Auckland: President Pranab Mukherjee and a Maori chief rubbed noses in a traditional welcome after his arrival in New Zealand on Saturday on the second and final leg of a two-nation tour.
After his arrival in Auckland from Papua New Guinea, he started his official engagements with a traditional Maori welcome in the afternoon.
“Maori warriors initially greet visitor with aggression not knowing whether he is friend or foe,” the Rashtrapati Bhavan tweeted.
They then placed a fern in front of Mukherjee and asked him to pick it up if he arrived in friendship. On being convinced that he has arrived in friendship, they asked him to follow them.
Maori men and women then sang and danced welcoming the president as a friend. The ceremony concluded with the traditional rubbing of noses in friendship between President Mukherjee and the Maori chief.
He was then received by New Zealand Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae at the Government House here and was accorded a ceremonial welcome.