Rakshit Darbari – New Zealand, January 2018
The Maori have been in New Zealand since the 13th century AD and have had a profound impact on New Zealand. One of the first few things that you will notice when you land in New Zealand is that many streets, towns and even cities have Maori names, even though they are a mouthful at the end of your trip you will be able to say them with ease. You will also notice that sometimes words are repeated for example, Kerikeri, this is done to emphasis on the word and the place you are talking about. But this isn’t the only extent of Maori culture in NZ, as many tourists such as yourself come to learn and experience of the Maori way of life.
Now the best place to enjoy and experience the Maori way of life is in Te puia, Rotorua. Rotorua is one of the few cities where Te Reo Maori has become an official language, it also holds the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute also known as Te Puia. The NZMACI holds a kiwi sanctuary, a Maori village and pohutu geysers. You will be able to enter the Maori village, but first you will have to go through the powhiri ceremony. This is a welcoming ceremony for all the guests, were all the maori men and women will sing and dance and at the end there will be a hongi. Now the hongi is when when the two leaders will touch their noses together and don’t worry the guest leader for this event will be randomly picked (May the odds be in your favour!).
Not only will you get up close and personal with an Iwi but you will get to do my favourite thing in Te puia, which is to do the haka. Now the haka is a war dance done before a war or a rugby match(i.e All Blacks ) but it can also be performed to welcome distinguished guests, or to acknowledge great achievements, occasions or funerals.When they first perform the haka, you will be enchanted and intimidate at same time, that is the beauty of the haka. Other than that you will get to see traditional clothes, carving and boats of the Maori people.
After the cultural show, you will get to see old Maori way of cooking, called the hangi. The hangi is cooking food in an underground oven. The local tribesmen would have already dug a pit and put a basket of food including ,raw meat and raw vegetables in to the pit.Now the food will come out perfectly cooked and will taste even better than it looks, you can take my word for it on a good day there is always a good hangi.