Te Kaha o Te Reo Maaori

As I'm sure a lot of you are aware, this is Te Wiki o Te Reo Maaori 2015 which as it happens is the 40th celebration. One of the major stories is young brother Finnian Galbraith whose speech video hit over 290, 000 views and was covered, to some degree, by BBC and The Guardian, overseas.

According to the most recent consensus, our language is struggling. The great thing though, is that individually we can do something about it and we should see it as our responsibility to do just that.  

It's hard to see this kind of thing. Language is such an important facet of culture and Te Reo Maaori is especially gangsta. Te Reo Maaori is a pretty cool sounding language in my opinion (I realise how subjective this claim is by the way). Some languages, like Thai or Cambodian for example don't really convey strong emotion like anger or seriousness no matter how stern you speak . Anyone that has seen Ong Bak know how annoying Humlae and his Mrs (it might be his sister) are for this very reason. 

 

Te Reo on the other hand can be quite hearty sounding and scary, as well as being beautiful, when spoken softly, especially by women.  

Check this perfect example
 

Initiatives like Maaori language week are great to help combat the problems that a dying language faces, and encourage quite simple things: like using Maaori phrases in day to day yarns with our mates, and practising correct pronunciation. These things normalise the Reo. I have noticed real positive things in my own life that show areas of New Zealand making strides. I was at a party with a few friends that work at the ministry of health and it sounds like they are making a concerted effort over there to improve the reo of New Zealanders, ( I'm sure other government organisations do the same) which is encouraging. It's quite refreshing for me to be in a social situation and say out loud "kei hea a Jaime" and to have a pakeha person say casually "oh I think he's in the kitchen". It caught me off guard and it was really cool. It shows an active effort by both organisation and individual to integrate Te reo into everyday interactions and it feels good to have it happen naturally like that.  

The best thing we can do for the language is to use it. Do our best to make it natural and encourage our peers (especially our pakeha peers) when they use Te Reo because it actually is cool to korero.

Here are a couple links with cool phrases to try. Plus who did these mean drawings?

 Greetings and farewell

Greetings and farewell

 Place names

Place names

 Food

Food

How have you been using Te Reo this week? What have been your favourite events or initiatives you've seen this week?