Learning and making use of a language can be daunting, especially if you’re just starting out, so we’re sharing a few easy ways you can take part in Te Wiki o te Reo Māori this year!
1. Learn the Basics:
If you're new to Te Reo Māori, start by learning some basic greetings and phrases. Simple words like "Kia ora" (hello), "Haere mai" (welcome), and "Ka pai" (good) can go a long way in showing your respect for the language and culture. The Victoria University of Wellington has an awesome greetings resource – although mostly tailored to a tertiary education environment, there are plenty of useful phrases that anyone can make use of.
2. Attend Workshops and Events:
Many local communities organize workshops, events, and cultural activities during Māori Language Week. These can include language classes, performances, and art exhibitions. Check out the Reo Māori website, they have events listed all across the country!
3. Incorporate Te Reo Māori into Your Daily Routine:
Make a conscious effort to incorporate Te Reo Māori into your daily life. You can label items in your home with Māori words, greet people with "Kia ora" when answering the phone, or learn your mihi and introduce yourself to others in Te Reo. For a bit of a challenge, check out Massey University’s resource on ordering your coffee in Te Reo!
4. Visit Māori Cultural Sites:
If you have a bit of free time this week, consider planning a visit with family or friends to significant Māori cultural sites, such as marae (meeting grounds), waka (canoes), and museums dedicated to Māori history and art. While Te Wiki o te Reo Māori is primarily about celebrating the Māori language, visiting important cultural sites can help deepen your understanding and appreciation of Māori culture, seeing the language as part of a much larger and complex whole. There’s a great list of Māori heritage sites here if you need a place to start.
5. Commit to Ongoing Learning:
Māori Language Week is just the beginning. Make a commitment to continue learning Te Reo Māori beyond this week, no matter how small that commitment is. Whether it's through classes, language partners, or self-study, your ongoing efforts will help keep the language alive and thriving. There are a lot of digital resources to assist you in your learning journey beyond this week, such as the free mobile app Kōrerorero, or Te Whanake, a comprehensive online repository of both free and paid resources, including books, videos, podcasts, animations and more.
Te Wiki o te Reo Māori is not just a week of celebration; it's an invitation to embrace the language and culture of the indigenous Māori people of Aotearoa New Zealand. By participating in these activities, you can contribute to the revitalization and preservation of Te Reo Māori, ensuring its place in Aotearoa’s identity for generations to come.