Saturday, 26 July 2014

Everywhere you go you always take the weather with you. . .

The unmistakable opening guitar riffs, the tambourine, the ascending and descending bass line, before the vocal harmonies hit - and you know you're listening to Crowded House singing Weather with you.

Now it's the same room but everything's different
You can fight the sleep but not the dream

These lines speak to me about how even though your surroundings may seem the same, but things have changed.  You may not have been responsible for those changes, but you need to think about how to manage those changes.  Maybe rather than manage, we can think about how we cope with those changes, reflect on those changes, ask ourselves why things are different - who changed them and why have they changed - were we able to contribute to that change?  I constantly think about the "dream" and what it is that makes me lose sleep.  And this is what has occupied my thinking space today . . .

Things ain't cooking in my kitchen
Strange affliction wash over me

The only thing that was cooking in my kitchen today was some 'angry pie' when I read a New Zealand Herald article entitled Hope for 'apopo' in weather forecast (which is actually the inspiration for today's blog post).  I was dismayed to read the poll that is attached to the article.  The last time I checked, about 73% voted to just have the word 'apopo' in English - which translates as 'tomorrow'.  It irks me because Te Reo Māori (Maori language, the indigenous language of Aotearoa) is one of three official languages in Aotearoa New Zealand (the other two being English and NZ Sign Language) - so it should be no big deal if we are going to add one more word to be used in weather forecasts by weather reporters.  More than half of the place names of towns in Aotearoa - are in Te Reo Māori anyway - so why the big fuss or reluctance to use 'apopo'?

Do I lie like a lounge room lizard
Or do I sing like a bird released?

These lines make me think about the options I have to make some changes of my own.  And the thing is, even if I do my part to support / tautoko te reo Māori in Aotearoa with whoever I speak to, because I believe it's an important part of my identity as a New Zealander - even when some New Zealanders think te reo Māori is a dead language or Māori culture is not part of their daily life or everyday world (but you quite happily perform the haka in a drunken stupor every time the All Blacks play?!).

I guess what I'm saying is - we can't be selective New Zealanders - you can't embrace the 'easy' parts of an indigenous culture, the easily consumed, almost 'tourist' culture of our indigenous people, of our tangata whenua because you find the language scary - or that it should be relegated to the national Māori broadcasting channel.  I thought we were much more progressive than this.

Moral of the story for me - I'm not going to be too fussed about online comments that show ignorance.  Patience must be had at all times.  We are all entitled to our opinions - they are all valid because everyone has the right to an opinion.  However, we do need to have all of the information to hand to make informed opinions that are based on evidence - but also take into account people's experiences and expertise.

Name calling, insults and abusive language do not fit in with logically presented arguments.  If anything I will be even more conscious of my civic and national duty to uphold my obligations to the Treaty of Waitangi as the founding document of our nation in my everyday life - and that includes supporting Te Reo Māori and Te Ao Māori in Aotearoa.  This will be the weather that I take with me everywhere.

Everywhere you go, you always take the weather with you
Everywhere you go, you always take the weather
Everywhere you go, you always take the weather with you
Everywhere you go, you always take the weather, take the weather, the weather with you . . .