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Amanda Lee Temasek Polytechnic School of Business Leisure and Resort Management track, dance
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Friday, December 10, 2010 7:19 AMCulture
Changes brought about by the growth of tourism and tourism being a culpruit in commodifying culture and traditions
7:08 AMThere is always a reaction to an action; changes are definitely present due to the growth of tourism, is just that it may be positive or negative.
For the case of New Zealand, one of the important changes that tourism brought about is awareness of the Maori culture and people. Before the growth of tourism, their culture was declining and little measures could be taken to save it. Ever since the growth of tourism, especially in the area of cultural tourism, the Maori culture is being revived and continuously expanded in order not to lose it. This awareness allowed them to preserve their identity as the indigenous group of New Zealand and the uniqueness they bring.
With this, it leads to the next factor of cultural exchange. Tourism has brought about large amount of tourists visiting New Zealand especially to areas where Maori culture exists. This helps to reduce any ill feelings that may exist before between people and also a better understanding of each other. This also helps reduce any negative stereotyping of the Maori people.
Tourism brought about great developments in the country in terms of infrastructure as more activities are being developed specially for tourists. For example, in Rotorua new activities are being introduced in order to continuously attract tourists.
Due to the continuous influx of tourists, more manpower is needed at attractions, hotels and venues where tourists would be. Thus, this means that there is an increase in employment, lowering the unemployment rate of the country altogether.
However, there is always the second side to the coin.
From my point of view, tourism has brought about more positive changes to New Zealand in terms of economic. But the effects on her society and culture seem to be detrimental.
New Zealand is a multi-cultural roots country; it has many influences that make it vibrant. But, with increasing tourists’ influx, New Zealand would be more prone to cultural influence and erosion (in the case of the Maori). I think what the Maori are losing is not their culture and their identity, but they seem to be forgetting what their traditions and rituals are initially meant for and their original meaning. It would be a pity if they lose something they fought hard to sustain. Tourism might affect the overall New Zealand culture and cause confusion as it adds on to the influence, this would cause a change in New Zealand’s culture.
Tourism is definitely guilty of commodifying cultures and traditions, as can be seen in the Maori that their dances are use as performance services for tourists, in the modern era money always plays an important factor to the survival in the country. The indigenous Maori group has no choice but to succumb to the paid services as they need money to sustain their culture and current lifestyle. Tourism has made traditions and cultures of indigenous groups like the Maori visible to the world, causing a sense of privacy and sacredness of the culture and traditions to be vague.
I feel that New Zealand is a beautiful place that we should embrace and not destroy because it is unique. The Maori should be greatly respected for being able to keep their traditions alive and culture the way it is. I wish I can go back there once more (:
Lee Ya Yu Amanda
Disneyization of New Zealand?
6:59 AMDisneyization of a society is becoming popular in several countries and New Zealand is no exception. There are four characteristics that define disneyfication of a society: theming, hybrid consumption, merchandising and performative labour.
When you think about golf, sometimes it can feel rather mundane. However, in New Zealand a company called The Original Adventure Golf Company came up with pirate themed adventure golf. In, 1997, it was first developed in Christchurch, called Pirate Islands. Then in 2001, Treasure Islands was introduced in Auckland. Finally, in the late 2004, Pirate Cove was introduced to Wellington. The Disney element is obvious in this case, instead of just playing golf; a pirate theme is incorporated to cater more to families. Not only is this sustainable, it is changing the concept of professional golf as it is more casual in a way.
Hybrid Consumption is becoming a trend as people have more demands. I happen to come across a historic venue, The Blue Bathe. It is being restored and now several functions are held there, I found out that they actually hold dinner shows at the venue. The show is called ‘Stars at the Bathe’, this clearly exemplify the characteristic of hybrid consumption as this show is not only theatrical but since it is a dinner show, fine food is also being served. Food and entertainment being combined together into a single entity for consumption, therefore it is difficult to separate the two due to the demand for both at the same time.
Merchandising is probably the most obvious characteristics of Disneyization to spot in New Zealand due to the All Blacks; they have a large range of merchandise ranging from clothes to bags. Their merchandises are sold all over New Zealand, even Singapore have some of their merchandises. All the merchandises have the same silver fern logo that are made under license Last but not least, the Tamaki Maori Village in Rotorua. I visited the place once and I viewed the Maori traditional performances and villages. The Maori people there have to perform a minimum of three shows each day for visitors. The important Haka dance and poi dance that are frequently performed seem to have lost their meanings during these performances. The Haka dance which is meant to be a war dance is merely a performance when it is brought to the frontline. Though, they maintained their facial expressions and body language during the performance, but one can easily tell that they are not really feeling the essence of their dance; unlike when the dance is use at an appropriate moment, like the All Blacks rugby match where they challenge their opponents. This illustrates performative labour as the Maori people culture is actually part of service work and their culture is seen as a performance rather than a lifestyle now.
New Zealand, famous for?
6:42 AMI have been to New Zealand once, based on my observation when I was there and my research; I can conclude a few areas that New Zealand is famous for.
New Zealand has amazing scenery due to the fact that they are surrounded by mountains, volcanoes and waters. Their peaceful environment can be seen by simply taking a drive on the freeway and all you actually see are farm house and grass, and maybe at the far end a volcano.
Leisure programmes in New Zealand
6:33 AMNew Zealand is a big country, it has several cities thus, and every city actually carries out different leisure activity. I have chosen to zoom in and focus on one city which is Rotorua.
Festivals and Events
One of the famous events held at Rotorua is the Rotorua Festival of Arts. It is a bi -annual event that started in 1999. The event can help enhance Rotorua as a destination by promoting the community participation and education of the arts. The event embraces unique experiences, Maori culture, diversity, entertainment and expression. It consists of several areas such as the performing arts, visual arts and musical arts.
Agrojet- It is the fastest jet boat ride in New Zealand, the activity is held through a watercourse at a very high speed
The above 4 activities are from a company called Agroventures, there are other companies such as the ZORB that offers the ZORB ball and River Rats Rafting Adventures that offer river rafting activities. Therefore, a wide range of activities is available at Rotorua it just depends on personal preferences as to which activity a person would like to do.
Modes of Education
6:20 AMThe education system in New Zealand can be divided into 4 parts:
Early Childhood Education
It is the period from birth to the age of 8. This is to build a strong foundation for a child’s education, development and learning. There can be two ways to put this in place: teacher-led education or parents-led education.
Teacher-led education is education by certified teachers. This would refer to places like kindergartens and playcentres where they encourage developments in areas such as emotional, social, and intellectual etcetera.
Whereas, parents-led education basically means that family or the parents of the child are the ones educating, caring and nurturing their child. Not only does it benefit the child, this would allow bonding between the parents and child, allow the parents to learn more about parenting
It is the period that usually starts from 6 to 16 years of age. It is Year 1-8 of the school curriculum.
There are nine wide learning areas for the child; this is to allow them to learn a variety of subjects which then allow them to choose a specialization in the future. The nine learning areas include: English, Arts, Health and Physical Education, Technology, Mathematics and Statistics, Science, Social Studies and Local Languages. However, they would not go in depth into the subjects as the main focus is to encourage the enjoyment of learning.
A secondary school is also known as high school or college in New Zealand. In Year 8, the child would be encouraged to pre-enroll into a secondary school so as to give them time to prepare and think about what they would like to specialize. A secondary school is from Year 9-13 of the school curriculum.
Up to Year 10, student get to test their abilities to the maximum by trying the various subjects to find out what subject they should best specialize in Year 11 onwards.
In Year 11 to 13, students are allowed to choose the subjects they wish to take for NCEA (National Certificate of Education) which can be gained at three levels- level 1 in Year 11, level 2 in Year 12 and level 3 in Year 13.
This system is to allow students to look for the qualification they wish to take at tertiary level or when they go out to work.
It refers to any education or training after secondary school. It consists of Universities, Polytechnics, Institutes of technologies and Wananga (Quality education using Maori ways of teaching and learning).Not only does it cover post-secondary education, it covers areas such as industrial training, degrees, certificates and several skills.
Tertiary Education allows people who enroll to get access to a wide range of business opportunities in their area of specialization, also more in depth research and education in those areas. This would help them to contribute to several area of New Zealand’s development in terms of social, cultural, environmental, technological or economical.
6:18 AMThe official languages in New Zealand are English, Maori and New Zealand Sign Language(NZSL)
Maori language became the official language in New Zealand in 1987 by the Maori Language Act. The Maori language was declining in the 1940s when the Maori people moved to the cities, as they felt pressured to only speak English in the cities. But, with much awareness about the situation, measures such as placing the language in school curriculums helped to revive it.
Maori and English are used quite interchangeably in New Zealand due to their mix of cultures; the languages have also influenced each other. Some words have crossed the vocabulary line between the languages for example; taboo in English is tapu in Maori.
The NZSL became an official language in April 2006; New Zealand is the first country to declare sign language as an official language.