Living between two worlds

So what’s happening with my learning Te Reo Māori?

I guess I’m having a bit of a break. The level 4 class that I did in Manukau came to an end. Now I go on Tuesday evenings to the level 3 class to consolidate, practice and help where I can.

I’ve had a rough ride these last couple of months. My mental health has not been good. Few reasons I can think of – Its winter, went to visit my mother – always triggers emotions.  Brother Chuck was there and his partner Stella which was great. However, I feel a great divide between me and my family. I am uncompromisingly anti-occupation – be it in Aotearoa or Palestine. In the eyes of my family and friends in Israel this makes me anti-Israel and therefore on the side of the enemy.  I have felt a growing anger about the occupation for some years now, since I decided to read and educate myself on what exactly happened with the formation of the state of Israel.  Anyway maybe I’ll talk more about that sometime else but suffice to say that the current war in Israel/Palestine has effected me greatly.

I have been feeling somewhat disconnected from te ao Māori as well – Aotearoa/New Zealand seems quite schizophrenic to me – there are really 2 worlds here: a Pākehā world and a Māori world.  Most of the time now I feel like I don’t belong in either. Somehow, the learning of te reo Māori is still important to me – I am wanting to continue and have begun enrolment into Te Wānanga Aotearoa. I guess with my pain around what’s happening in Israel/Palestine the learning of te reo is a way I can express my political viewpoint.  The issue of the two worlds is such that I am learning te reo Māori and tikanga Māori in an immersion method – and can totally see that the language is inseparable from the culture.

Ko te Reo te tikanga, ko te tikanga te Reo.  Is that a whakatauki? or did I just make that up?

What this means is that te reo Māori is an alive language embedded within a rich, spiritual culture and I love it, I feel comfortable with it.  But I don’t really have where to go with it – I go back to te ao Pākehā- to work etc and although I do my bits in Māori – colleagues are getting used to me greeting, speaking and singing bits of Māori through the work day. And occasionally I have been able to have some conversations with customers and friends in Māori.

Oy vey: I don’t know which world I belong to.

Ka pai: I can bridge two worlds and see things from both perspectives.


Still hanging in there with my “Te Reo journey”

I just found this saved in my documents from almost a year ago.

September 2013

What a journey!

So Im still studying Te Reo Maori although it doesn’t feel right to say that I am “studying”.
It is really more that I am experiencing Tikanga Maori through immersion learning of  Te Reo Maori.  I feel extremely privileged, lucky to have found the group I am learning with. Loving, giving people.

A sentence I often hear from my esteemed Kaiako” its only you who stops yourself ” Its so true, I question myself all the time, what are my motives? Well I guess everyone has motives for different things they do.

I’ve spoken before about my motives of wanting to belong, of learning a language to help my health issues, and my motives (political) of supporting the continuance of the first language of Aotearoa.

As I go on though I’ve had other thoughts, like it doesn’t matter what my motive is, I’m loving it, I’m getting something from it so I’m doing it.  I have spent a large part of my life trying to do what I think other people want from me in order to be accepted, be recognised, be appreciated..  Guess what?? It hasn’t worked. I’m doing this because I want to – that feels good. But I can feel the old dynamics surfacing – still wanting some sort of recognition.  Only I can give this to myself. I know it well but one thing to know it and another to not be dragged back when the going gets tough.

And as I go on I have felt its been a bit like a love affair – I get excited /and nervous before going to class, I feel quite elated when Im “IN” the immersion. Kei roto i te reo.  Then I go down in mood afterwards as I wait till next class.

Oy vey: I have a pathetic track record for relationships.

Ka pai: This is different, hang in there. Kia kaha!