President Pranab Mukherjee Gets Heartwarming Traditional Welcome In New Zealand

30/04/2016 6:58 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
MICHAEL BRADLEY via Getty Images
Indian President Pranab Mukherjee (C) is greeted with a Hongi, a traditional Maori greeting, during a welcoming ceremony at Government House in Auckland on April 30, 2016. Mukherjee is in New Zealand for a three-day official visit. / AFP / MICHAEL BRADLEY (Photo credit should read MICHAEL BRADLEY/AFP/Getty Images)

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee got a pleasantly peculiar welcome in Auckland on his maiden trip to New Zealand when he rubbed noses with the Maori chief, which is a traditional form of greeting for the indigenous Polynesian people.

Mukherjee, who arrived in New Zealand on Saturday, was given a traditional welcome in a mark of friendship by the Maori warriors where men and women sang and danced.

In what is the first visit by an Indian president to New Zealand ever, Mukherjee after his landmark visit to Papua New Guinea, arrived in Auckland on a three-day visit to New Zealand, news reports said.

Rashtrapati Bhavan tweeted the video of the traditional Maori welcome.

"Maori warriors initially greet visitor with aggression not knowing whether he is friend or foe," the tweet read.

The warriors first placed a fern in front of the Indian president and asked him to pick it up to show that he was extending a hand of friendship.

After being convinced that the president had indeed arrived with friendship, the warriors concluded with the traditional song and dance and rubbing of noses in friendship between President Mukherjee and the Maori chief, news channels reported.

Later, Mukherjee was received in a ceremonial welcome by New Zealand Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae at the Government House.

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