New Zealand’s Sign of the Times

New Zealand has two main languages you may expect–English, the colonial language, and Maori, the local Polynesian language–and one you probably wouldn’t; in 2006 New Zealand became the first country in the world to make a sign language one of its official languages. New Zealand Sign Language is now officially legal for use in the court system and to gain access to government services.

Less than one percent of people in New Zealand communicate using New Zealand Sign Language, but its official recognition gives it credence as a legitimate means of communication. Watch this video of a sign language interpretation of New Zealand’s national anthem — especially the guy who starts at about a minute in — and I guarantee you’ll want to learn how to sign too.

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