Customs and Culture in New Zealand

New Zealand is a beautiful country and always proud of its clean atmosphere and green nature. We get to know in this article the customs, traditions and culture in New Zealand society or (informally known as Kiwis).

The Culture and Traditions of New Zealand

When you visit a country, it is important to know at least a few things about its culture and traditions. If you are planning to study in New Zealand, it is important to know more about the Kiwis.

New Zealand has a unique and dynamic culture.

Also, the culture of the indigenous Maori people affects the language and the arts and even all New Zealanders.

Besides, they live in the South Pacific and their love for the outdoors, sports and arts make New Zealanders and their culture unique.

In addition, Maori and Polynesian traditions, New Zealand has been influenced by British and European culture. Additionally, you will find a variety of ethnic backgrounds in New Zealand.

So knowing about customs and culture in New Zealand is an important key element that will help you to get closer with its society and adapt to it.

Language in New Zealand

There are three official languages ​​in New Zealand; English, Hindi for Maori and New Zealand Sign Language.

Firstly, English is the daily work language in New Zealand and the remaining relic links with the British Commonwealth.

Secondly, Maori is a Polynesian language similar to other Pacific island cultures such as Hawaii, Tonga, and Samoan. Additionally, more than 157,000 people in New Zealand speak Maori (according to the 2006 census).

Maori has been part of New Zealand and its culture since the arrival of the first generation on the islands. But it has only been recognized as an official language in New Zealand since the Maori Act 1987.

Both Maori and English ​​are used throughout the country on various TV and radio programs.

Also, it is the same thing with other regions in the world where two cultures are mixed.

Besides, English affected Maori and vice versa and this resulted in having new terms such as (motuka) and it means (the car).

In New Zealand, there are many places baptized with two names (one in English, and the other in Maori).

Traditional New Zealand cuisine

Hangi is a form of cooking used by Maori. The method used is to dig a hole in the ground and fill it with hot rocks and charred wood, then put the meat and vegetables in a metal cage inside the hole. Finally, cover the bowl with a damp cloth and a mound of earth and leave it for hours until it is cooked.

But be careful not to confuse between Hangi and Hongi, where Hongi is a traditional Maori greeting. It is performed by two people pressing their noses together; some include, at the same time, the touching of foreheads.

Also, traditional Pavlova is one of New Zealand’s famous dishes.

Kiwis and Open Air

With so many coastlines, it’s little wonder New Zealanders love the water. Besides, it’s reputed that over 15% of New Zealand families own their own boat.

Also, respected as superior yacht designers, Kiwis continue to dominate on the world yachting, kayaking, windsurfing and rowing scene.

Besides, the popular outdoor activities in New Zealand are hiking, camping, fishing and beach walk.

Unwritten rules in New Zealand Society

Normally, kiwis are very friendly but reserved. Although it is easy to start a conversation with them, they do not like to share a lot of personal information.

Among the topics to be avoided, asking about how much they earn, why they have no children or are not married, also asking about their weight and other personal questions.

It is okay to ask what they did on the weekend or how their children do. Sports and weather are also acceptable topics.

Besides, New Zealanders live in large open spaces, so they don’t like people getting very close to them.

Some of the unwritten rules in New Zealand come from Maori culture.

For example, you are often expected to take off your shoes indoors. Also, it is important not to sit at tables or pillows. Māori often prays (karakia) to bless the food before eating it.

Laid-back attitude is common in New-Zealand. Not many things are on time but if someone is a bit late, don’t worry, they are likely on their way. 

Also, DIY is a huge thing in New Zealand. When they need work done in their house or car, people prefer to take care of things themselves rather than calling for a professional. A very common phrase they say, “she’ll be alright” sums up this very relaxed attitude of Kiwis.

Social customs at work in New Zealand

Shared morning or afternoon teas are very common at work. Often they are to celebrate someone’s birthday or other special events in teams.

Generally, everyone brings some food to share. When we say ‘bring aplate’, it means please bring some food.

I hope this article on customs and culture in New Zealand gains your interest and in case you decide to study there you have to read the following related articles.

The cost of studying and living in New Zealand.

Master’s and doctoral studies in New Zealand.

About Samar

English to Arabic | Arabic to English Translator, Content writer, and digital Marketer.

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