Yay! The very lucky Zoe D’Amato gets to kiss a cod (dead one) and swig the local rum…
Cod kissing “Screech In” Ceremony is a traditional seafaring way of welcoming outsiders to Newfoundland Island. It’s also the best possible way of going native, that is if you weren’t born there. If you survive the ceremony (and live to tell the tale) you earn the title of “Honorary Newfoundlander”.
So how did it all begin? One theory goes like this… the Americans set up a military base on Newfoundland Island during WW2. At that time West Indies Demerara Rum was very popular with the locals. It was brought in, bottled, and sold in an unlabelled bottles. One night, an American serviceman was out drinking with some locals and – eager to try this potent local tipple – he took a shot of the rum. Mamma miaaa!!! His heart almost stopped beating…!
When he was able to breathe again, the American let rip a loud noise (from his mouth) that was later described as a blood curdling “screech”. The name stuck and the rest is history 🙂
So that’s the story of how Zoe became a true Newfoundlander. But, she’s from Nova Scotia. Does that count?