natesmountain (natesmountain) wrote,

Marae visit

Today we took all the Year 9s on a bus ride to a marae for a day visit. It was a small marae, in Moera, which seems a bit like the Strathmore of Petone, but the people were really nice. Just a tiny marae, that was also a Presbyterian Maori church, with a tukutuku panel of the Last Supper! I'll show you a photo tomorrow as I left my camera at school this afternoon.
It was tiring just marshalling the troops to be good, to listen, to try out their mihimihi (that's like reciting your immediate family ancestry, to show where you come from so the other people can 'place you', you also list your mountain, your river, your tribe, your sub tribe etc), poi, songs etc. The local kura kaupapa came on a bus to visit (it's a Maori language-immersion school) and their Year 5 and 6 children sang at least six action songs for us. They were cute as buttons and our girls loved them. When they were told to mix with the little kids and learn some Maori there was a rush to do so! It was great to see all the children chatting and laughing together.
The thing is, Maori culture is vitally important to NZ and it's shameful for teenagers to be vacant about the culture, the marae kawa (rules of the marae), the basic greetings and some waiata (songs). Everyone here should know that much. It's not hard to learn the basics. And the songs are beautiful so they're worth learning!
Marae rules are pretty easy - no shoes, no eating in meeting room, don't step over anyone, only men speak on the formal marae, only women call visitors forth from the gate, always sing after a speech, don't sit on a table, offer to help in the kitchen... they'd be the biggest things to remember.

And tomorrow I have to lead my team of Religious Education teachers in a planning day, getting stuff ready for next year. Should be better than the classroom!
Asher has study for a biology exam and tonight I was testing him so I now know a lot about a cow's digestive system, dog teeth, ecosystems, forest strata and parasites. Lucky me.

But I'm tired. Good night. No reira, ka kite ano. (/car key-tay are no) (therefore, see you later). *g*
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