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Māori Language Week

Immerse yourself in the richness of New Zealand's heritage – Māori Language Week! Speak the words, feel the spirit, celebrate the culture.
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When it is?
September 16
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New Zealand
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Join us in embracing the vibrant culture and history of New Zealand during Māori Language Week, which commences on September 16. This engaging celebration emerged in the 1970s as a response to concerns about the decreasing usage of the Māori language. It's now grown into a nationwide movement, connecting people of all backgrounds around the beautiful Māori language, known as 'te reo Māori'. This event is more than just speaking new phrases, it's about feeling the impact of language, connecting with the community and embracing Māori heritage. Let's dive in and not only speak the words but feel the spirit and celebrate the culture!

History of Māori Language Week

Māori Language Week Dates

Māori Language Week Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1820</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>First Māori Written Language</div><div class='timeline-text'>The Māori language, or 'te reo Māori', first appeared in written form in a hymn book. </div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1840</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Treaty of Waitangi</div><div class='timeline-text'>The treaty, also known as Te Tiriti o Waitangi, was signed, recognizing Māori language and customs.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1877</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>English Dominance</div><div class='timeline-text'>An education act was passed making English the only language taught in schools.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1972</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Te Reo Petition</div><div class='timeline-text'>The Te Reo Māori Society presented a petition to Parliament calling for the teaching of te reo in schools.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1975</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Māori Language Week</div><div class='timeline-text'>The first Māori Language Week was established by the Māori Language Commission and celebrated in New Zealand.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1987</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Official Language</div><div class='timeline-text'>The Māori language is recognized as an official language of New Zealand through the Māori Language Act.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate Māori Language Week

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Learn basic Māori phrases</h3><p class='facts-text'>Start your day off by learning basic Māori phrases and greetings. From "Kia ora" (Hello) to "Ka kite anō" (See you later), incorporating these phrases into your daily communication is a fun way to immerse yourself in the language and culture.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Cook traditional Māori food</h3><p class='facts-text'>Try your hand at Māori cuisine. Many traditional Māori dishes are enjoyed by New Zealanders nation-wide, such as the hangi, a meat and vegetable feast cooked in an underground oven, and rewena bread, a popular Māori bread made using a potato starter.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Participate in Māori art workshops</h3><p class='facts-text'>Art is a significant part of Māori culture, with carving and weaving being two key forms of Māori art. Attend a local workshop or watch online tutorials to learn traditional techniques while appreciating the beauty and depth of Māori artistry.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Watch Māori films and listen to Māori music</h3><p class='facts-text'>Immerse yourself in Māori culture by watching films and listening to music in the Māori language. Pick a few movies, such as "Whale Rider," "Once Were Warriors" and "Boy," to get a window into Māori stories, or tune into radio stations that play Māori music. </p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Join a local Haka workshop</h3><p class='facts-text'>If there’s a cultural center or Māori community near you, check if they’re running haka (traditional Māori war dance) workshops. Not only will this give you the chance to learn the dance but you'll also dive deep into understanding its rich history and symbolism.</p></div></div>

Why Māori Language Week is Important

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>We learn a new language</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Māori Language Week gives us an opportunity to learn and use the Māori language, also known as te reo Māori. It's a unique and beautiful language with a rich history that adds depth to our multicultural experience.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>We appreciate Māori culture</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>By immersing ourselves in Māori cuisine, arts, films, and music, we gain a deeper appreciation for the richness of Māori culture. We can celebrate their heritage and creativity, showing respect for the importance of preserving cultural diversity.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>We engage in meaningful community experiences</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Through workshops and community activities - like learning the traditional Māori war dance, the haka - Māori Language Week fosters unity, understanding, and respect among diverse communities. It's a heartwarming occasion that draws people closer together through shared experiences and learning.</p></div></div>

5 Intriguing Facts Celebrating Māori Language Week

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>1</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>The Māori language has rich oral traditions</h3><p class='facts-content'>Storytelling, poetry and songs have been preserved through oral transmission over centuries. These oral traditions contain important cultural knowledge, principles, and philosophies that represent the Māori people's worldview.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>2</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>The Māori language is a cornerstone of New Zealand's national identity</h3><p class='facts-content'>Te reo Māori, included in New Zealand's national anthem and many place names, captures the essence of the nation's unique cultural identity. It unifies New Zealanders and sets the country apart on the global stage.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>3</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Māori words often have multiple meanings</h3><p class='facts-content'>Many Māori words cannot be directly translated into English because they carry rich layers of meaning that go beyond simple definitions. These words reflect the deep connection between the Māori language and their cultural beliefs, values, and way of life.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>4</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Māori language is an expression of cultural autonomy</h3><p class='facts-content'>For the Māori people, their language is a significant symbol of their autonomy, identity, and cultural pride - a tool for expressing their distinctiveness and fostering their sense of belonging.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>5</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>The revitalization of Māori language is a language renaissance</h3><p class='facts-content'>Since the 1980s, a Māori language revival has been underway. This includes the setting up of Māori immersion schools and making it one of New Zealand's official languages. This revival showcases the resilience of the Māori people in preserving and revitalizing their ancestral language.</p></div></div>

Māori Language Week FAQs

Māori Language Week Dates







Cultural Holidays