Celebrated since 1975, te wiki o te reo Māori (Māori language week) is an opportunity for all New Zealanders to embrace our official indigenous language in their everyday lives. More and more we are hearing the Māori language being used to great people, to introduce things and as exclamations in the form of colloquialisms.
Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (the Māori Language Commission) produce resources each year to support the wider community of learners. Their logo for te wiki o te reo Māori features a stylised hei tiki – “an iconic symbol used to depict and evoke messages and themes of strength, leadership and pride within our nation.”
The kanohi or face, “represents the evolving face of Aotearoa and is depicted in a modern form to reflect just that while reinforcing the notions of pride and strength. “
While the arero or tongue, represents “the revitalisation of te reo Māori as a living language and as an ordinary means of communication…” while highlighting the key messages of te wiki o te reo Māori:
- Strengthen the status of the Māori language
- Strengthen critical awareness of the revitalisation of the Māori language
- Strengthen the acquisition of the Māori knowledge
- Strengthen people’s determination to use the Māori language
- Strengthen the Māori language itself by ensuring it can be used in all circumstances, and the right words and terms are used
- Strengthen Māori language revitalisation
This idea of strengthening ties in with the theme of Te wiki o te reo Māori:
Kia kaha te reo Māori / Let’s make the Māori language strong
Te reo Māori (the Māori language) is not a ‘one week, once a year’ language, it is a living language and as such it should be used at home, at work, at school, everywhere and anywhere. As the saying goes ’a little word can save a language’, so why not give it a go, start small and aim big! Help us strengthen te reo Māori within our community, within our whānau (family) but most of all within ourselves! Te reo Māori is a doorway to another world view, another perspective. It is a journey and like all journeys there is a lot to be discovered about this language and about ourselves. But it is not a journey we have to take by ourselves.
There are a number of community free courses now offered, not to mention web resources and even books!
During Te wiki o te reo Māori we will be sharing resources to help strengthen te reo Māori using the arero of the Māori Language Week logo as inspiration:
- Red – Ako/Learn
- Pink – Whakarongo/Listen
- Orange – Waiata/Sing
- Yellow – Panui/Read
- Green – Tuhi/Write
- Blue – Kōrero/Speak
Stay tuned to the blog for daily posts throughout the week highlighting all kinds of resources to help you strengthen te reo Māori.