Study in New Zealand and Explore Maori Culture

Meridean Overseas
Meridean Overseas

Updated On 07 April 2023 & Read Time 4 minutes



As a former student in the US, I had the opportunity to watch the movie "The Whale Rider," which beautifully portrays the Maori culture in New Zealand. The movie tells the story of a young girl named Pai, who is determined to become the chief of her tribe despite the traditional belief that only boys can hold this position. Through Pai's journey, we get a glimpse of the rich and vibrant Maori culture and their ancient traditions.

Are you a student from India who is planning to study in New Zealand? If yes, then you must explore the rich and vibrant Maori culture during your stay. The Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand, and their culture is an integral part of the country's identity. Here are some interesting facts and reasons why you should take the time to learn about Maori culture.

Table of Contents

Explore Maori culture

Firstly, Maori culture has a fascinating history that dates back over 1,000 years. The Maori arrived in New Zealand from Polynesia and have since developed a unique and distinct culture that is unlike any other. Learning about the Maori history, the ancestors, and their way of life will give you a deeper appreciation of New Zealand's culture and traditions.

Secondly, the New Zealand Maori culture has many values that you can learn from and incorporate into your life. For example, the Maori have a strong connection to nature and the environment. They believe that the land and the sea are their ancestors and treat them with respect and reverence. Maori culture is deeply ingrained in New Zealand's identity, and "The Whale Rider" captures this essence perfectly. The movie showcases the Maori's close relationship with nature and their ancestral lands, which is a recurring theme in Maori culture. The Maori believe that the land and the sea are their ancestors, and they treat them with utmost respect and reverence.


Thirdly, The Maori also place a high value on community and whanau (family) and believe in working together for the greater good. This is evident in the movie when Pai's grandfather, Koro, tries to find a new leader for the tribe, but ultimately realizes that Pai is the only one who can lead them forward.


Fourthly, the Maori culture has a rich and diverse tradition of art and craftsmanship. From carving to weaving, the Maori have developed unique and beautiful forms of art that reflect their cultural heritage. You can learn about these traditions by visiting museums, galleries, and cultural centers throughout New Zealand. The “Whale Rider”  also features the Maori's unique forms of art, such as carving and weaving. The Maori art is a reflection of their cultural heritage and traditions, and it adds an element of beauty and depth to their culture. In the movie, Pai's grandmother, Flowers, teaches her the art of weaving, which becomes an important part of Pai's journey towards becoming the chief.


Maori culture has many traditions and customs that are still practiced today and "The Whale Rider" highlights some of these rituals. . From the haka (war dance) to the powhiri (welcome ceremony), the Maori have many rituals and ceremonies that are an important part of their culture. Participating in these traditions can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience and will give you a deeper understanding of the Maori culture. 


Finally, exploring Maori culture is an excellent way to meet new people and make friends in New Zealand. The Maori are welcoming and hospitable people who are proud of their culture and eager to share it with others. By immersing yourself in the Maori culture, you will have the opportunity to make new connections and learn from people who have a unique perspective on life.


In closing, exploring the Maori culture during your study in New Zealand is a must-do experience. From their fascinating history to their rich traditions and values, the Maori have a culture that is both unique and enriching. Take the time to learn about their culture, traditions, and art, and you will come away with a deeper appreciation of New Zealand and its people.

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