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Marae Reflection Essay

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Below is an essay on "Marae Reflection" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

My first experience on a marae was at Te Papa in Wellington, which offered me the chance to stand on a marae through a shared whakapapa, with no specific protocol.   This was barely a glimpse into what I was about to experience as a Whitereia nursing student when I spent a day on the Takapuwhia Marae in Porirua.   I was a bit ambivalent about the prospect of a long day on the marae.   I was neither uneasy, nor excited and my assumption that I was going to be sitting on a mattress on the floor, in the cold, listening to less than exciting speeches, by people I didn’t know, took the better of me.
As we assembled outside the gate in the cold I was unprepared for how I would feel when the elderly women let out her call of welcome; the power and pull of her karanga raised the hairs on the back of my neck.   I learned the functions of her call, permitting the visitors to move onto the marae, paying tribute to the tupuna (ancestors) and declaring that area of the marae to be tapu (sacred) until formalities are concluded (C Neilson Hornblow, course materials CS123, July, 2009). I had expected that without being fluent in Te Reo (the language) and with limited cultural knowledge, I wouldn’t be able to grasp the meaning and sentiment behind what was happening. In fact, I was surprised by how moved I was by the experience.
T. Parai (personal communication, July 29, 2009) spoke about colonisation of New Zealand by Europeans and others in the 19th century and its huge impact on Maori, as Europeans assumed control of many of the resources of the country including most of the land.   Hearing about how the settlers imposed their own laws, new structures of government, religion, education, health and justice that they expected everyone to live under, enabled me to really see, perhaps for the first time, the impact of colonisation.   Ultimately this impacted strongly on loss of language, loss of land and ownership over resources, and fragmentation of identity and generations...

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