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Home arrow Human Interest arrow Local arrow Haere mae ki Ngunguru Marae
Haere mae ki Ngunguru Marae PDF Print E-mail
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Human Interest - Local
Written by Kara and Tim, Temporary Kiwis - Maloneys in NZ   
Sunday, 20 January 2008

Haere mae. Haere mae. Haere mae. Tena kotou katoa.

Welcome. Welcome. Welcome. Hello to all. These were the first words we heard when we arrived at Ngunguru Marae for a Marae Time weekend back in October. It was a cultural introduction weekend, bringing us into the daily life at a contemporary Northland Maori marae (say that five times fast), organized by the wonderful people at Time Unlimited. We experienced flax weaving, preparing (and eating) a hangi, Maori stick games, learned a couple songs in Maori (including one about a whale, complete with hand gestures), tried to play a koauau (Maori flute) and just generally hung out with the locals.

That's the technical definition of our weekend. The actual definition? The best, most real impression? The weekend was hanging out with family. Our family. A family. Every family. For one weekend, we were part of an extended family again, complete with siblings, cousins, little kids running around, kitchen and bathroom chores, and a whole hellofa lotta food. Food coming out the ears. And fry bread. Maori fry bread is my new love.

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