There are so many reasons why you should study in New Zealand. Aside from its spectacular scenic spots, this small island country is home to the top universities in the world! The people of New Zealand, called the Kiwis, are also known for their hospitality and humility—just like the Filipinos!
While we have our own similarities, there are also cultural differences that exist between the Kiwi and Filipino culture. It will be helpful to learn about our cultural differences so you will know what to do once you live and study in New Zealand!
Are you flying to New Zealand soon? Take note of these four interesting cultural differences between the Kiwi and Filipino culture!
1. Individualist vs Collectivist Nature
The Kiwis value self-reliance, inventiveness, and bravery, leaning towards individualism. The Kiwis enjoy working independently and without close supervision from the boss. Most of the time, they expect to be assigned a wide range of tasks.
Meanwhile, Filipinos generally feel a strong sense of pride being in a group. We usually take pride in sharing stories about our family and nation. We put our family first at home and even at work. In the workplace, we also treat our workmates as part of our extended family.
2. Passive vs Active Culture
The Kiwis are known to be friendly and hospitable but they can also be private persons. They do not like sharing personal information with other people. If you want to carry a conversation with them, make sure to avoid personal topics like their salary, relationship status, and weight. On the other hand, Filipinos can easily strike up a conversation with anyone (even with strangers) about any topic under the sun!
There is also a law in New Zealand that prohibits making loud noises at home. Note that it’s also illegal to blow your horn between 10:30pm to 7:30am. If you were to stay in New Zealand, you will definitely miss singing in front of a karaoke machine with your family and friends late at night! Filipinos are usually loud and talkative bunch especially when they socialize with other people and eat during meals.
3. The Hongi vs Handshake
To greet each other, the Kiwis practice the Hongi, a traditional Maori greeting where two people press their noses and foreheads together to symbolize a blending of two souls. It can also be a symbol of their unity!
In the Philippines, people often greet one another by shaking hands. We also shake hands to say goodbye after an important event. Handshakes should be friendly and informal, but not limp. Sometimes, a simple nod will do to greet a friend.
4. Formal vs Informal
Filipinos are title-conscious. When we address professionals, we should call them “doctor”, “engineer”, “architect”, and “professor”. We also tend to call our superiors at work “ma’am” and “sir” to show our respect. However, rank and hierarchies are less important in New Zealand. At work, Kiwis address their superiors, colleagues, and clients by their first names.
5. Kiwi and Filipino Food Culture
One thing’s for sure, both Kiwis and Pinoys cook up some of the best dishes in the world! The Philippines and New Zealand will never run out of tasty delicacies, from their meat, seafood, and dessert recipes! When it comes to their eating habits though, they may be quite different.
When you’re having dinner at a local’s home and the host asks you if you would like to have another plate of food, you can accept or refuse. Your host will not be insulted if you say no. Your host will also appreciate if you offer to help with the dishes, too!
In the Philippines, you are expected to eat a lot! If you don’t eat that much, it is likely to be considered an insult. When something is offered, Filipinos usually refuse the first time and accept the second time.
Stepping into a new country is your chance to explore the world around you! With its friendly people, awesome food, and culture, New Zealand is definitely the place to be. Check out our Study Abroad section for more tips and guides on how to start your education journey abroad!