New Zealand is one of the islands making up the Oceania in the South Pacific Ocean. New Zealand is in the Southeast of Australia. The capital is Wellington; and its population as at 2014 is some 4.5million. Here are other facts about New Zealand you will find really interesting.
Population: 4.5 Million (2014)
Currency: New Zealand dollar ($) (NZD)
Monarch: Elizabeth II
Prime Minister: John Key
System of Government: Monarch
Official Languages: English, Māori, NZ Sign Language
Interesting Facts About New Zealand
1. ALL BILINGUAL
The average citizen is bilingual. That means everyone speaks both English and Maori. And due to this proficiency in the two main languages, many words of each language have crept into the dictionary of the other…Maori in English dictionary and vice versa.
2. DUAL PLACE NAMES
Many places in New Zealand have been give two names:
- The indigenous Maori name
- An English name
And both names are used interchangeably.
3. OFFICIAL LANGUAGES
There are three official languages:
- NZ Sign language
4. CASUAL BY NATURE
Most dresses are casual. Even formal dresses are worn in casual manners, indicating that New Zealanders pay little or no attention to much formality. And formality is mostly in official and business circles.
5. FRIENDSHIP THROUGH SONGS
Maori people become friends with total strangers very fast. They help even when not asked. And they are known to launch into conversation and even songs as a means of getting acquainted.
6. SINGING BEGETS SINGING
When Maori people sing for you, it is to initiate friendship. For that reason, they expect you to sing along or sing a song of your own to them after. Singing to initiate friendship is reciprocity.
7. LIFE FORCE IN THINGS
The Kiwis believe that everything has a mauri or life force in it. Altering it would harm the life force in it. And altering the life force in anything is believed to have negative effect on the people and the ecosystem.
8. SIMPLICITY IS VALUED
The country has no marked social structure. Wealth and social status have no much value to the Kiwis. The rich and affluent are not given any more reverence than are the so-called lowly placed.
9. A SMILE SPEAKS
To New Zealanders, a smile indicates that you are pleased to meet a person. So do it even if your face aches. This is because otherwise also means you are not a friendly person.
10. THE NOSE-TOUCHING GREETING
The Maori have a greeting ritual called the Powhiri. In it, they would shake hands, kiss once on the cheek, or do a hongi. A hongi means touching noses together. This “ritual” could go on and on for long!
Hope you enjoy the ten facts about New Zealand presented to you.