Son, these posts will follow my journey to be fluent in Te Reo Māori (the Maori language). I will be taking time each day to become fluent. I have learnt so much of the language just listening to you and Mama. It’s amazing really listening to you!
In saying this, I think it is important to talk to you about my journey prior to this. Your Koro is fluent in Te Reo. I don’t say this lightly but in my opinion he is a great orator in our language. I love listening to the art of oratory that he uses when speaking on the marae. When I was growing up Koro decided that it was better for me to be able to speak English and that this would set me up best for the world ahead of me. When he was young he was punished for speaking his language, I know that he did find it difficult when he first left our papa kainga (homeland – place where we identify our roots) and headed out into the world. Part of the issue he faced was that Māori was his first language and he had to learn english which was the primary language people would speak to him. He would often joke with me that he didn’t know much about the English language until he was in school.
Koro understands so much about our Māori world and he did raise me in this. I understand the meaning of who I am, and the world that is around me. Koro would speak to me about our world and how we fit in it, our relationship to the land, respect we must have for each other and the responsibility upon us as guardians of the land to watch over all living things who are part of our family. He has given me so many tools that have helped me to be who I am today.
These posts will follow my journey, I will leave kupu hōu (new words) as I come to understand the language and resources / tools that I am using. This will hopefully help others who are on a similar journey.
There are so many tools out there now from Māori television, online courses etc, and I have tried using so many of them. The biggest part to success is commitment. Time for me to show you my worth!
I love you son!