Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Te Reo in the whare (Maori language in the house)

These are some of our favourite books at the moment. Koro's Medicine by Melanie Drewery is especially good. Get to that library!

One of the things i promised myself if i came back to NZ to live after my 16 years wandering, was to learn about the Treaty of Waitangi and learn Te reo Maori, the Maori language. Neither was covered in my mainstream education. New Zealand has two official languages (English and Maori) and surely it is only a mark of respect to the tangata whenua of the land i live on. Especially when many maori words are now woven into NZ english and many place names are in maori. I studied at Auckland University's marae based course a few years ago and it was intense but wonderful. Trying the keep learning and keep my skills alive in daily life tucked away here beachside is trickier but i am determined to have Jed grow up with at least the basics of maori language and rongoa (maori medicine) as part of what is normal for him.
Besides all the other reasons to learn about this incredible culture, history and the injustices to maori that continue to be perpetrated today, Jed's great great grandfather was a well known rangatira (tribal chief) in the Whanganui area. His portrait hangs in the Whanganui museum. Kinda feels rude not to, aye?!

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