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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Once were warriors

If you've seen the film Once Were Warriors, you might think that the Maori (the 'mao' part is pronounced as in Mao Zedong - 'mao-ree') population in New Zealand is suffering disfunction. But that movie was made almost 20 years ago, in 1994 - a lot has happened since then.

Although that story might still be true today in some Maori homes (as well as in the homes of families from every background, in every country), in the short time I have been in New Zealand, I have noticed that there is quite a strong sense of pride in the Maori culture here.

Maori culture & traditions can be seen everywhere - from the arts festival, to film & television, to a huge section of Maori language books at the library. & at many public spaces, the signs are in both English & Maori, reflecting a respect for the Maori language & people.

It's a good example for places around the world where minority cultures are forgotten in favor of progress. Our history is who we are. If we lose that, what do we have left?

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