Tuesday, November 23, 2010

learning by listening

I've talked about this concept of strengthening communities by talking about the history and significance of an area by tangata whenua. When this happens we get context and understanding as all people are entwined in the area where they live and each landmark and significant place has a story and a connection to other places in the area, and most importantly - the people.

A great initiative up North, from The Whangarei Leader
Two days of fun and Maori storytelling aims to foster an appreciation for the Raumanga area.
The wananga is aimed at families in the Smeaton Drive, Tauroa St and Fairburn St areas, community development officer Kim Anderson says.
The wananga carries on from a hikoi earlier in the year when the streets were blessed and community spirit was fostered, she says.
"It made them feel more at home. There was a sense of belonging, a sense of doing things for the area," she says.
Adults will be taken on a history lesson with a trip to Ruarangi – the mountain now used as Winstone Aggregate's Otaika Quarry.
They will also visit Kaka Porowini Marae.
For kids, there will be a fun day full of activities including traditional Maori games based at The Pulse.
Awesome initiative. I am very impressed with this because every step in the direction of connection and understanding is a step towards a better future for all of us. Building community and bringing people together, with context for today is the best way to create a sense of belonging. And we all need to feel like we belong - especially tangata whenua. This is also an example of a generousity of spirit, a practical example of manaakitanga (making welcome) and I hope the local community take up the offer. We cannot understand the maori worldview without listening.

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