Maori greeting like headbutt, says Boris Johnson

AFP
Published Jul 25, 2017, 1:54 am IST
Updated Jul 25, 2017, 1:54 am IST
Britain’s gaffe-prone foreign secretary Boris Johnson likened a traditional Maori greeting to a headbutt.
UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson, left, performs a hongi
 UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson, left, performs a hongi

Britain’s gaffe-prone foreign secretary Boris Johnson likened a traditional Maori greeting to a headbutt on Monday while visiting indigenous leaders in New Zealand.

Mr Johnson opened his two-day trip with a visit to a marae, or Maori meeting house, in Kaikoura, the South Island town that was hit by a massive earthquake last year. While there he was greeted with a hongi, the Maori welcome which involves two people pressing their noses together.

The ritual symbolises participants sharing the breath of life, but Mr Johnson said he was concerned about how it would be received in Scotland, home of the “Glasgow kiss”, or headbutt. 





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