Kia ora e te whanau. I hope the past month has treated everyone well! I had a couple weeks off over the school holidays and had extra whanau staying with me so it was definitely a whanau affair. Now that my nieces have learnt their Pepeha, im teaching them what I know of their whakapapa. They came home the other night telling me they were both in the kapa haka group so that is something im really happy about too.
Classes at Te Wananga o Aotearoa are going full steam ahead – really getting down to the ngako o te reretanga o te reo – the essence of how the reo flows, or the structure which ensures it flows smoothly. Which is exactly why im doing te ara reo in the first place. While my vocabulary is decent, putting things together to construct sentences that flow and are consistent is what I’m working on. One thing i’ve noticed is the amount of apps out there that can help in my learning of the reo.
So with that in mind, I wanted to mention a few apps that I think are noteworthy, starting with the digital series by Kiwa Digital detailing the separation of Rangi and Papa (and other legends of nga atua maori). The first 4 were free to download for a while from the App store and I think they’re great! You can have the commentary in te reo and in English, and they’re short enough even for kids with the shorter-than-usual attention spans.
Another App I love is the Mana App. Highlighting stories from all over Aotearoa, from the financial successes of Waikato/Tainui, to sporting successes, and of course political stories of the month. Its basically a free app version of their entire magazine every month!
Lastly, in the spirit of Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori, there is Kura. An excellent app that allows you to compete against friends, learn place names, food names, names of objects, and many other things. It tests you in a variety of ways and it does it completely in te reo which makes it that little bit harder. For someone at an intermediate level it pushes you that little bit extra and gives you a challenge.
Unfortunately, I haven’t’ been able to do as much as I would have liked for Maori Language week this year. And then I hear the story of a Waiuku College student being left in tears when John Key rudely dismissed her questions asking if he would ever consider extending maori language week. Now, while I understand that being Prime Minister comes with a green pass to have an air of self-entitlement and general arrogance, basically laughing off comments made by a student, and thereby ensuring that the majority of the school laughs at her is basically bullying! Of course his cronies have come out in full force saying he’s been misunderstood, and taken out of context but im more likely to believe that it was a momentary lapse in his façade that he actually cares about anything to do with the Maori language or culture at all.
With so many stories of the next generation being no good, of not having a decent work ethic, not having any respect and being doomed for failure. One video I saw completely restored my faith in the future generations. That video was by Kapiti (pronounced ca-pit-e) College student Finnian Galbraith. His video posted to youtube has earned over 306 thousand views to date and is one of the best things i’ve seen all year.
His speech challenging everyone to learn 150 maori words and outlining the benefits of having it as compulsory in schools is something that gives me faith the future generations wont let our Maori Tikanga die. That they can see the beauty of Te Ao maori and western colonisation hasn’t completely ruined it for not just them but for the generations to come later. If you haven’t seen it already, here is the link.
And just before I finish up, I wanted to re-iterate my thoughts on the TPPA for those who may have missed it the first time. The government is stopping us from voting on a number of things, whether our soldiers are going overseas to war, how to manage the housing crisis in Auckland, and of course, whether NZ signs the TPPA. So what can NZ citizens vote on?? Whether there is a flag change. Those priorities seem a bit upside down to me get informed people. Vote no to the TPPA.
So that’s about it for now whanau, until next time, be good to others, be good to yourselves.
Ki a mau ki te tikanga. Ki a mau ki te reo. Ki a mau ki te maoritanga.
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For today’s modern Maori, the choice to learn and embrace their maoritanga isn’t a process that happens overnight. More often than not, there is a catalyst, a starter, someone or something that leads you to ask questions. Something that makes you ask yourself what it is to be Maori.
I can think of many people asking these questions, but where to go for answers? For an Australian-born maori (or mozzie) such as myself, the massiveness of these questions, and Te Ao Maori in general (The Maori World) can seem like a dark hole of unknown mystery. How to begin? Who to speak to? What will be expected of me?
While I would never dictate how a person should live their life, what I can share is how I am personally approaching it. From a self-proclaimed “mozzie” point of view. Detailing the highs and lows, the places I visit, and the people along the way. From someone that generally had a pakeha upbringing, it’s a complete shift in how you view the world.
Who am I to be writing this you may ask. Why keep reading? What is it about my opinions that merit your consideration? well, I’m a little political, and a little crazy. I have a lot to learn and my opinions are just that – opinions. They are not gospel, they are not law. I don’t aim to discredit anyone, but more to share my experiences with those who are interested. If one person reads this and decides to look into maoritanga for themselves, ill be happy. Check out my facebook page missmaorigal for more updates and information.
I should state from the start that at present I am semi-fluent in te reo so apologies in advance for any and all types of errors I may write. Obviously I will make all efforts to avoid any possible mistakes in the first place though. Not only with the language, but everything I write overall. My mother is Ngati Hari from Taumarunui, and my father is Ngapuhi from Nukutawhiti. This is my journey of discovery to find out what that means to me, Missmaorigal.