Thursday, August 12, 2010

banning culture

Equating haka with violence and banning it so that it can only be performed in a dressing room is the wrong way to do things and insulting. This banning is not based upon knowledge of maori tikanga or kaupapa, maori were not asked. What messages are we sending to the young maori boy who is told his culture is worthless and is relegated to the dressing room. Who owns and is responsible for maori culture and the understanding around maori cultural items?

From Stuff
"Under-13 boys playing in the Roller Mills rugby tournament in Cambridge next month have been barred from performing pre-match haka because of fears they lead to violence and intimidation.
Dave Syms, the chairman of the northern regions junior advisory board, this week said the ban was put in place because some people did not have the maturity to cope with the emotions sparked by haka.
"We're talking 12-year-olds and for some of them the emotion of the thing is too much for them," Syms said.
"Haka are great but there is a time and a place. They are a special thing performed by special teams."
"They are not performed in the ITM Cup or at any other age group level ... To be honest I think their importance has been over estimated especially by parents and coaches," he said.
Sorry dave but you are talking rubbish.
"It is an absolute travesty to equate the haka with violence,'' Dr Sharples said.
''Violence does occur during rugby games, and other contact sports, but to blame the haka is ridiculous.
''The haka is performed to inspire enthusiasm and pride, to build team unity, and to lift the players’ mental alertness before the game,'' he said.
''It is a challenge, to your own team as well as your opponent, and teams need to be taught the full discipline of the haka, including respect for the other side.
That is what is all about dave.
"Dr Sharples said there was a culture of school students doing the haka, which was a fantastic way to incorporate tikanga Maori into the life of the school.
"The fact that school rugby teams want to emulate the All Black haka is great. But to confine it to the changing sheds is ridiculous, and defeats the purpose," he said.
''Coaches and managers must take a strong line and constantly remind players that violence is not acceptable.
''Coaches, managers and tournament organisers need to address the behaviour, not blame the haka, and I am disgusted that this ban suggests the haka is somehow bad, and should not be performed in public.
Pita is pretty upset over this, for me it is a slippery slope. Creating falsehoods around maori culture and using those falsehoods to help you achieve your goals is not on, even if the goals are worthy, like reducing the carnage at a age under 13 rugby tournament.

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