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The first Maori-Indian Hui gathers momentum

13 August 2012

The first Maori-Indian Hui gathers momentum

The first Hui of Maori Indians with the theme “Coming together, working together, growing together” is gathering momentum. An organising committee, comprising of academics, scientists, project managers, lawyers and business people of Maori-Indian origin, has been formed to organise the first gathering.

People from Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Whakatane, Opotiki, Kawhia, and Wellington have shown interest in attending the first Hui. They are also interested in bringing their whanau (family) with them.

Hindu Council of New Zealand, in association with International Centre for Cultural Studies (ICCS Aotearoa), is organising the first Hui (gathering) at the Tangatarua Marae, Waiariki Institute of Technology campus, Rotorua from Friday, 5 October to Sunday, 7 October 2012.

There are two interesting facts about Tangatarua marae. First, Tangatarua translates to "two peoples" and strongly symbolises the bicultural nature of the people who will participate in this first Hui of Maori Indians. Second, this marae was carved by Lyonel Grant, a Maori-Indian himself, who descended from an Indo-Maori marriage between his grandparents.

In addition to cultural and social sessions during the Hui, there is also an excellent line of speakers for the academic session. The speakers include:

• Dr Edwina Pio, an Associate Professor at the Business School of AUT University, Auckland with research interests at the intersection of management, ethnicity, wisdom and pedagogy.

• Dr Lorna Dyall, a Senior Lecturer at Te Kupenga Hauora Maori the Division of Maori Health, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, Auckland University and with research focused on improving Maori health and wellbeing, Gambling and Mental health.

“The initial idea of this gathering was to bring like-minded people of Maori-Indian origin together to improve the networking between them”, said Dr Guna Magesan, General Secretary, Hindu Council of New Zealand, and also the coordinator of this first Hui.

Waitiahoaho Emery from Rotorua and Raewyn Bhana from Auckland are the joint coordinators of the Hui. They are supported by a strong organising committee.

“Looking at the quality of people attending the Hui, we decided to change it to a conference structure, with more expected outcomes from this gathering”, said Waitiahoaho Emery, the joint coordinator of the Hui.

The official programme starts at 4.00 pm on Friday, 5 October 2012, with a powhiri (official Maori welcome). The two-day gathering will provide the participants to learn more about Hindu culture. There will be workshops on vegetarian cooking, Rangoli (traditional Hindu decorative art), “Mehndi-Moko” (temporary henna tattoo) where both Maori and Hindu designs will be taught, yoga, and ladies will have an opportunity to learn Saree wearing.

During the deliberations, participants will share their experiences. Social sessions dealing with issues specific to Maori Indians, for example, identity and acceptance issues that some individuals may have faced, will be of special interest.

“We are also encouraging all Maori-Indian people to write an essay about their family which will be published as part of conference proceedings/ souvenir”, Raewyn Bhana, the joint coordinator of the Hui.

"This Hui has given us the Maori-Indian people to feel proud of their heritage – both Maori and Indian," Ms Bhana added.

This Hui also brings the Maori Indian community together, stay in the Marae together, have a vegetarian kai (food) together and know each other better.

Those who are interested in attending this first gathering of Maori Indians need to register their names with iccs.aotearoa@gmail.com . Please note that there will be a minimal registration fee (koha) to cover food, accommodation, and knowledge sharing.

This gathering will be a smoke-free, alcohol-free and meat-free event. This gathering is one more step forward in Hindu-Maori whakawhanaungatanga (relations).

The Hindu Council of New Zealand believes in the spirit of community well-being on the principle of “Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam” (World is one family).

Hui details:
Event: First gathering of Maori Indians
Location: Tangatarua Marae, Waiariki Institute of Technology campus, Rotorua
Date: Friday, 5 October to Sunday, 7 October 2012
Contact to register interest: email iccs.aotearoa@gmail.com


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