Interview with “Te Ūpoko o Te Ika” radio station
Torangapu throwback on “Te Upoko o te Ika” Wednesday’s 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. It’s politics with a pukana! DOITZ Miriam can you hear us? Yes, I can.
Kia Ora, welcome to “Te Upoko o te Ika” radio station. How are you?
I am very good, grateful to God Kororia ki te Atua (All thanks to God)
Look. I was just telling our listeners about the fact that Being a Muslim person and being from Iraq that you’ve noticed some similarities Between your culture and and Maori culture. What made you want to learn Te reo Maori in the first place? Firstly, My name is Mariam. I am and Arab and a Muslim. I am also Maori at heart I began my journey learning Te Reo 2 years ago from the start i noticed the similarities between these cultures
Between the lifestyles of Maori people and Muslim people.
So from the get go I did definitely notice the similarities there My culture and Te Ao Maori (The Maori world) generally.
We did start learning Initially as you know, just as a form of respect For the whenua (land) that we were living on but yeah from the get-go I started noticing these similarities and that’s what drew me in a little bit more and yeah couldn’t get enough really of Te Ao Maori after that so I’m guessing, you know, the family unit is a big part of of your culture and also Including the elderly into the whanau sort of set as well whereas European cultures a little bit different it’s all about Well, it’s all about yourself Yes you are right.
There are in fact alot of examples for that there’s actually a lot of examples there between you know that similarity of what you’re describing is like a collectivistic culture Where the ropu (group) comes before the individual there. So
The group if more important than the individual the group comes before the individual The example of our love for kinship So the idea of relationships is really important to both of us.
also, our focus on the spirit The spiritual wellbeing by using prayers at all times.
So spiritual well-being really and the use of prayers to reinforce that, that’s definitely something here and our values of “guardianship” to the environment, children, family, everything so that sense of responsibility and guardianship of things like the environment Children, the family, that sort of stuff, you know what it comes to the political side of Maoridom, I understand that You know when it comes to Tino Rangatiratanga (sovereignty).
You are a supporter of that idea aren’t you? I support that kaupapa. Control of Maori people over Maori affairs. We do we have the same struggle I feel as well, its just the struggle for our mana One’s identity (tuakiri) and one’s reo (language) and one’s ahurea (culture).
Things that you have to fight for It’s part of who you are and your identity. So we’re in a similar boat We definitely know what that feels like. And so yeah, definitely tautoko that kaupapa there compared to when you first arrived in New Zealand Until today, I guess You know, there were some parts of our society. That was really sort of I Don’t know. I don’t want to use the word good but sort of really sort of vocal about letting You know that you’re you’re somebody different How do you feel now after the losses in Christchurch? The main thing is when people don’t know something, they fear it so it is very important..
to learn if people learn about other languages, other cultures and other faiths, they won’t fear each other They will see some similarities.
So i think what happened with Otautahi (Christchurch) it started dismantling that idea. when you don’t know something, you know, you fear the unknown. You fear the unknown so after the atrocity on the 15th of March in Christchurch people started understanding the effects of “hate speech” Fearing the unknown only after that sadness So definitely Definitely breaking those dynamics I reckon and starting to to open up those korero about inclusion and just clarity of things that we didn’t actually take the time to understand or know beforehand In your opinion, are peoples attitudes and feelings towards you and Muslim people different now? Any better? yes definitely My people have seen the love and support from society watching the haka, hearing the waiata (songs), seeing the flowers and messages. That’s very beautiful.
For those of us who want to, you know, support our Muslim brothers and sisters. Is it appropriate for us to go and visit the mosque and also share in the prayers Would you encourage that as well? Of course, The Mosque, the masjid as we call it Its exactly the same as a Marae, really just obviously Sacred place of prayer but definitely a place of meeting, inclusion so it definitely encourage if you want to have a korero with some people there or just to have a look really just out of curiosity and they’re absolutely welcome there.
You take your shoes off like you would on Marae That’s all good.
and it’s pretty much the same tikanga (protocol) there nothing quite different So, you know feel free.
and I think I’ll just end it By saying to the listeners here.
You know the whakatauki (proverb):
With my basket and your basket, the people will thrive.
So I say to my New Zealand Be Strong. Be united. Peace be upon you Thank you for your words to us tonight. Much love to you sister Tena Koe That’s Mariam Arif from the Muslim community speaking to us tonight on the Torangapu show