welcome
cartLogin

Ladies a plate

August 9, 2010

Over the past few days another example of spontaneous order came to mind. I live in a small village that has a great local theatre group. Each year they put on a comedy of some description. On some of the evenings a supper is provided – a spontaneous order in the best “Ladies a plate” tradition.

In the Kiwi vernacular, “Ladies a plate” means that if you receive an invitation for morning or afternoon tea, or in the case of the theatre production, a supper, you bring along a plate of food to share. This being the 21st century, the invitation now simply says “please bring a plate”. For many new arrivals in NZ this has caused some consternation – don’t they have enough plates? given there are two of us, do we need to take two plates? what about cutlery – do we need to bring that as well? And the accompanying embarrassment when they arrive with the plate only to find everyone else has bought food. The assumption that ladies a plate means please bring food is so ingrained in the kiwi psyche that you just don’t think to tell people what it really means. Anyway, the point of sharing this is not about cultural difference, but rather the “spontaneous order” that arises from the food that is shared – no one says bring sausage rolls, or savoury eggs or lamingtons or chocolate cake or biscuits or asparagus rolls or sultana cake or chocolate éclairs … all of these things simply appear as they did that night … a great example of “spontaneous order”. And having lived in other countries, I know that this is not unique to NZ, it may be part of some other food tradition, but spontaneous order never the less emerges.

And for those not sure about what types of food I was describing, check out this lovely cook book – Ladies a Plate – it has many of the recipes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts

About the Cynefin Company

The Cynefin Company (formerly known as Cognitive Edge) was founded in 2005 by Dave Snowden. We believe in praxis and focus on building methods, tools and capability that apply the wisdom from Complex Adaptive Systems theory and other scientific disciplines in social systems. We are the world leader in developing management approaches (in society, government and industry) that empower organisations to absorb uncertainty, detect weak signals to enable sense-making in complex systems, act on the rich data, create resilience and, ultimately, thrive in a complex world.
ABOUT US

Cognitive Edge Ltd. & Cognitive Edge Pte. trading as The Cynefin Company and The Cynefin Centre.

© COPYRIGHT 2022. 

Social Links: The Cynefin Company
Social Links: The Cynefin Centre
< Prev

Power laws & abductive research

- No Comments

I promised a more substantive post about our Friday session at the AoM on ...

More posts

Next >

on partial knowledge

- No Comments

Yesterday was my final one at the Academy as I need to get down ...

More posts

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram