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Hospitality and aroha at a tangi

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OPINION: How do you take a 20th century culture into the 21st century?

I've married into a Māori family, have Māori cousins and best friends and attended school at a time when Māori history and culture were curriculum staples. So while not Māori myself, I thought I had a reasonable grasp on many aspects of tikanga Māori.

It wasn't until I attended a tangihanga last month that I realised how much I had to learn.

"How do we take a 20th century culture into the 21st century?" a man who spoke from the paepae asked. "We still don't know, so we have kids and we leave it up to them to figure out."

He joked yet all around were not only the grey heads you might expect to see carrying on with traditions, but many young were there.

Breathing new life into the culture.

* The mornings start out well enough - but where does the time go?
* Learning the art of saving money
* Artistic skills were not passed down to me

I was only at the tangi one evening out of the three-day affair, but I was struck by the community spirit........

© Stuff