Te Reo Maori me ona Tikanga is what I have been brought up with since I was small.
Te Reo Maori me ona Tikanga is what I have been brought up with since I was small. Now at the age of 50, I have a desire a passion to learn more, to stand with my People and to be a proud Maori of whom can speak our Mother Tongue, confidently, fluently would make me so proud. I have always had the language around me as I was growing up and my Nana taught me a lot as a child. Growing in to adolescence, I tended to stray and Reo was not spoken in our home by my parents, extended whanau or in the community. It was as if Te Reo was not cool. We would get shy! How silly is that, to be ashamed of our own language. As time got on I got back in to Te Reo at High School and the passion in me began to grow. I was hungry for Te Reo and went to Whare Wananga where I learnt more and started learning Te Ataarangi at Waikato Polytechnic under the guidance of Whaea Petiwaea Manawaiti. I loved it there and continued to blossom in my Reo. I moved abroad and spent many years overseas, however my Reo never left me and I always knew one day it would serve it’s purpose and would be my companion for the rest of my life. It’s my identity and I want to share it with my loved one’s with those who want to learn. Working throughout the years has pulled me from my Marae, Haapu and Iwi, but I would return home when I could and when the matter arose. Over the last 13 years, I have been doing Wananga at home, online and trying to upskill myself a bit more. Recently over the last 3-4 months, I have been learning Reo under the guidance of my Aunty, Robyn Roa and her daughter Hariru every fortnight Tuesday via Zoom of where we all learn our Reo that was spoken by our Tupuna who have passed on. Keep our Ngati Werewere, Ngati Haua dilect, Mita and Words alive. I had my two mokopuna live with me for 2 years and they both enrolled at Kohanga Reo and went on to Te Kura Kaupapa Maori. Having them under my roof, led me to Korero ano. I had to in order to help my moko’s, but they also helped me to speak again, to not be shy and to be proud of my Reo no matter where I was. This was the turning point of where I wanted to refresh and get back into the learning mode of our Reo. Since then, it has grown stronger and I am doing what ever I can to learn and korero. So for me, I will do what I have to in order to take part and to be amongst the millions of people to make this Dream, Goal become a Reality. It has been a long time coming. I am passionate about this and am proud to say, that it’s Cool to Korero!
We were made to feel low, to not be proud of ourselves, our Culture, our Reo. Maori Language Week at school was one of my Auntys coming to school to cook a Maori Bread, we would learn how to count from 1 to 10 and learn some colours and may be do a play about Rona and the Moon or Maui and the Sun. Dressed in brown paper piupiu. It was horrible and degrading. Now we have much to be proud of with the birth of Kohanga Reo, Kura Kaupapa, Wharekura and Wananga that have been opened. With Te Panekiretanga, the revitalisation of Te Reo on our TV Screens in our Waiata. How can we not be proud of the successes that Maori have achieved over the years. From the Petihana Reo Maori in 1972 to now, 2020, we have come a long way and have much to be grateful for from our forefathers, predecessors who fought, paved the way for our future and did not give up fighting the cause. We owe it to them to continue in a Humarie forum of which will benefit us all. I am here to definitely stand tall and make a difference mo toku Reo me ona Tikanga. Kia ora, Na Sally Wilson.