President Jokowi welcomed with Maori Hongi greeting

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) received New Zealands Maori Hongi greeting at the Government House in Wellington on Monday.

Hongi is the traditional Maori greeting done by simultaneously pressing ones nose and forehead to those of the other individual.

This is done at traditional meetings among Maori people and during major ceremonies and is similar to a formal handshake.

Through the exchange of this greeting, President Jokowi is no longer considered a Manuhiri, or visitor, but rather Tangata whenua, one of the people of the land.

"In the company of First Lady Iriana, President Jokowi arrived at the Government House at 10:30 a.m. New Zealand time and was greeted by Official Secretary of New Zealand Governor Gregory Baughen," Presidential Secretariat Deputy for Protocol, Press, and Media Bey Machmudin, remarked in a press statement received by Antara here on Monday.

While entering the Government House, the Indonesian president was introduced to Piri Sciascia, an elder of Maori, as the native of New Zealand, who plays a role in preserving the traditions and knowledge for the next generation of Maori tribes.

After the introduction of hongi, the Maori tribe held a welcome ceremony for the president.

The head of state also held a meeting lasting for about half an hour with New Zealand Governor General Patsy Reddy.

The event was followed by a banquet ceremony and tribute to local fighters by President Jokowi and the first lady at the Pukeahu War Memorial.

Source: ANTARA News

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