Kia ora 😊 This week is Māori language week here in Aotearoa. It is a week dedicated to helping keep the Māori language alive and thriving. I for one feel this is majorly important, as language is the heart of any culture, and Māori culture is part of New Zealand’s identity.
I grew up in Ngāruawāhia, home to Tūrangawaewae Marae – headquarters of the Kīngitanga. Growing up there being immersed in the culture as a pākehā (a minority) is something I feel very proud of and truly blessed by.
It was actually only recently that I completed a beginner’s course in Te Reo Māori. I knew a lot of the basics from my up-bringing but the in-class kōrero (speaking) really helped to make sense of things in my head. The surprising thing is, that in 2012 I attempted to learn a bit of French for an impending trip and I struggled! I kind of figured “language is just not my thing”, but since completing this course, so many more things of what I learnt all that time ago have clicked into place.
Māori is an integral part of New Zealand’s culture and the language is a taonga to be cherished. He taonga te reo – Our language is a treasure!
Below are some kupu (words) that you might be able to use while out and about in nature:
- Rākau – Stick
- Rau – Leaf
- Ngahere – Forest
- Manga – Stream
- Maunga – Mountain
- Moana nui – Ocean
- Ngaru – Wave
- Kāmaka – Rock
- Wairere – Waterfall
- Tāmure – Snapper
- Manu – Bird
Kia Kaha Te Reo Māori! Anita 🥜 ✌️