Saturday, February 28, 2009

Te Reo Maori - Language

Every year, a week is set aside to celebrate Maori Language - Maori Language Week – something that has occurred in New Zealand every year since 1975. In 2008 Maori language (te Reo Maori) was recognised throughout the country and celebrations followed the theme, te Reo i te kainga – Maori language in the home. When I was in the Ngai Tahu offices here in Christchurch during that time, I was lucky enough to see parts of a video that was been prepared as part of the Ngai Tahu language initiatives. I also picked up the above brochure (image), prepared as part of Ngai Tahu’s Generation Reo campaign, Kotahi Mano Kaika, Kotahi Mano Wawata (One thousand homes, one thousand aspirations), which was established to raise awareness of and an appreciation for Maori language among Ngai Tahu people. There has been a huge resurgence in te Reo Maori, especially since New Zealand officially became a bilingual nation in 1987. Generation Reo is all about encouraging families to speak Maori at home and it’s about a whole lot more than just giving the next generation a second language; it’s also about strengthening identity and saving another of the world’s languages from extinction. As someone who is passionate about language fullstop, I find it very gratifying to see Ngai Tahu, as just one iwi (tribe) on a mission to restore te Reo Maori within homes. As their promotional material points out, “it takes one generation to lose a language and three generations to revive it.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin