Whanaungatanga – the value of family and whakapapa

Whakapapa connects us with each other and our history. It connects us with the land and all that is around us. It is an important part of our culture.

As I grew up Koro would recite whakapapa every morning. I never really understood the importance until I was a lot older. In his whaikōrero (speech) he will give reference to our connection to the listeners to show them that we are all family. As family there is a respect that we have for each other.  Each of us is connected in some way. Our culture values this and this is a value that has virtue.

I can remember Koro telling me the importance of our connection to the earth and the respect we must show her. She is our tipuna(ancestor) part of our family. It’s the reason why we go around picking up rubbish son. The respect we have for her so that she will be as beautiful as she is today for you and your children in the future.

Whanaungatanga is that for me. The feeling of oneness and connection that we have with our loved ones. Watching you with your cousins today reminded me of this.

Correct! you guys are sitting eating ice blocks. How does that relate to whakapapa. Whakapapa unites us and lets us know who you are. Today you were united with your cousins. Strengthening your bond and kinship.  Whanaungatanga extends to others who we share kinship with. It is the love we have for others.

Today I listened to you talk to the child next to you guys who dropped their rubbish. “Kaua e pēnā “. He wouldn’t have understood what you said but I did. It also meant alot the way you said it. As if he was hurting the earth. I know that you have an understanding of our connection with the earth and that makes me proud. It’s a small thing but the value you have for your family and the world that surrounds you puts hope and pride in me. Remember who you are and where you come from son.


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