7 weeks ago I was cycling in the pouring rain, with snow in my face in the middle of London and now I am here.
This is my extended family.
Its pie judgment day.
Today is home brew day.
We are gonna go surfing.
There two recognized spoken languages in New Zealand. There is New Zealand English and Maori and everywhere you look and go there are evidence of the two languages and cultures crossing over. I keep on mispronouncing things, getting place names wrong, looking like an idiot, not understanding things, writing things incorrectly.
Frankie’s Guide to New Zealand EP9
So help me with my problem. I am going up the road to Auckland University of Technology to meet with two language experts to find out way more about the very very important matters of language and culture.
Jason King: We are in a wharenui– a meeting house. We congregate, we get together as Maori, we celebrate, we grieve. There is a waha where the gate are by the road which is basically the mouth. In any sort of wharenui we believe that wahine with a woman with arms open wide like this welcoming people in . And her backbone what we call the tuanui and we have her ribs ngaheke those are the colors of the rainbow, resembles all the different nationality that come through. So that everyone can whakapapa back to the whare. Whakapapa is your bloodlines, your lines. A whole lineage of yourself. Then you get down to what we call Hopo. Hopo are our ancestors. That’s not our grandfather or grandmother. They are ancestors. They are leaders of migrations or leaders of tribe.
Maori language is attached to culture. Without our culture the language will die. Without our language, the culture will die. It’s vital, that everybody in New Zealand start learning… Te Reo Maori start learning Maori language.
Some second language Maori learners don’t like using words that have been borrowed from English. But it is a normal process. Every language does it. There are 100s of words now in Maori that have been borrowed from English. Sometimes Maori speakers aren’t even aware that they are actually borrowed words. Hoiho is the word for horse and that was borrowed early in the peace. Maori have made up new words that aren’t borrowed. So word computer for example is rorohiko and it’s made up of two Maori words. Roro is brain and Hiko is electricity so electric brain. There are new words being created like that all the time. Sometime they are just borrowing; some times they are new words. So, the language didn’t change from one from fifty years to next fifty years, then it would be a dead language.
I am at the Marae at Orakei which is just above Mission Bay, one of the inner city bays of Auckland. The view is fantastic up here. I have got Rangitoto Island right in front of me. And they are having an open mourning at the Marae today so anyone at all who is in Auckland can come, find out more about the Marae and the history and take part in the powhiri, the welcome.
The national government wanted to cover this whole area in buildings and had a plan to have residential housing and we put our foot down and said no we needed to return these lands back to Ngati Whatua so there was a big protest of houses and camps set up here. And it was supported by non-Maori as well. We successfully turned the national government to return the land back to Nag?ti Whatua.
Hearing about everything and singing. Its really… there is some… there is something in the presence of something, but I don’t know what it is. And it feels special and moving. Well its home and you know and that’s what we are trying to give to people. If we can give them a sense of home and belonging too, that’s what we do.
This week is America’s Cup week in Auckland. I am about to take part in Rum race, which is an actual competitive sailing race with real boats.
… take a look around – all these hot women.