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Cultre of New Zealand
Friday, December 10, 2010 5:28 AMNew Zealand is a place with a very unique culture as its roots is multi cultural, meaning that it has several influences. The two main parts that makes up New Zealand’s culture is the Maori and New Zealand European (also known as Pakeha). The Maori culture emerged in New Zealand first due to Polynesian migrations to the place in the 13th century; the European culture then came in the late 18th century when many Europeans migrated to New Zealand. The Maori and European culture have differences in them; however, their cultures are rather overlapping due to the fact that Pakeha actually have no distinct culture on their own, as it is simply the British culture.
Kiwis (general term for people from New Zealand) are friendly and outgoing, reserved yet polite, hospitality is something that value greatly as they would actually offer assistance to others without being asked. This friendliness culture can be seen throughout New Zealand
Another aspect would be environmentalism; it is of great importance to them as they have a strong desire to preserve the beauty of their country. This attitude is largely affected by the Maori culture as the Maori believes that all things have a ‘mauri’ or life force in it. It is believed that any damage to the ‘mauri’ would affect the lives of people as well as the resilience of ecosystems, maintaining the ‘mauri’ and maintaining the ecosystems is very important for sustainable developments.
The biggest difference between the Maori and Pakeha culture is the issue of Egalitarianism which simply means the trend of equality.
The Pakeha are not particular about formalities as they believe in equality. Hence, wealth and social classes are not important. Formal social class structure are treated as non-existent. Therefore, the Pakeha actually prefer to use first name and dismiss the use of titles.
Whereas the Maori have a hierarchy, it is especially visible in formal settings. For example, in meetings, the elders of the tribe are seated in specific areas. Most of the time meetings only consist of men, but not always though.