Oceania is a destination full of surprises, exuberant landscapes, extraordinary flora and fauna and incredible cultural diversity. In this post, especially, we are going to show you some customs of New Zealand, a country that attracts thousands of visitors every year, who seek to explore every charm in the land of kiwis.
Do you want to spend your holidays or study abroad in New Zealand? So, prepare to be amazed by jaw-dropping scenery and extremely welcoming people. Check out now some of the curiosities you will find there!
Driving in New Zealand
Yea! There in New Zealand, the cars have the steering wheel on the right side and, consequently, the lanes are in the opposite direction in relation to those in Brazil, being one of the remnants of the British influence in the country. But, you can rest assured!
Although different, for you to get used to driving this way, you just need to get a car that quickly gets the hang of it! And, honestly, there will be no shortage of amazing destinations to visit by driving! Enjoy the adventure!
Some of New Zealand’s most extraordinary customs are linked to the Māori culture, originating from the country’s native people. We will talk about some more curiosities about them in the course of the text, but it would be impossible not to mention first, the Māori, the original language there. And you thought you were only going to learn English on your exchange in New Zealand, right?
Well, this language, despite its ancestry, is still very preserved, including being a source of pride for New Zealand citizens. A true intangible heritage that spanned centuries and, even today, some expressions and phrases are known to the modern population.
The Kapa Haka is a type of Māori war dance, which was commonly used on battlefields as a demonstration of a tribe’s pride and strength. The wars, fortunately, are only in history, but this type of ceremony has remained one of the customs of New Zealand.
Today, it is possible to attend specific shows or events about the history of the Māori people. There is also the influence of this dance on New Zealand’s most beloved sport: rugby. Some teams do the fierce choreographies, with slaps, shouts and strong footsteps, before the match, to intimidate the opponents.
If you’ve never seen this scene, just look for some videos or photos of the All Blacks team to get an idea. Surely you wouldn’t want to be part of the team on the other side.
You may never have heard this term, but it is probably one of the most widespread New Zealand customs in the world. Also of Māori origin, the Ta Moko is the traditional tattoo of this kind of people. Whether or not you have a scribble on your skin, you’ve certainly seen or heard about this famous millenary art that, to this day, is a great reference of the country’s culture.
With unique traits and languages, this custom portrays the whakapapa (ancestry) of the individual and his personal history through his drawings on the skin. Originally, those who sported such body paintings had their social importance recognized by society.
Men used to tattoo their faces, buttocks and thighs. Women, on the other hand, usually made the moko on their lips and chins. If you dare, it is still possible to find current tattooists who use the original Māori techniques. Will you face it?
This is the famous New Zealand welcome ceremony. Powhiri normally starts with a wero (challenge). A host warrior challenges the guests, in order to confirm if they are, in fact, friends or not.
Another curiosity of this New Zealand custom is that, at the end of the traditional ceremony, the hosts greet each other with a hongi, a light touch between the noses and foreheads. After that comes the best part: Kai. Yes, that means meal! Everything is served and shared among the participants, demonstrating the hospitality of the Māori people.
It’s not quite a New Zealand custom, but it’s one of the most interesting curiosities in the country of Oceania. The parliament buildings were nicknamed the beehive because of the rather peculiar architecture that resembles a “bee house”. The Beehive, as it is called in English, was designed in 1964 and is 10 stories high and 72 meters high.
Despite pleasing many and also bothering others, the famous New Zealand beehive is a construction that draws attention for its format and history. One of the infinite curiosities that the country hides.
To finish our list with New Zealand customs, we will talk a little bit about this weaving technique, typically Māori. The island’s climate was crucial for its population to develop accessories, such as covers, baskets and rugs specific to everyday life.
However, it was not enough to be just a necessity, the artisans abused their skills and turned the technique into a true manual art. Harakeke is the traditional fiber used in weaving these pieces and is known as New Zealand flax.
Anyway, these were our tips on some of the most incredible customs in New Zealand. In addition to all this historical and cultural wealth that the country preserves, this study destination is undoubtedly an excellent opportunity for lovers of adventures and for those thinking of living abroad.
Did you want to pack your bags and leave? For sure, you won’t regret it. But, before boarding, come check out more tips, curiosities and even excellent opportunities for you to get to know Oceania.