“Māku e ringiringi ki aku roimata nga ara e ahu ana ki te kāinga …”
I will water with my tears the trails that lead to home.
Tūrangawaewae is listed as one of 100 Māori words every New Zealander should know (an admirable if somewhat ambitious list given that the vast majority of New Zealand’s population could explain only a fraction of these). Literally tūranga means ‘standing place’, and waewae ‘the feet’, thus it is most commonly translated as ‘a place to stand’, however it is a translation, like most translations across languages, that fails to capture its full meaning. Not only is tūrangawaewae an acknowledgement of the place one is connected to through whakapapa – our foundation, place in the world, or home; it also signifies a place where one feels empowered or connected. Feeling and being connected – to our earth mother Papatūānuku, and to ngā tāngata katoa (people), is critical if the point of your blog is to be, well – critical. To shake the tree of knowledge and see what bad apples fall down. Or in other words to bring uncertainty to the certain; to challenge the ideas that dominate. To be a ‘bearer of discomfort’. To ask, as talented young Māori singer Majik does in her tribute to Marvin Gaye below – What’s going on?
I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties
through my love for truth – and truth rewarded me.
~ Simone de Beauvoir