Rites of Passage

Tonight I heard many stories of past told by Māori from around the country, and as I listened I was taken back to my childhood memories of growing up in a village, a close knit community that was the first 12 years of my life.
koru hand painted rocks
Even though most of the kaikōrero were of my parents generation, there was a familiarity about their stories; the abundance of kai, a sense of family extending far and wide, community and the importance of manaaki tangata – looking after people.

I also remembered my own youth, how lost I was at times, the disconnection… on the outside everything was fine but on the inside was another story of just wanting to be free, to be me. Then the many lessons that I had to learn on my own… and thinking also about the youth of today and how much things have changed in the last 20 years.
I was reminded once again of the importance of why I do what I do. Storytelling is so important.

Everybody has a story, and all stories are relevant – there is great power in a story to connect with the hearts of others, the very thing that is needed, I believe, to bring about change.
And I’m glad that tonight the importance of story was acknowledged as an important way of moving forward positively into the future.
Tonight I watched Hei Tikitiki – Māori Rites of Passage; a short documentary that is part of a Youth Development Research Project that involves Māori youth workers, youth and whānau exploring traditional youth development practices and sharing their learning with others.
Thanks to Manu Caddie and all those involved in bringing our rangatahi to light and for these stories that I’m sure will be important for the future of our rangatahi and our nation as a whole. You can see more about this project at http://rangatahi.wordpress.com/documents/research/ where you can also download the report of this research project and order the DVD!
Jo x

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