What are some customs in New Zealand
Customs and Culture
When you come to a new country and city, you usually want to learn and find out everything there is to know about the foreign culture before you get there, right? Of course, this is particularly true when studying abroad. The culture and customs in New Zealand are very unique and you should take the time to get to know them better before you leave for your studies. Here are some of the most important things to know when you arrive in New Zealand.
Society is incredibly multi-cultural
You can hardly imagine that a country that is so remote at the end of the world can be so multi-cultural and yet you only realize how diverse it really is when you arrive there. There are really people from all over the world who live in New Zealand. Most of the island's residents are immigrants from European countries, but the numerous "minorities" make up the true majority in the country. The indigenous Māori play an important role in society and one can often see their ancient traditions being woven into modern customs. There are many Asians and Africans who have also immigrated to the country over the years and who also form part of the large pot of cultures. However, New Zealand is not like other countries where there always seems to be tension between different cultures. There they believe in a simple principle, which in New Zealand is called "a fair go". When things go wrong, New Zealanders are a people who willingly give you a second chance so that you can show who you really are and that things can be different.
Effective use of the available resources is valued
This is something New Zealanders are particularly proud of. They are very, very careful with the resources they have and can find a way to benefit in any situation. They do everything with the resources that are available to them. New Zealanders really have a knack for taking care of themselves and finding good ways out. There is an old New Zealand story about a bird called the kiwi who could do whatever it wanted and needed to a piece of wire fence. Since the New Zealanders also often refer to themselves as “Kiwis”, they also adopt this story and apply it. The number of New Zealanders who have changed the world is land and will certainly continue to grow in the future.
Hospitality is encouraged and valued
We have already mentioned in other chapters on this page how hospitable New Zealanders are. They love bringing and welcoming other people into their country. They love visitors and are always friendly and open to everyone else. Of course, they also expect all those who temporarily reside in the country to behave in the same way. You should therefore always be polite, grateful and friendly to everyone you meet and not only because it is polite, but because it is also the New Zealand way. If you want to call New Zealand your home for a period of time, expect to learn its customs and traditions and be friendly and open to everyone you meet.
The kiwis are very proud of their land
The kiwis love to show and represent their country. However, they do not do that in a self-loving or unfriendly way. They are really and honestly incredibly happy with the situation in their country and want to show everyone else how great it is to let them share in their happiness. When you tell a New Zealander how much you love your country, you have made a friend for life. The New Zealanders definitely want to be sure that they tell you all about their country and show you all the great places they think you should see or know. This often includes little things with which as a visitor to the country one cannot do much or even know nothing about them.
There's no reason to be so uptight
As has also been mentioned several times, New Zealanders are an incredibly laid-back, informal and cozy people. In part, that's because the government was so incredibly formal and legalistic; there was a very strict hierarchy of people and some Kiwis were very irritated about their lives. Therefore, it is now seen as very rude and arrogant if you are unfriendly to a waitress or a worker in a fast food restaurant, for example. You should be polite and friendly to everyone, because everyone is equal. No matter what gender, what origin, what social status and what sexuality you have, here you are exactly the same as every other kiwi out there. The people of New Zealand are incredibly kind to everyone who comes to their country except those who treat others rude and are rude.
Everything has to be celebrated
The kiwis love to celebrate and party. Just about every culture found in New Zealand is associated with a particular festival or ceremony. Many of New Zealand's festivals and holidays are related to Māori traditions. Their food, culture and other parts of their society still have a strong influence on the people of New Zealand. There are many non-work holidays throughout the year that are there for everyone to be able to spend time with their friends and family. Often there isn't even a special reason other than having fun together. Family and friends are at the heart of New Zealand culture and when you come to this great country as a student you are automatically seen as a friend.
As you can see, New Zealand culture is full of interesting and unique people and customs that can hardly be found anywhere else in the world. Because of this friendliness, which is so different from that in many other countries such as Great Britain or the USA, you will feel welcome and at home right from the start, even if you are actually thousands of kilometers away from home. As long as you don't isolate yourself and make an effort to become a part of this culture, you'll have an amazing time in New Zealand.
If you have any further questions about New Zealand and New Zealand culture, the best thing to do is to contact the International Office at your university. There you can still tell a lot about certain customs and traditions that we have already addressed here. You will also get information about the various public holidays and festivals that take place throughout the year.
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