ (and Kiri Te Kanawa fits the bill, although not my cup of tea).
TTR certainly deserves to be more famous - to all and sundry, go and google him for photos & video. I LOVE his voice!
H in NZ