May 10, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Maori Research Institute to lead Maori delegation to India

3 min read

The Rotorua-based recently established Maori Research Institute will lead a Maori delegation to India to attend the Fourth International Conference of the Elders of Ancient Traditions and Cultures to be held from 3rd March to 7th March 2012, at Haridwar, India.

The conference is organised by the International Centre for Cultural Studies (ICCS) once in three years. The previous conferences were held at Mumbai (2003), Jaipur (2006), and Nagpur (2009) in India.

The conferences have served the purpose of bringing together members of diverse traditions and cultures across the globe with a common thread best described by the Mitakuye Oyasin We are all related.

This is indeed an initiative that helps bring the wisdom of ancient peoples and cultures to the fore, and we would like to support such an international gathering of different cultures, said Malcolm Short, Director of Maori Research Institute and the leader of the delegation from Aotearoa New Zealand.

The theme of this fourth conference is Nourishing the Balance of the Universe. Delegates from over 50 countries are expected to attend this conference.

The conference organisers have requested Dr Guna Magesan, a senior scientist with the Maori Research Institute, to identify one Maori Elder who is very much respected in the Maori community and who has done good work for the revival of Maori tradition. The conference organisers aim to award a Maori Elder with an honorary degree from the Research Institute of Worlds Ancient Traditions, Cultures and Heritage (RIWATCH University).

feels that the Maori community should identify and nominate a Maori Elder for the honour. Emails have already been sent to a number of mailing lists. Nominations (with their resume) need to reach [email protected] by 20 Jan 2012.

We will send up to 5 selected resumes to the conference organisers and the final decision will be made by the conference organisers in India.

The conference coordinator, Prof. Yashwant Pathak, said that the conference organisers will award an honorary degree to one well respected Elder from each continent. They have already identified elders from South America, Europe, and North America.

Prof Pathak said that the organisers are keen to recognise a Maori Elder from New Zealand, because the Maori community, in spite of many adversities, is socially, culturally and politically active; and at the world stage, Maori community is a role model for other ancient cultures that have struggled to maintain their identity.

Preparations for the Maori delegation going to the conference are going well. In addition to the international conference, the delegation will also attend two business meetings in New Delhi and Mumbai. They will also visit places of tourist interest in New Delhi and Rajasthan, and the Taj Mahal in Agra. The delegation is made up of people from all walks of life academics, kaumatuas, artists, business leaders, etc.

The Maori delegation will be supported by two Hindu community members, Dr Rajiv Chaturvedi and Dr Guna Magesan from New Zealand. This delegation is thus symbolising Hindu Maori whakawhanaungatanga (kinship).

This is an opportunity for Maori business community to start linking with Indian business community at the grass root level, Dr Magesan said. This is important in view of the Free Trade Agreement between New Zealand and India in pipeline.

This is only a start. We hope to have more business delegations with time to come.

  • For further information regarding conference, please visit website of ICCS
  • Nominations (with resume) can be sent to: Maori Research Institute, PO Box 12103, Rotorua 3045

For more information, please contact:

  • Dr Guna Magesan or Malcolm Short
  • Phone: 07 349 1 943; Mobile: 027 919 4268 027 477 9989

Photo caption:

Dr Guna Magesan discusses travel plan with Mr Malcolm Short, leader of the Maori delegation to India

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