June 2012: Getting in the Te Reo waka

June 2012

What is it like – this “immersion” into Maori culture/language?

Its like getting into a waka and going to another place, a different country.
Where the language is Maori.
The customs are Maori.
The rules are Maori.

I am a foreigner, a Pakeha.
Welcome but nevertheless a foreigner.
Marama? Understand
Well not really, a bit, sort of… well actually no, not yet.

The path this waka takes is pretty stormy.
Its filled with emotion.
And aprehension.
And frustration.
This is what its like to be a new immigrant
in a land where my language is not dominant.


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