Never thought I would have a real Maori meal (hangi)
One of the group of people who are still able to keep their way of live as their ancestors are the Maori’s in New Zealand. During my stay in New Zealand I had the honor to meet Maori’s from different tribes in the North and South Island.
In the Bay of Island I met Honey and his family during an excursion learning to peddle on the rivers.
During a long walk in Whirinaki Forest Park with a small group, our Maori guides lead us through their beautiful forest, where they grew up. We were taught what in their forrest we can use for medicine, what to eat and what not to eat.
In Roturua, New Zealand we even had the chance to visit a “marae” and watch a Maori song and dance performance from the Maori tribe living there.
Maori’s nowadays teach their children their culture in songs and dance. Its beautiful to see such an old culture still existing in todays modern life. The Maori people I met, are proud of their culture and are respected for their culture. Their knowledge of nature and New Zealand is very precious for the country. They can tell you very passionately how it was in the past and what has been lost. What is still there for us to see. Important lessons you learn in New Zealand from the Maori’s is that nature provides us all that we need, don’t destroy it.
The evening in Roturua was closed with a real “hangi”, Maori meal. So how does a Maori meal taste? Surprisingly it tastes good! The chicken, prepared in the ground has a smokey ground smell. The meal was prepared as a buffet, with several Maori dishes and a combination of English dishes.
The Maori in Roturua cooked their food in the ground, the grounds of Roturua are warm, so no fire was needed. Currently due to health rules from the government the Maori’s are not allowed to burry and cook the food directly under the ground anymore. Food that is burried in the ground should be covered first.
The smell of the chicken, that is buried under the ground is one that I cannot describe. The closest I get is a “smoked ground” chicken scent.