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Capital Adventures
July 21st, 2008
06:16 pm
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Te wiki o te reo Maori

Tena koutou katoa

I was able to indulge my interest in fibre arts today at work and do some flax weaving. This was the first of a series of lunchtime activities to mark Maori language week.

I am ashamed to admit that, despite doing a lot of my growing up in the Waikato, west of Ngaruawahia, in the heart of the King Country, I am woefully ignorant of things Maori.  There's this  whole other culture existing in parallel with mine that I have only a superficial grasp of. I would be profoundly uncomfortable on a marae or at a tangi. The same cannot be said of my Maori colleagues - if they didn't have a deep knowledge of how to work within this Pakeha system of education, law and government they wouldn't be my colleagues.
It's a bit bloody embarrassing really. I guess this is what privilege feels like.

So, I'm going to reach out and grab this free and moderately low stress learning opportunity  that the Ministry and the Maori people within the ministry are offering, and see if I can't make a tiny bit of this embarrassment go away...

(4 comments | Leave a comment)

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Date:July 21st, 2008 04:30 pm (UTC)
Good for you.

Good also for the Maori, who are willing to share their culture with you. Not every native culture is that open.
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Date:July 21st, 2008 09:32 pm (UTC)

Good for you!

Outreach is an honorable and worthwhile thing to do. Thanks for sharing your Maori explorations with us.

I'm intrigued by Maori language and culture. I don't have a lot of opportunity for exposure, but I enjoy what I can get. Share more when you can?
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Date:July 22nd, 2008 04:29 am (UTC)
Heh, is that a flax rose/open-to-interpretation-decoration I see in the corner? Pie made me one for V-Day, they last beautifully :P

I have even less of an excuse for my ignorance, given that my father's family is Maori (though the genes don't seem to have come my way!). As a kid I was the Maori representative of my primary school cos I could pronounce Maori and do a karanga, but that's been about it. I should learn some more...

Good for you :)
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Date:July 22nd, 2008 06:52 am (UTC)
Yes, yes it is an open to interpretation. :)
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