History & Culture

Sociability of New Zealand ニュージーランドの社交性


Because I lived in New Zealand for over 10 years, I’m often asked by people: “Which do you like better? Japan or NZ?” Actually the answer is that I like both.

NZでの生活で特に好きな所は社交性。店に入ると「How are you today?」と笑顔で聞いてくる。店を出るときは「Have a good day!」。最初は戸惑い、どう答えたらいいのか分からず愛想笑いだけしていたが、だんだんと挨拶を返せるようになり話が弾んでしまう事もしばしば。

My favorite part of NZ culture is the sociability. I NZ, a shop attendant will greet customers with a smile and say “How are you today?” and when customer leave they will say “Have a good day!” This was embarrassing for me at first because I didn’t know what to say in response  so I just smiled back. However, once I got used to it, I could talk back and sometimes I couldn’t stop talking to them!


New Zealanders also have a good sense of hummer.
One day, I went to the doctor because I had a persistent cough for three months. After the chest X-ray showed that there was no problem, he gave the X-ray film to take home. As he rolled it up, he said “ It could be a good lamp shade!”. I  burst out laughing because I imagined the shadow of my ribs on the wall, at the same time I couldn’t stop coughing.

他に笑える話といえば、国内線に乗って首都であるウェリントンに行った。ウェリントンは風の街で揺れることで有名。案の定着陸態勢に入った途端ジェットコースターのように上下に揺れ始め機内は張り詰めた糸のような雰囲気だった。すると私の後ろに座っていた体格の良い男性が「I love you, mum! 」と叫び、連れの男性2人が大笑い。「Hey, brother! Can you hold my hand? I’m scared!!」機内は大爆笑。搭乗者は恐怖心を忘れ和やかに着陸した事があった。

Another funny story is that I went to Wellington, which is the capital of NZ by plane. Wellington is known for being a windy city so as expected the plane began to shake up and down like a roller coaster upon landing. It was  a tense. Suddenly a big guy behind me yelled “ I love you, mum!”, his friends burst out laughing and he said to them “ Hey, brothers! Can you hold my hand? I’m scared!!!”. This completely blew away the tension and the landing was completed successfully.


The enjoyable life style of NZ may be a key to reduce the stress for New Zealanders. I’ve obtained the socialization skills from NZ and strive everyday to influence Japanese friends with this lifestyle even if they don’t react to me!


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