Te wiki o te reo Mâori, or Maori Language Week starts today. It has run every year since 1975, and this year’s theme is Te Reo i te Kâinga – Mâori Language in the Home.
But what do the bloody bah hum bugs in NZ do, get all grumpy about it, well not grumpy, just typically Kiwi, couldn’t give a toss. Take for instance the current poll on the Stuff.co.nz web site. Very simply the question asks if we will be making an effort to speak Te Reo during the week.
How do we respond. A clear 70% of you miserable buggers responded “No, I couldn’t be bothered”.
What, are you that pig ignorant, arrogant or just contrary that you couldn’t even answer the phone once with a Kia Ora. Or use the word with your kids? What do you mean you couldn’t be bothered? Oh I get it you couldn’t even expel one breath with two simple words Kia Ora, hence broadening your mind, acknowledging the original inhabitants of this country and being part of modern NZ.
Those who have had the privilege to travel overseas, will soon realise that along with the other great colonial(ised) nations of the world, Australia, the UK and the USA, NZ is sadly among some of the worst in the world for bi or even multi-lingual abilities. We have 3 official languages in NZ, and yet we can only speak 1 language (poorly at that – me included), with pockets of speakers of other languages. We don’t make it compulsory to learn another language, and that very simple failure of our education system alone (in my opinion), is one of the reasons Kiwis are poor at accepting of others (and we really are despite what we think). Many other countries require you to learn more than one language.
The ‘I can’t be bothered’ attitude is just so typical of a closed and small NZ.
If you can’t be bothered, would it really kill you?