Monday, February 04, 2008

cultural perceptions

With one of our most important days of th eyear comign up - WAITANGI DAY - I find myself reflecting upon the nature of Maoridom, the state of our nation, our cultural values and so forth.

What do you think about Waitangi Day? What does it mean to you?

What do you picture in your head when someone brings up Maaori [two a's to show the long vowel sound] culture?

No doubt there will be many haka, wero, etc on show at various events around the country this week, but is that the only important expression of Maori culture we could be experiencing?

Read this article for some interesting opinions.

Theologian Dr Jenny Te Paa has been critical of what she sees as male aggression - "staunchness" - becoming celebrated in Maori culture, as evidenced by the haka.
Other features such as kindness, gentleness, hospitality and integrity did not get nearly the same attention as the haka or taki, she said.
"The question is, how do we want to be for ourselves first and foremost? Dr Te Paa said.
"We're not alone in this world and I think it does matter how we behave and how we perceive ourselves and therefore how other people will see us."

I would like us to think about this significant day. No doubt some of you have been bored by studying it year in, year out. Some of you may have extreme opinions based on what you have heard adults saying. Some of you may simply not care and resist engaging in a discussion about our history. I believe it is important and would like to find a way to bring the subject alive for you without making it tedious.

Any ideas?

Here are some facts...

The signing of the Treaty
The Treaty of Waitangi was first signed at Waitangi on 6 February 1840. It represented an agreement between the British Crown and over 500 Māori chiefs of New Zealand.
There are a number of reasons why a treaty was seen to be needed. These included the increasing lawlessness of traders and settlers necessitating some form of governance, and the interest of other countries such as France and America in colonising New Zealand. The Crown recognised New Zealand as an independent nation after the signing of the Declaration of Independence (1835); consequently, any issues regarding governance needed the formal agreement of Māori.
This agreement took the form of the Treaty.

More info about our history here:


mr woody said...

also of interest in relation to Waitangi day is the issue of land "ownership".
See this article for a recent development...,nwl

Toni said...

Hi Mr Woody and Room5ians

I think your blog is a wonderful learning space that encourages you students to think for yourselves and to form your own opinions.

An idea I am interested in about Waitangi Day is the way that advertisers use it to make us feel good about our country and to therefore buy their products - for example Mike King is using Waitangi Day to show us what a 'real Kiwi' Waitangi Day should be like with lots of New Zealand Pork on the BBQ.

I wonder if this is a good thing for our country because it is teaching us how to celebrate our nation's history or if it is a bad thing because the holiday and food becomes more important than the actual day.

I look forward to reading more about your learning... and I wonder if your learning might teach many others in other countries about our New Zealand heritage...

mr woody said...

thought-provoking, Toni - thanks for your comments... :-)
I wonder which school you are at???
good luck for your efellowship - congrats!!!

mr woody said...

Hi Kids - here is a KPE [Korero Point England] podcast relating to the Treaty of Waitangi :-)