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You've heard of fist bumps? Take a look at a royal nose bump.

Prince William and Duchess Kate are in New Zealand today at the start of their three-week tour, with baby Prince George, of Down Under, and one of the first things they did on arrival was perform the traditional Maori greeting gesture, the hongi.

It's the equivalent of a handshake but no hands are involved. Instead, one presses one's nose and forehead directly against another's when first encountered.

The idea, according to experts, is a sort of sharing of souls, when the ha (or breath of life) is exchanged and intermingled.

It might look a little odd to Western eyes but it's perfectly normal to the Maori, the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand. Remember the Oscar-nominated filmWhale Rider from 2002? It was a Maori story of a little girl and her connection to whales.

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The greeting gesture also has become perfectly normal to the British, New Zealand's former colonial masters, and especially to royals who come visiting now that the island nation is key member of the Commonwealth.

Prince William has done it, his father, Prince Charles, has done it; even grannyQueen Elizabeth II is familiar with it. It was a first for Duchess Kate and she was smiling when she did it.

On Monday, Will and Kate and George arrived in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, after a 25-hour journey from London. They went to Government Housewhere, under umbrellas, they were treated to the traditional Maori welcoming ceremony, featuring lines of near-naked, tattooed and feathered dancers performing the haka, the war dance that features lots of foot-stamping, grunts, exclamations, body slapping and chanting.

Afterward, Kate was snapped talking to one of the dancers, his buttocks bare except for the tattoos. "It was super," she told him, according to a tweet by Richard Palmer of the Daily Express in London, who's covering the trip.

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