アフタヌーン・セミナー第29回 New Zealand from A-Z

  • 2016.12.22 Thursday
  • 13:08

アフタヌーン・セミナーとは、サイマル・アカデミー受講生特典として実施している無料セミナーで、 “学んだ語学を活かす”ためのセミナーです。
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今回の記事は・・・
2016年12月1日に実施したAdam Scottによるアフタヌーン・セミナーです。
今年いっぱいで日本を去ってしまうAdamが、最後に自身の故郷New Zealandについて教えてくれました嬉しい

 

New Zealand from A-Z

By Adam Scott


As an island nation located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, New Zealand shares much in common geologically with Japan, but historically and culturally we are very different. Nevertheless, there are some interesting links between the two countries – some obvious, others less so. The following is an alphabetical list of some important or interesting pieces of information about my home country, Aotearoa / New Zealand. 

 

Aotearoa is the Maori name for New Zealand. The original derivation of Aotearoa is not known and there are various traditional stories explaining its origin and meaning. The most common translation is "the land of the long white cloud" and refers to the first indication of land seen by Kupe, the Polynesian explorer who legend says discovered the country. On arrival, the sign of land to Kupe’s crew was the long cloud hanging over it. The cloud caught Kupe’s attention and he said “Surely it is a point of land”. Because of the cloud which greeted them, Kupe named the land Aotearoa.

 

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Beehive This is the nickname of one of the parliamentary buildings in New Zealand’s capital, Wellington. The nickname is due to the shape of the building, a circular, stepped pyramid, which is one of the most recognizable in New Zealand. It houses the offices of the prime minister and other cabinet ministers as well as meeting and function rooms. 

 

Cuisine from New Zealand can be hard to define. There are not so many truly original New Zealand dishes and these days it really is a fusion of things from all over the world. Some iconic New Zealand foods are: kiwifruit (originally called Chinese gooseberries), feijoas (a small green fruit, commonly grown in home gardens), hokey-pokey ice cream, lamb (roast lamb would be the closest thing to a national dish), manuka honey, and Marmite. A hangi is a traditional Maori style of cooking where food is wrapped and buried underground among very hot rocks to cook slowly.

 

DIY (or do-it-yourself) mentality is a stereotypical trait of New Zealanders (especially men). The basic idea is that early New Zealanders often lacked sophisticated equipment or tools due to the distance and cost involved in importing such things and lack of domestic manufacturing industries, and therefore became very good at fixing or building things out of the resources at hand. The term ‘number 8 wire’, which refers to a particular type of wire commonly used to create farm fences, is New Zealand slang for this concept. 

 

Adam2.pngEdmund Hillary was the first person, along with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, to reach the summit of Mt Everest (on 29 May, 1953). He would probably win a vote for ‘Greatest New Zealander of All Time’, not only for his mountaineering and exploration but also for his philanthropy. Following his ascent of Everest, Hillary devoted most of his life to helping the Sherpa people of Nepal through the Himalayan Trust, which he founded. Through his efforts, many schools and hospitals were built in Nepal. His image appears on the New Zealand five-dollar note.

 

Adam3.pngFlag There was a controversial referendum earlier this year on changing our flag from what some view as an old-fashioned relic of our colonial past and too similar to Australia’s flag to something which better symbolizes modern New Zealand. In the end, after spending millions of dollars on the process, the New Zealand public voted to keep the original. The reason it was controversial was that many felt the flag debate was a deliberate ploy by the government to draw people’s attention away from deeper problems that exist in the country, such as rising levels of poverty and an out of control housing market.

 

G’Day is the ubiquitous New Zealand / Australian greeting, often followed by the word ‘mate’, especially when used between men. Other examples of common New Zealand slang are: ‘sweet as’ = great; ‘cheers’ = thanks; ‘a handle’ = a pint of beer; ‘no worries’ = no problem / it’s fine. 

 

Adam4.pngHaka is a performance which internationally is most closely associated with the New Zealand rugby team, the All Blacks. A haka typically involves chanting / singing, body movement and facial expressions. It is often described as a war dance, performed in order to intimidate the opposition, however, haka can also be performed to welcome visitors or at a funeral. Kapa haka is a nationwide school haka competition. 

 

 

Islands New Zealand is South Pacific archipelago. It is made up of two major islands, simply called the North and South Islands, Stewart Island (the third largest with a population of only 381) and many others ranging from sub-tropical to sub-Antarctic). Many of the islands are completely uninhabited and highly-protected nature reserves for endangered native birds.

 

Jandals are the New Zealand word for what in Japan are called ‘beach sandals’. After a Japanese swimming team came to NZ many decades ago, one local entrepreneur was so impressed with their style of footwear that he began making them himself and came up with the name "Jandal" as an abbreviation of the term "Japanese Sandal".


Adam5.pngKiwi is the name of the iconic, flightless bird native to New Zealand. It is a nocturnal animal and relatively rare so most New Zealanders have never actually seen one in the wild. There are five species, listed from ‘vulnerable’ to critically ‘endangered’; they are threatened mostly by introduced predators. Kiwi also refers to 'a New Zealander' or something from New Zealand, e.g. ‘kiwi culture’. However, kiwis never ever refer to kiwifruit as kiwis.

 

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Lake Tekapo is one of the most picturesque of New Zealand’s lakes. Located near Mt Cook / Aoraki (New Zealand’s highest mountain at 3,724m) it features a panoramic backdrop of the Southern Alps and the Church of the Good Shephard on its shores is arguably the most photographed church in New Zealand. The lake is in an area designated a world ‘gold-standard’ starlight reserve for the clarity of its night skies. Nearby lies Mt John Observatory which is run jointly by the University of Canterbury and University of Nagoya.

 

Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand. The Māori originated with settlers from eastern Polynesia, who arrived in New Zealand in several waves of canoe voyages at some time between 1250 and 1300 CE. In the 2013 census, there were approximately 600,000 people in New Zealand identifying as Māori, making up roughly 15% of the national population. They are the second-largest ethnic group in New Zealand, after European New Zealanders. The Māori language is still spoken to some extent by about a fifth of all Māori. New Zealand English also includes a large number of Maori words such as: ‘kia ora’ = hello; ‘whanau’ = family; ‘mana’ = respect; ‘pounamu’ = greenstone / jade.

 

Adam7.pngNuclear Free In 1984, Prime Minister David Lange barred nuclear-powered or nuclear-armed ships from using New Zealand ports or entering New Zealand waters. After the Disarmament and Arms Control Act was passed, the United States government suspended its ANZUS obligations to New Zealand. The legislation was a milestone in New Zealand's development as a nation and seen as an important act of sovereignty, self-determination and cultural identity. 

 

OE stands for Overseas Experience and refers to an extended period of travel and work abroad that is typical for many Kiwis following graduation from university. The traditional base for an OE is London, partly because of the ease with which New Zealanders can obtain working visas but also as a base for exploring Europe. These days New Zealand has many reciprocal working holiday schemes with countries across the globe, including Canada, Brazil, Turkey and of course Japan. The term ‘OE’ is part of the New Zealand vernacular, as in “He’s getting ready for his OE.”

 

Adam8.pngPohutakawa is a very large, native tree which is also known as New Zealand’s Christmas tree for the fact that it typically flowers in early summer. It is an iconic symbol of the northern half of the North Island. New Zealand has a rich variety of native trees; another especially majestic one is the kauri. The largest known kauri in the country is called Tane Mahuta (Lord of the Forest) which stands some 52 metres tall and is estimated to be over 2,000 years old. A recent environmental protection project aimed at drawing awareness to and protecting ancient trees partnered Tane Mahuta with Jomon Sugi in Yakushima as ‘sister trees’.

 

Adam9.pngQueenstown is a major tourist destination located on Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by mountains in the South Island. It bills itself as ‘The Adventure Capital of the World’ for the wide range of outdoor activities and sports that can be done there. It is a popular destination for skiing, tramping, river rafting and is the home of bungy-jumping.

 


Adam10.pngRainbow Warrior was a ship owned by the environmental organization Greenpeace. In early 1985, Rainbow Warrior was in the Pacific Ocean campaigning against French nuclear testing. She was sunk whilst in Auckland harbour in New Zealand by operatives of the French intelligence service on 10 July 1985, killing one crew member. In 1987 the ship was moved north of Auckland and scuttled to become a dive site and artificial reef.

 

 

Sheep It’s a well-known fact that New Zealand’s sheep population far outnumbers its human one. The current human population of New Zealand is 4.7 million (69% identify as New Zealand European, Maori 15%, Asians 9% and Pacific Islanders 7% percent), while the sheep population sits at roughly 40 million, down from 70 million in the early eighties. The main reason for the decline in numbers is the chance for greater profits in dairy farming.

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Adam12.pngTreaty of Waitangi was signed on 6 February 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and various Māori chiefs from the North Island of New Zealand. It resulted in the declaration of British sovereignty over New Zealand but guaranteed Māori ownership of their lands, forests and other properties, and gave the Māori the rights of British subjects. Today the Treaty is generally considered the founding document of New Zealand as a nation. Despite this, it is often the subject of heated debate, and much disagreement by both Māori and non-Māori New Zealanders. The date of the signing has been a national holiday, now called Waitangi Day, since 1974.

 

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Universal suffrage In 1893, New Zealand became the first country to grant women the right to vote. The leader of the women’s suffrage movement, Kate Shephard, appears on New Zealand’s ten-dollar note. New Zealand has had two female prime ministers and currently 38 of the 121 members of New Zealand’s parliament are women.  

 

Volcanoes are a prominent feature of the North Island of New Zealand. New Zealand’s largest lake, Lake Taupo in the central North Island, is actually the caldera of a supervolcanic eruption which occurred approximately 26,000 years ago and was Earth’s most violent eruption the last 70,000 years. Nearby, Tongariro National Park has three active volcanoes, Mt Tongariro, Mt Ngaruahoe and Mt Ruapehu which rises to 2,797m. Further west is Mt Taranaki which is almost identical to Mt Fuji (though 1,000m shorter) and was used as a backdrop for the movie The Last Samurai. The city of Auckland is built on a volcanic field of some 50 volcanoes.

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Wine One of New Zealand’s newest major industries is wine production. New Zealand wine is now exported all over the world and can be easily found in Japan too (check out the Kapuka Sauvignon Blanc at 7Eleven!) New Zealand used to be very much a beer drinking nation but these days the availability and affordability of a huge variety of wines has changed people’s drinking habits. Beer is still popular of course; like in many other countries, craft beers have boomed recently and no longer is it just a lager market. Lion Breweries, one of New Zealand’s largest breweries is now 100% owned by Kirin Breweries.

 

Xena Warrior Princess is an American fantasy television series filmed on location in New Zealand in the early 1990s. It was an early part of a boom which saw American studios coming to New Zealand to shoot TV series and movies. This culminated in the hugely successful Lord of the Rings trilogy (directed by a kiwi, Peter Jackson) which helped create an enormous skill base for the film industry which continues to this day.

Yellow-eyed penguin This penguin (also called hoiho in Maori) is one of three native New Zealand species. It is endangered and one of the world’s rarest penguins with a population of only 4,000. It can be seen in the south of the South Island; there are several locations with purpose-built hides for viewing the penguins. The hoiho appears on the back side of the five-dollar note.

 

Zealand The islands of New Zealand were discovered for the western world by Dutch navigator Abel Tasman in 1642 (though he never landed there). The two major seafaring provinces of the Netherlands in its Golden Age were Holland and Zeeland, and originally the Dutch explorers named the largest landmass of Oceania and the two islands to the southeast respectively New Holland and New Zeeland. The former was eventually replaced by the name Australia, but the name New Zealand remained in place for the latter. 

 

Adam Scott

About 15 years in Japan.
Majored in Italian and Spanish.
Hobbies are Yoga and outdoor activities.

 

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