March 03, 2023
The Power of Cultural Gifts and Desperate Healing
The joy of Te Matatini gaining the recognition it alway deserved with its gracious TVNZ coverage is a reminder of the joyful gift of Māori culture and how open and accessible it can be to all Kiwis.
For me, the real beauty and strength of Māori culture is that it is offered selflessly as a gift and if Pakeha want that gift, they can partake in it. If Pakeha don’t want that gift, that’s fine too, but it māori culture and identity now has an unrepentant platform that is confident and unbreakable.
My daughter is in a Māori immersion class and the excitement she and her friends felt at Te Matatini (as well as her upcoming kapa haka performance at Polyfest) highlights the way we can explore and draw strength from each others culture.
Such positivity was missing at another meeting on the other side of town during Te Matatini, a hui between gangs and the Royal Commission Abuse in Care where gang member after gang member highlighted how abuse and violence in state care led them into a life of gangs and crime.
The scale of terrible physical and emotional damage committed on so many of your young children by the State is difficult to comprehend and process.
The lives ruined by cruelty and harshness are etched in the faces of those Gang members who spoke and while no one would ever justify the harm they themselves have gone onto commit, you understand why it happens.
Te Matatini and the inter-gang hui led by Hikoi Nation with the Royal Commission Abuse in Care officials are two attempts to rescue the past and find healing in the now, both are important, both need our support.
In a political landscape of election divisiveness and race baiting stunts, we need more space to heal, build and understand one another.
Editor – TheDailyBlog.nz