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Cultural Commonalities And Differences Between New Zealand And The United States

3261 words - 13 pages

Many of New Zealand’s cultural and social structures closely resemble that of the United States. The cultural commonalities would allow U.S. Soldiers to have a relatively seamless submergence into New Zealand should American military operations ever need to be conducted in this part of the world. The many similarities between the U.S. and New Zealand would provide military commanders the benefit of leading troops in an area where the Soldiers are not completely shocked or overwhelmed with major differences in culture.
Social and ethnic qualities of New Zealand differ from that of the United States, but only because of the two countries physical location in relation to each other. New Zealand is located in Oceania. It is in the South Pacific Ocean, roughly 2,500 miles off the southeastern coast of Australia. Many cultural and social similarities exist between America and New Zealand. This is largely due to the fact that European immigrants form the largest ethnic population of New Zealand. English is the official language of New Zealand. However, the native language of Maori is one of its official languages as well, although very few in New Zealand speak it. The food in New Zealand is slightly different than the United States. Instead of beef, New Zealanders use lamb as their primary meat and it is a major export of the country. In addition to lamb; pork and venison are common meals, as well as a huge assortment of seafood. New Zealanders also have the perfect terrain and weather for good vineyards so wine and cheese are common appetizers seen around the country. The food eaten in New Zealand is very much similar to the United States, although it may perhaps be cooked and presented in a slightly different manner. Obviously, there are some differences; just as there are between Americans and the populations in Europe.
The Maori, a Polynesian ethnic tribe, discovered New Zealand and eventually settled there in the 13th century. There were frequent visits and passers-by through New Zealand over time since the Maori settled there, but the Europeans did not begin heavy migration until the 19th century. Until that point, the Maori were the predominant inhabitants of the country. By the 1840’s, white Europeans began settling in New Zealand in heavy numbers. By the late 1800’s, the word ‘Pakeha’ was well-known throughout New Zealand as a term for any inhabitant that was of European descent, or essentially, non-Maori. These Europeans were primarily British and Scottish, but other countries of Europe and Asia had some immigrants flow into the country as well. For the most part, the ‘Pakeha’ kept to the north, although the South Island received some scattered immigrants across its borders as well. This demographic has stayed relatively proportional up until now. During this period of influx and settlement of the Pakeha, there was increasing tension between them and the Maori. The Pakeha were bringing with them their culture, and...

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