New Zealand is a country that perfectly blends Maori traditions and European customs. In this article we are going to investigate and discuss the 10 New Zealand traditions that best represent the fascinating culture of this country.
You should know that the Maori have inhabited the islands of New Zealand for a thousand years. However, today they barely represent 14% of New Zealanders. The rest are descendants of Asians, Europeans and different communities from the Pacific Ocean.
10 traditions in New Zealand
- Maori culture
The Maori arrived in present-day New Zealand in successive waves of migration, beginning around AD 1,000. Today they represent a minority within their country, but, without a doubt, living in New Zealand means immersing yourself fully in its culture.
Rugby will be New Zealand’s national sport, but in the summers you will see a lot of people playing cricket. It is part of the English heritage and, in fact, the New Zealand National Cricket Team is one of the most outstanding in the world.
- The Hongi Greeting
This is a traditional New Zealand greeting. The hongi consists of touching noses and foreheads. However, it should only be reserved for special occasions, as it symbolizes the passing of the breath of life (‘te ha’ in Maori) from one person to another.
- Typical New Zealand gastronomy
New Zealand is a relatively new country and therefore its cuisine has influences from different regions of the world such as Europe, Polynesia and Asia.
Typical New Zealand cuisine dishes include strawberries, kiwi, feijoa, pork, venison, salmon and mussels, among other ingredients. The national dessert is the pavlova, a dessert that has abundant cream and a variety of fruits.
- Hangi kitchen
It is spelled almost the same as hongi, but means a completely different New Zealand custom.
Hangi is a form of cooking that uses rocks heated over a fire and buried in a hole in the ground. On top of these rocks, food is placed, generally meat and vegetables. Then, everything is covered with burlap bags and left to cook for three hours.
- The Auckland and Queenstown festivals
Every March the Auckland Festival is celebrated, for which more than a thousand artists from different parts of the world are summoned. The streets and theaters of the city are filled with recitals, plays, dance performances and much more.
Meanwhile, Queenstown, another of the most important cities in New Zealand, is the site of an internationally famous winter festival. It is celebrated for four days at the end of June, and summons some 45 thousand people from all corners
Meanwhile, Queenstown, another of the most important cities in New Zealand, is the site of an internationally famous winter festival. It is celebrated for four days at the end of June, and brings together some 45,000 people from all corners of the country.
- The seventh art
New Zealand cinema began in 1920 and therefore has a long tradition. There are several New Zealand actors who have crossed the borders of their country, such as Russell Crowe, Sam Neill and Taika Waititi.
However, New Zealand is better known for being the scene of international productions, thanks to its spectacular landscapes and the incentives granted by the local government.
There are dozens of movies filmed in New Zealand, but the most famous are the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
- Gumboot Day
If you ask us what it’s like to live in New Zealand, we can tell you that sometimes it’s a bit strange.
In Taihape, a small town lost in the North Island of New Zealand, a very curious festival is celebrated. It is Gumboot Day, a day in honor of rubber (or rain) boots.
Since 1985, Gumboot Day has been religiously celebrated on the first Tuesday after Easter. The biggest event of the day is the World Boot Throwing Championship.
- Respect silence
New Zealand is a very calm country and it is not a coincidence. Although New Zealanders are very laid back people, the government takes care not to let them go astray.
In New Zealand, the use of car horns is super restricted. For example, it is illegal to use it to get the attention of a pedestrian, to call someone you have picked up, or to alert the driver ahead that the light has already turned green.
In addition, it is prohibited to use the horn from 11 at night to 7 in the morning, except in cases of emergency.
- Cadbury Chocolate Carnival
Baldwin Street, in the city of Dunedin, holds the Guinness Record for being the steepest street in the world. Right there the main event of the Cadbury Chocolate Carnival is held.
What does it consist of? It’s a chocolate race. From the top of the street, thousands of Jaffa chocolate balls, a traditional New Zealand treat, are rolled.
Visas to travel to New Zealand!
Requirements to travel to New Zealand
To travel to New Zealand, it is not enough to feel like it. Although the process is simple, foreign citizens must also have a visa for New Zealand. These are the main types of visa that you can access.
This permit lasts 9 months, enough time to tour the entire country. It also enables you to study courses in New Zealand that lasts less than three months.
Working Holiday Visa
Like other countries such as Australia, New Zealand issues a Working Holiday Visa for those young people who want to go through the experience of living abroad.
This type of visa is available only for some countries (Argentina, Chile, Spain, Peru and Uruguay, among others), and it is a requirement to be between 18 and 31 years old (or 36, in some particular cases).
This visa allows you to work for up to 6 months and study a course that lasts a maximum of half a year.
Fee Paying Student Visa
At Experiencia Joven we believe that the best way to fully immerse yourself in Kiwi culture is to stay in New Zealand for a long time. For that, there is nothing better than taking a course.
There are many reasons to study in New Zealand and only one requirement: the Fee Paying Student Visa. This visa allows you to study for up to 4 years and work 40 hours biweekly, or full-time during the vacation period.