Te reo Māori (the Maori language) is deemed an official taonga (treasure) in our country, guaranteed protection under the Treaty of Waitangi, and is one of the three official languages of New Zealand, the other two being English and New Zealand Sign Language. It is central to our school curriculum and Farm Girl’s school, Nova Montessori, amalgamate it into their programme seamlessly, with respect.
Tonight we Homesteaders had the awesome treat of watching one of our number performing in her first ever Kapa Haka (literal translation: line dance; Maori concert party). The culmination of two terms studying Maoritanga (Maori culture, practices and beliefs) under the watchful eye of Matua Sunny (Farm Girl adores him), tonight’s concert has been the cause of a great deal of excitement and not a few nervous, fluttery tummy moments. In the lead up to this, the big night, a tipare (head band) had been crafted, waiata (songs) practiced (but behind closed doors; we wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise) and the appropriate dress sought.
The waiata were sung honestly and with enjoyment , the actions well learnt, and the pronunciation was confident and comfortable. The evening oozed respect; mutual respect between the school and the culture, the instructor and his pupils.
It all makes us feel incredibly positive about the future, because we reckon it’s the respect of our differences and the understanding that, at the end of the day, we’re all the same is the key to a better world.
Aroha (love, respect, literally: mindbreath) to you all.