Saturday, January 26, 2013

パリハカ、言語復興、テ・アタランギ教授法 Parihaka, Language Revitilization, and the Te Ataarangi Method

English translation below!


January 25- After joining in on the celebration of Ratana’s Birthday at Ratana Pa, we travelled to Parihaka near Mt. Taranaki.  We were welcomed as family members by the Te Niho o te Ati Awa marae there where we spent 5 days.
The greater goal for visiting this marae was to learn a Maori Language teaching methodology called Te Ataarangi (The Silent Way). This blog post will report on the Te Ataarangi teaching methodology sessions we took part in from the 25th to the 29th . This method forms the cornerstone of language revitilization in Aotearoa. Ruakiri Hond served as our teacher for the whole five days. We also spent the five days at the marae with Liana Poutu, who Akemi Shimada met during the 2009 Ambassador Leadership Program in Aotearoa.
First we studied the history of Parihaka, the adverse suffering this Maori region had endured, and how the people of Parihaka have continued to believe in the practices of their two leaders Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kākahi- they have rights over their land, and insist on practicing non-violence and living independently without depending on others.
In this historical place, they have been having meetings every month on the 18th for the past 140 years. On the 19th of every month they sing songs celebrating Tohu Kākahi, and it is through this practice that they have also been able to maintain and pass down their history through their own language.
On the 26th, Ruakiri led a session where we could experience Te Ataarangi. Then on the 27th we learned Ainu via the Te Ataarangi method, with Maki Sekine, Kenji Sekine, and Hirofumi Kibata acting as the teachers.
The Te Ataarangi method uses colored blocks to teach language. First we participated in a lecture on Maori language. It was even more fun than we expected, and we were able to speak Maori very quickly. On the same night, Raukiri had a meeting with the teachers who would teach the Ainu class the next day.
This program filled with variety allowed us to experience Te Ataarangi, study, learn how to use it, and put it to practice.  Through the Aotearoa Ainumosir Exchange Program, our Maori hosts really wanted us to acquire this method for Ainu to revitalize the Ainu language. This is definitely not something that Maori were able to accomplish easily and they told us that even now still working to tackle many issue while continuing with this educational method.
Learning Ainu and Maori, while using what we learned everyday was so much fun.

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