This is a bit of an overdue post, but at the end of July I flew to Christchurch, in the South Island of New Zealand, to meet and film one of my participants, Kommikal. I happened to catch him during Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, or Māori Language Week. This annual celebration of the Māori language started in 1975, and each year encompasses events all over New Zealand that support the use of Te Reo Māori. Even mainstream media outlets participate, as statements like “What’s next on TV2” were delivered solely in Māori, and New Zealand-made programming like the daily serial Shortland Street featured Māori language content. It’s an amazing achievement for proponents of the Māori language that the week has grown to such prominence, particularly when some older New Zealand residents can remember a time (the early 1900’s) when the Māori language was banned on playgrounds at schools and corporal punishment could be administered to children who disobeyed.
Below are some clips from Kommikal’s performance at the Māori Film and Music Festival held at the University of Canterbury as part of their week of classes, workshops, and celebrations held in the Māori language.
To learn more about Kommikal, check out his MySpace.
And to learn a bit of Māori, go on to Kōrero Māori, an awesome online resource developed by the Māori Language Commission for people interested in picking up the Māori language. Kia toa!