The Marae and the Haka
Before starting I would like to ask Simon some questions. I have been in Japan just once for few hours, in the way to come to New Zealand and I visited only Narita, the town where there is the airport. I don't really know much about that Country and I was wondering how is the food a part from sushi... Can you tell me something about that? And which is your favourite meal? What about drinks? Which is the most common ones?
And now the continuation of the Maori story...
As you can imagine after my brief description I wrote last time, Maori have different traditions from white people (English and Kiwis). A specific tribe lives in one village and has her own Marae. This is a Maori community facility which consists of a carved meeting house (wharenui), a dining hall (whare kai) and cooking area as well as the marae atea (sacred space in front of the meeting house).The marae is a symbol of tribal identity. It is a meeting place where people can discuss and debate various issues, and is considered by Maori as a turangawaewae (a standing place, a place of belonging). It is the area of greatest mana (prestige, power), the place of greatest spirituality, the place in which Maori customs are given ultimate expression. On the marae, official functions take place: celebrations, weddings, christenings, tribal reunion and even funerals.
I put some Maori words in my description so you can see how different is that from the English language. For example, to say hello they say "Kia Ora" that also means "You are welcome". If you watch the news on the television, speaker always says Kia Ora before starting with the news. Besides, there is the Maori channel where, for most of the time, they speak Maori language. Unfortunately I can't understand anything.....
Another thing you have surely seen is the Haka. It is one of their traditional dances, where the warriors jump around in an intimidating manner, bulge their eyes and stick out their tongues. Haka is not exclusively a war dance, in fact it is performed for various reasons: for amusement, as a hearty welcome to distinguished guests, or to acknowledge great achievements or occasions.
The NZ national rugby team (the "all blacks" because their uniform is black) loves to do the haka at their opponents before a match. Did you ever see them?
This depiction of a haka as a war dance dates from ca. 1845.
And now let me answer to your comments...
Thank you dear Pritam, I don't really think Maori are threatened by someone. In fact I reckon they are very important for New Zealand. Without Maori this Country wouldn't be the same.
I have some pictures for you, dear Aditya:
Also for me it wasn't very nice knowing about the cannibalism, dear Naheed, but fortunately now they eat just fast food!!!
Dear Antonio, I have seen a shark here in New Zealand...but at the Napier Aquarium. They don't usually come to visit us cause of the cold water (luckily!!!).
You are right, Francis, there are many birds here. My favourite, I have to say, is the Pukeko but I promise I will find some pictures and I will tell about native fauna and flora in one of my next blog.
Why wouldn't you make a tattoo Ernesto? For the pain or just because you don't really like them on your body? I don't have any tattoo actually but I don't want to say that I will not do ones one day. Who knows!
I think it's a good idea remaining calm and friendly with them...ahahahahha...I am joking!!
Dear Cristina, my parents are both Italian and I went to Italy when I was two. In fact I can't speak German, unfortunately! In those years many Italians went to Switzerland, France, Germany to find a good job because in Italy life was very difficult.
Thank you Felicitas for your information. I have to say I didn't know that, so I didn't go to visit that place.
Well, I have just the time to say see you soon!!!
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