Bringing te reo to life in the places we live
Te reo Māori is everywhere. While that riles up certain types who haunt comments sections and talkback radio, watching Jordyn Rapana reaction posts always gives me a laugh and welcome respite. Scrolling down a bit, I might find a helpful video by Hemi Kelly to help me touch up on my grammar. Thursday nights are often spent on the couch playing Kaupapa by Kura Rēhia with my mates. Te reo pumps out of my car radio as I drive up SH35, listening to ‘Rehurehu’ by Muroki, one the new songs from Waiata Anthems. Turning the dial to Radio Ngāti Porou, I hear the latest bilingual East Coast anthem ’35’ by Ka Hao, a group of rangatahi reo Māori lead by award winning artist Rob Ruha. Basically, I can choose to live in a world where it’s the people who reject te reo Māori who are the minority.
But there’s no doubt te reo is trending. It’s more visible now than ever, as it should be. However, for an endangered language to survive it has to be spoken inside the home. As my koro would say, “Ko te reo te pou tokomanawa o te Māoritanga”. Our reo is the foundation of our culture. And for it to survive, it needs to be the pou tokomanawa in our whare: carved with intention, unmoving, unfaltering.