E Ihowā – God of Nations
Every year, in the build up to Māori language week there are reflections and numerous analyses about Te Wiki, and people expressing ideas on what was great about the week, and what could be done better. It’s great to see the interest in Te Wiki continue and become more normalised.
My website and blog has at its core to inspire, engage, encourage, enable. So, I am reluctantly crossing into political or media commentary today. It is also almost impossible to talk about the revitalization of Te Reo without bringing social, political and cultural issues into the discussion.
I am wondering what people think about the opinion aired on Māori TV recently by a prominent TV journalist, for the English verse of the national anthem to be ‘ditched’, and to have only the Māori version sung.
Ki ōku whakaaro~ my view is: this is an awesome kaupapa, and it does prepare us for inevitable change. But, like the flag debacle which put up four (sorry five, or is that three?) choices of flag instead of having a debate first about the representation on a flag of our national values and identity, maybe the better question is to ask what the anthem should reflect about our nation, and then agree or disagree to continue E Ihowā/ God of Nations. Once that’s happened, then we can compose and perform our anthem in Māori.
That kōrerorero, however, is unlikely to be resolved in the short term, and I hope when it does it doesn’t cost the nation $26million to canvas opinions. So until it is resolved, the real challenge is for everyone to learn – off by heart – the current anthem’s first verse in Māori and sing that verse with as much pride and vigour as we do the English version.
Korokoro tuī, e hoa ~ sing sweetly, my friend.