“Manaakitanga” theme for Maori language week 2011

You can also read the news article about this year’s theme for te wiki o te reo Maori (Maori language week), ‘manaakitanga’.

No doubt, manaakitanga (hospitality) is an important tenet in any nation and not just Maoridom, but despite it’s importance, I think focusing on this for a week will do little for the progress of te reo. Cultural themes such as these i.e. kai or manaakitanga are good for cultural learning with a little bit of language learning injection along the way, however, this does little for the progress of advancing the teaching and learning of te reo in any real permanent capacity and what little impact it does have is swallowed up and forgotten for another year like the coming and going of Christmas.

When are we going to see themes with a bit more substance like perhaps, the history of te reo, honoring leadership in te reo or maybe a theme related to literature and maori writing across a range of genre during te wiki o te reo Māori. I believe such topics would leave a longer lasting impression on the minds of people. If te wiki o te reo Maori is about progress then it’s taking a long time to amount to anything, I mean there is no te wiki o te reo Pakeha despite it’s status is one of a defacto official language in contrast to Maori, which is classified as an official language.

So let’s stop drip feeding the progress of te reo with these ongoing yearly tokenisms and go straight for one of the big objectives, such as, compulsory te reo Māori. When that happens, then like te wiki o te reo Pakeha, there will be no more need for te wiki o te reo Maori. Oh, that’s right, there is no te wiki o te reo Pakeha because there’s no need for it. Go figure?

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