New Zealand Culture Study Allan Croad and May-Li Tsai NZ6
New Zealand in May-Li’s eyes
First visit in 2002
It is so spacious and green . Everything is in its intact, primitive form as it’s been kept away from pollution but yet modernized.
I was also surprised to see a lot of second-hand Japanese cars running around on open roads. Kiwis seem very happy with what they’ve got.
This country is famous for not only the breathtaking scenery and landscapes, but also the blending of various cultures in such geographically isolated country. Polynesians, Maoris, Europeans and Asians all integrated together.
As a foreigner (or a new immigrant), I see New Zealand as a pure outdoor paradise . Here we have native bush, alpine lakes, glaciers, beaches and volcanoes. Everyone can find their own niche within part of the nature.
Often, my Asian friends ask me about what’s worth seeing in NZ. I always say, “the friendly people, fresh food and majestic scenery!”
Allan’s meaning of New Zealand Culture in the World
My ancestors came to New Zealand 140 years ago and were predominately Scottish. Modern New Zealand society is a mix of cultures from Polynesia, Britain, Ireland, Europe and Asia as well as the Maori tangata whenua (original inhabitants).
New Zealand is unique with its isolated position down-under, surrounded by a vast ocean. We have unique wildlife such as the kiwi, local fauna and indigenous Maori people. The land holds a mix of stunning mountains and fiords, subtropical beaches as well as volcanoes.
Like many Kiwis (New Zealanders), I have travelled and worked in Europe in my 20’s and enjoyed being immersed in European culture. Since the mid 90’s I have been a passionate exporter and regular international traveller. I feel great pride in not only marketing my own product to the world and marketing our country, but also significantly helping the economy.
Common discussion topics when abroad are:
Social structure and history of immigration
Maori language and NZ words
Emphasising that we are not the same as Australia and there is 2000 km between us.
The lifestyle opportunities and lack of congestion (Auckland Motorways are an exception)
The All Blacks
Supporting the All Blacks at the Rugby World Cup last year. All Black supporters against Scotland. It all turned bad after that.
The diversity and beauty of the landscape
Bay of Islands Beach fun
Volcanoes and Earthquakes
The volcano, Mt Ruapehu from Waiouru where I first lived. The mountain erupted on the day of my birth in celebration.
NZ contribution and sacrifices in WW1 and WW2
Many lost their lives on the Western Front in WW1 including 2 more of my great uncles. As a Nation New Zealand made it’s presence felt and many paid the ultimate price for their courage at Gallipoli, Turkey in 1914. A family trip of remembrance of our Great Uncle.
Brief history of New Zealand
Early Polynesians explorers: between 1100 and 1300 C.E . The country was then settled by Maori.
First European: Dutchman Abel Tasman 1642
First Pakeha landed: James Cook 1769
Extensive European settlement : 1840
Gold rush: Chinese settlers in 1860s
Ethnic groups in NZ
Pacific Islanders 3.8%
Includes Cook Islanders, Samoans, Tongans, Tokelauans, and Fijians.
Asian and others 7.4%
Developed in New Zealand
Pork and puha
Hokey pokey ice cream
Developed elsewhere but an important part of New Zealand culinary culture
Fish and chips
Roast lamb and mutton
Vegemite and Marmite
The boil up
New Zealand Ways of Preparing Food
The Maori Hangi
The Picnic at the Beach
Lighting a fire and cooking shell fish on the beach
Other cultures’ food preparations and traditions
The Asian Wok style of cooking
The Plastic Oven Bag Cooking (I call this my plastic Hangi)
The “Crock-Pot” – Slow Cooker
Taiwanese Kiln Cooking
The Maori Hangi
A Hangi is a traditional Maori way of cooking food in the ground using hot rocks to produce steam.
The rocks are heated on a wood fire and then deposited in the bottom of a dug out pit.
Baskets of food wrapped in foil, wet clothes or leaves and then further covered with wet sacks are placed in the pit. It is then sealed over with soil.
The water in the cloths and sacks turns to steam that is trapped under the soil and cooks the food.