Identity loss and suicide rates in Maoris

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by S.A.M., Jan 23, 2010.

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  1. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Something occured to me today.

    There's an obvious answer to this question - No.
    But it's not the obvious answer for the obvious reason.
    It's the obvious answer because any European that takes on Maori culture to that degree is likely to get adopted by a Hapu, and identify themselves as being maori.
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  3. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    That makes sense. Has NZ ever considered becoming more bilingual? With a standardised Maori taught to everyone [like we have a standardised Hindi]?
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  5. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    In the North Island the subject 'Maori' is compuslory up to (I think) year 11.
    The lessons include protocol as well as language.
    One of the highschools I went to, English became optional the same year as Maori, the other highschool English was compulsory longer than maori.
    Maori can be taken as an optional subject right through highschool, and I'm fairly sure that all the major universities offer courses focusing on Maori language, history, and protocol.
    Then there's the fact that all government departments and public services (except the bus services) have their signs in maori and english.
    As I've mentioned there's Maori TV which recieves Government Funding, and is competetive with the other government channels.
    There's Kohanga Reo, which are ealy childhood education centers that use a total immersion approach.
    Or you can go down to your local marae, but don't forget, it's considered rude not to take a koha.
    I'm sure there's more, this is just what I can think of.
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  7. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    This may sound contradictory, but does learning Maori make native Kiwis more aware of having "lost" part of their culture?
  8. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    My first instinct is to say 'No' because it gives them the opportunity to participate in it.

    Personally, I think that part of the problem is that, to some extent, New Zealand has become something of a Nanny State, and the system, as it stands, breeds victims.

    It's easier to go to the government and ask for a handout then it is to fight and make something of and for yourself.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2010
  9. noodler Banned Banned

    S.A.M.: you may not understand what the big picture is here.
    Most European NZers have been raised in a conventional European way. This is more true the further south you get. The South Island was historically "less important" to the colonialists because most of the important tribes (as far as mana and standing) were in the North Island in the 1800s.

    Maori is not a culture that any of the colonialists would feel they have lost, because they never had it.
    The fact is that the new subjects (now compulsory) are so new that Maori culture for most parents and anyone over say, 20 years old, isn't a part of any "heritage".

    Nonetheless there are more than a handful of non-Maori who have a good understanding of historical and modern issues. The resurgence and the language courses are an attempt to instil a greater sense of Maori culture in an otherwise indifferent group.

    In India, say, a parallel would be if Urdu or Pashtun were made compulsory in some areas. These kinds of political moves don't usually last more than a decade or so, at the most. Since here in NZ the population isn't large, by the time the novelty wears off, there will be at least some incorporation of Maori cultural ideas into the "mainstream". The effects will be felt years or decades later.

    This will mean perhaps a more balanced cultural outlook, rather than the quite dismissive outlook Europeans have historically had. But it's just culture, and, it should be warts and all, no hiding the cannibalism and enslavement of other tribes under the cultural carpet. Likewise we, the Europeans, should honestly evaluate that history, what we did wrong, what the effect of a capitalist culture had on their and our history, but in the same cultural setting.

    There are plenty of oppressed ethnic groups around the world, the Romani, Jews, Palestinians, minorities in India--pretty much anywhere another ethnic group views itself as superior and so more entitled. I don't think this is going to disappear from the world or from NZ, because it's really quite a normal thing for humans to do to each other.
  10. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    I understand. But the Europeans are not "a majority ethnic group" in NZ. They are immigrants who have replaced the local population and made them into a minority ethnic group. Thats different from the Romani and Jews, who have held on to archaic tribal motifs although living always in the midst of other large populations

    Note also that it is the Romani and Jews who move around, but not the Maori.
  11. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    That's not even how some/many Maori see them S.A.M
  12. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Does that change the facts?
  13. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Not everything is as black and white as you appear to want it.

  14. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    What is the difference, in your opinion, between European occupation of India and European occupation of NZ?

    In shades of grey?
  15. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    And there it is.

    New Zealand ≠ India
    Maori ≠ Indians.

    For a start off, if nothing else, there was a desire to avoid repeating the mistakes made in India.
  16. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Hey tell me S.A.M
    What's the difference between the British occupation of India, and the Indian occupation of Fiji?

    Or are you an advocate of apartheid (except when there's muslims being disadvantaged).
  17. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Honestly, I don't know anything about the Indian occupation of Fiji.

    I do distinguish between treating people as subjects in an historical context and treating them as subhumans who need re-education camps to qualify as part of the herd.

    Since you say that Maoris have a "different" view of Europeans [and then link me to a word which says exactly what I said, in different terms], I am curious to what you think makes the European occupation of NZ "different". Most Indians call the European occupiers as "firangis" or "goras" which means foreigners or whites, which to me seems very similar to calling them tauiwi

    So what exactly do you see as "the mistakes" in India, other than the fact that Indians are no longer under a Union Jack?
  18. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Tauiwi is also a term applied to other iwi - Kaitahu are tauiwi when they're on Nga puhi land.

    As I understand it the indian occupation of Fiji occured during the 1877-1878 el nino and subsequent monsoon failures, at that time, the British had a strict free trade policy, which to them meant not intefering with the grain market (which has severe implications with regards to humanitarian aid).

    As far as re-education camps goes? This is 21st century new zealand. Not the 1870s.


    Get a grip, or apply your own standards to yourself.
  19. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    As far as I know and I briefly looked it up, Indians on Fiji are descended from indentured labourers put there by Europeans so I don't know what different standards I am applying there.

    I understand that the assimilation of Maoris due to demographic constraints means that Maori have adopted a more laissez faire attitude to the Europeans.

    But this is a topic on Maori identity and you claim to be of Maori descent, so

    1. What were the mistakes with India which were not repeated in NZ
    2. What is wrong with the statement I made:

    Why are you feeling defensive about it?
  20. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Do you know the musical play "Brigadoon"? Entire village reappears for one day only once in every 100 years in the Scottish Highlands to avoid being contaminated by the world's culture. I.e. moving around in time, instead of space, seems to preserve your culture too.
  21. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Sounds interesting.

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  22. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    The same has been true of the U.S. and its attitude--both official and popular--toward our aboriginal people, for a decade or two longer. Since the Baby Boomers took over as the bringers of new motifs to American culture in the 1950s and 1960s, picking motifs out of foreign cultures and stemming the loss of motifs from indigenous cultures has become a high priority. Recording the last speakers of Indian languages, filming their dances and other rituals, learning their crafts and tracing their histories have become popular avocations. Many movies and TV series have been made about Indian culture and history, from a favorable and sometimes maybe even an ever-so-slightly idealized perspective. "Little Big Man" and "A Man Called Horse" spring to mind.

    Unfortunately most Indian tribes have shrunk beyond critical mass, their people outmarried or at least citified, forsaking their native culture for the comforts of mainstream civilization as people have been doing for eleven thousand years before they consciously realize what they traded away in the bargain. Their language and dress are the first to go, as they walk through shopping malls in blue jeans speaking English. Glaring exceptions are:
    • The Cherokee, who had the sheer luck to be forcibly resettled on land bubbling with a greasy black liquid that no one foresaw a use for in those days.
    • The Navajo, who happen to live on remote Southwestern land that is still not a prime destination for Euro-American settlers.
    • The Hopi, who are so remote that their rez is completely surrounded by the Navajo.
    But even the Cherokee, Navajo and Hopi drive trucks, wear clothes from the mall, watch TV and learn English as they keep their own languages alive.
    "Normal," as they say, is just a setting on a washing machine. We get to define "normal behavior" and it certainly changes over the millennia. We've finally gotten around to recognizing that it's wrong to eradicate the cultures of conquered people. Not just the injustice, which is something we still can't always remember to respect in times of crisis, but the irretrievable loss to the majority culture. How many valuable ideas did we lose forever when the Christians almost literally eradicated the cultures of the Inca and the Olmec/Maya/Aztec, two of the world's only six independently developed civilizations?
    I don't think that distinction holds up historically. In all but the most recently settled places on earth, like much of Oceania including New Zealand, everyone who lives there now are the descendants of people who "occupied" the place in the past and marginalized, assimilated, drove off or killed off an earlier stratum of inhabitants. In "Angle-Land," the Germanic Anglo-Saxons replaced the Celtic Britons, who took over fromthe pre-Indo-European tribe who built Stonehenge, who probably did the same to an earlier wave of migrants, who might well have found someone else living there when they sailed over.

    Each successive wave of migrants brings a more recent stratum of technology, which almost invariably facilitates their success in overwhelming the indigenes in any of several ways.
    Now that's an important distinction. The Rom were driven out of India after fighting for the losing side in a civil war, and the Diaspora Jews left an occupied homeland in an elusive search for fairer treatment. Ironically, in the two places they found it--China and the United States--they became so comfortable that they began to disappear from assimilation and outmarriage. (In China they have vanished completely except for traces of their DNA.)

    When a people leave their homeland they are already conscious of their loss and one of their goals is to find a place where they can reestablish at least some of their own culture. When a people are overrun by conquerors, their priority is survival. Their communities are disrupted, their homes are destroyed, often physically, and they may not have the time, energy or other resources to think about salvaging anything beyond the level of flesh and blood.
    We staged that musical in high school. The story centers on an American who wants to open the place for oil exploration. How prophetic. It's a 1947 Lerner & Loewe musical that has given us quite a few "old standards" like "It's Almost like Being in Love." It's based on a German legend, but so soon after WWII they figured that a play about Germany would not sell a lot of tickets.

    The story seems to resonate with successive generations, and it continues to be produced successfuly in both the USA and the UK, and has been made into a movie and a TV show.
  23. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    They ran out of food in India, sought work elsewhere, the British administration facilitated that and offered them work in Fiji, among other places.

    This suggests to me that you understand neither Maori culture, nor the modern interaction between maori and pakeha.

    Because it, especially in the context of your, what appears to be, anti-european... I'd use crusade, but that's such a european term... That those people that happen to be of european descent, and happen to be born in New Zealand, because it's where their parents parents parents parents parents legitemately bought a few acres of land and settled over 100 years ago. And before you go yapping on about american indians and the purchase of New York or whatever, I know of at least one area in New Zealand that was sold twice, from the same Maori Iwi to the same European settlers, because the New Zealand Company came along, and decided that there was inadequate proof the purchase had been legitemate.

    My objection is to the fact that what you appear to be promoting is apartheid, which is something that you've protested vociferously against when one considers the israel/palestine situation, so either you're a straight out hypocrite, or you're being disingenous - you failed to address this last time I raised it, which I've only ever seen you do when the other person is right.

    The simple fact of the matter is that only a very small minority of Maori are interested in apartheid, most of the rest of New Zealand wants to move forwards to this ideal of "one people, one land", to redress the historic wrongs so that we can move forwards. Attitudes like yours "zOMG teh europeans are soooooo EBIL they do it everywhere they go see India! New Zealand! Israel! Palestine!"

    What you're talking about reflects a very small proportion of New Zealands history. The first settlements were made in 1920.
    The landwars ended in 1872, and the first maori politicians were in parliment by 1900.

    The other point that you seem to be missing is that the Maori are not entirely blameless in some respects/regards, in terms of the modern perception of them in New Zealand. For example, not all of the treaty claims are justified or justifiable - there was talk for a while of Maori claiming royalties on all radio wave transmissions in New Zealand under the treaty, likewise, there was talk at one stage of claiming ownership of the seabed between New Zealand and Hawaiki (where ever that is). There's also the perception that many of them are to do with money, which was fueled, to some extent by the seabed and foreshore issue, which only reached the public eye in New Zealand after aquaculture in New Zealand started making an international name, and becoming extremely profitable.

    Of course, I suspect that Noodler would probably give you a different answer, because on the face of it, it would seem he's had a different experience to me (it seems to me that he's older, and probably on the east coast of the North Island).
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