Thank you so much Simon for your last blog! You wrote so much and it was so interesting reading about Japanese food. I tried sake more than once and I think it is nice and you are right when you say that it is very good in Winter!!!
Regarding my mistakes....thank you for your corrections.
It is difficult thinking in another language...at the beginning I used to think always in Italian, and then translating it in English but it doesn't work!! Now it's much better but, as you can see, I still make mistakes. Do you think I will learn sooner or later??
Concerning my homework, I can only think about two funny things. The first one was a bad translation. In Italy, when you want to say to someone "good luck" you say "in bocca al lupo!" but in English it doesn't have any sense. My husband and I used to say "in the mouth of the wolf" but people didn't understand!!! Now I know why..
The second thing was funny...it happened one day while we were playing pool with some friends. One lady had a very good shot as the ball went into the hole. My husband suddenly said: "You have had a big ass!"....ahahahah!!! In Italy we say that when you are very lucky but in New Zealand it's not so polite...anyway, it was funny and we laughed a lot.
I don't really like to risk saying silly things so I usually shut up when I am not sure.
And now I would like to tell you about my bad experience with the Italian Post office and Custom. Last September a Kiwi friend of mine sent me (in Italy) a small package with some Paua shells inside. I will show you some pictures about that later on but I am sure you already know it, Simon. Anyway, I have never seen that package!!! It arrived in March, 6 months later and I was already here!!!! Isn't it unbelievable?
Well, today I would like to end up with the Maori stories telling you something about their beautiful jewellery. Every carving has a special meaning or a story behind its design. This is because the pre-European Maori had no written language so tribal history and the stories of the gods were kept using many forms of fine arts and crafts ranging from basket and cloth weaving to complex wood, bone, shell and jade carving. These artefacts were then handed down through generations of tribal elders and became sacred objects or treasures "Taonga", telling the history of a tribe and taking on the spirits of past great leaders and warriors who had worn them.
It is believed that a carving which is worn with respect or given and received with love, takes on part of the spirit of those who wear or handle it. In this way it becomes a spiritual link between people spanning time and distance. A carving that has been worn by family or tribal members over many generations contains the spirit of all of those people and is truly a great and powerful treasure.
The Maori have a great respect for nature and have many legends about the creation of the earth and all its inhabitants. Many of these legends revolve around the spirits or gods who created or protect each part of their world such as the mountains, the forests, the lakes and the creatures of the sea.
Most carvings combine elements from several areas of mythology which interact with each other to tell a story. Each element has its own specific meaning and the way they are portrayed or combined is what gives a carving its own special character.
Hereby you will find some of the most famous shapes with their meanings.
It represents the fern frond as it opens bringing new life and purity to the world. It also represents peace, tranquillity and spirituality along with a strong sense of re-growth or new beginnings.
The Koru is also often associated with nurturing so when interlocked with others is frequently used to represent the strength and purity of a loving relationship within a family.
The twist with its crisscross form represents the many paths of life and love and as such is regarded as the original eternity symbol. The single twist in particular shows the joining together of two people for eternity. Even though they sometimes move away from each other on their own journeys, they will always come together again sharing their lives and blending to become one. It tells how the strength of bond of friendship, loyalty and love will last forever.
The double and triple twists have a similar meaning but refer more to the joining of two peoples or cultures rather than individuals.
These very stylised fish hooks represent strength, prosperity, abundance, fertility and a great respect for the sea.
It also is said to provide good luck and safety when travelling over water so is often worn by travellers.
Hei-Matau are also symbols of power and authority which are held in great reverence by the Maori people.
They were used as a practical tool for fishing and were often decorated as a sign of respect for the creatures of the sea.
This is an ancient mythical being with a birds head and a human form. It is said to be the messenger between the earthly world of mortals and the domain of the spirits illustrating the strong links the Maori people have with spirituality and the spirit world. It is a holder of great spiritual energy and is a guardian against evil.
The Tiki is a very ancient symbol and is by far the least understood so there are a number of legends about its meaning.
Some say he came from the stars and that he was the first man of the world. He is also often depicted with webbed feet which suggests a strong link to the creatures of the sea.
Tiki was respected as the teacher of all things and the wearer of this symbol is therefore seen to possess clarity of thought, loyalty, great inner knowledge and strength of character.
The Tiki is regarded as a good luck charm when worn and in some areas is also regarded as a fertility symbol.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this long blog and that you didn't become too much bored....
Before leaving you, though, I would like to answer your questions:
Ana Paula, I didn't see that movie. Is it about New Zealand? Instead I watched "The Lord of the Rings" and I was very happy when I visited most of the place where they shot.
Silwal, I have to say that I was just very curious about this new people. Before leaving Italy I read something about them. The most weird thing I noticed was their naked feet everywhere. They don't wear shoes often!!! It's just strange for me.
Hi Anita! Thank you so much for writing!!! I used to read your blog every days. I remember that your English was amazing and the effort you put was fantastic. Thank you again and I look forward to reading your next comments!
Hi Toni, you are right. I think Maori are well integrated also if I can't deny that there are problems as well. It is not easy living all together...
Naheed, they are beautiful artists indeed! And you can see it also from the pendants I have shown you today.
Kamisaraki Ernesto and thank you so much for your teaching!!!!!! I understand your opinion about tattoo and I agree with you 100%.
Hi Francis! I have to agree with you, they look very scary indeed!!! Anyway I have learnt that there are different versions of Haka actually. Some can also be performed by women. I think it's great knowing about other people so that you can understand their traditions and respect them better.
Thank you for your comment Davide and Valentina. I really appreciate your effort in writing English! Don't cry Davide, you know that I would never disturb you while you are working....
Have a good day everybody and see you soon!!!!!
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