Ngā Whāinga – Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori Challenges 2021 – Get grounded

This year for Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, the Māori Services team shares some whakataukī and ideas around keeping well.

Hoki atu ki tōu maunga kia purea ai e koe ki ngā hau o Tāwhirimātea.
Return to your mountain to be cleansed by the winds of Tāwhirimātea.

This whakataukī is commonly used metaphorically to indicate a certain loss within yourself where the only thing to do is to go home to your ancestral lands. To walk amidst Tāwhirimātea can be a journey of healing, grounding and rediscovery of a part of you that has been waiting to be unleashed.

But how does this relate to me?

Let us look at COVID Lockdown Level 4. We’ve all been there, done that and currently reliving that cycle of returning home to heal from sleepless nights from work-family life. Grounding back to the basics of cooking, conversations off the screens and structured routines to stop the craziness. Lastly, rediscovering new parts of yourself like baking, art, and things that you never thought you could do. When we look at our mental health, we are clothed with support to help guide us back to the right path. Though for some, we confide in ourselves to get through obstacles.

What do you get out of going back to your mountain?

For Māori, it is more than just going back to your mountain, it’s going home. Home is where the heart rests, tōku tūrangawaewae. It is so powerful when someone tells you ‘It’s time to go home. I need to go home.’ It’s a weird feeling being home though, especially living so far away, a different island, country.

There’s an overwhelming sense of comfort when you see that signal of home, mine is my maunga, mountain. You gain a full cup of wairua that was missing from your day to day life. You gain a new sense of belonging that grounds you to your whakapapa, your identity. Going home, you appreciate more of your upbringing and how far you’ve come to date.

Returning back to everyday life, seems more purposeful and meaningful after going back to your mountain.

Hei mahi - things to do

  • Go back to your grandparents, your elders and listen to their stories of your maunga, your home, your tūrangawaewae
  • Take moments for ‘me time’ in the sun, in the air and being one with nature in the open wonders of the outdoors. Pick some rubbish up and put it where it belongs.
  • Take some time to look up and admire the birds, the animals and all the trees, what connects you back to your tūrangawaewae, your standing ground
  • Take the metaphor the next step into Lockdown Level 1 and go home to your upbringing, to your hometown and to your mountain.
  • Have a go at some eBook learning with identity, land and tikanga from Hirini Moko Mead to what it’s like living with the traditions of te ao Māori.

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