Sunday, June 27, 2010

ZenTiger New Zealand's day of shame

Apparently not many people can sing our national anthem in more than one of our official languages and some-one is trying to raise an outcry. Oh the shame!

The anthem is now often sung first in Maori and then English at major events, and increasingly, not being able to sing in Maori is considered 'not PC'.

I think knowing or not knowing the anthem in two languages should not be used as an excuse to generate division, and to make issues where none need exist.

It continues to frame the debate in "us versus them", and it becomes elitist to demand entry to the club of real New Zealanders requires fluency in Te Reo.

This kind of discussion also ignores our third official language. Perhaps it is time we all learn to sign the national anthem? Let complaints fall on deaf ears, and more positive messages be a sign of the times.

BTW, Here's the Maori version of our anthem (in English).

O Lord, God,
Of all people
Listen to us,
Cherish us
May good flourish,
May your blessings flow
Defend Aotearoa

Let all people,
Red skin, white skin
Mäori, Päkehä
Gather before you
May all our wrongs, we pray,
Be forgiven
So that we might say long live

May it be forever prestigious,
May it go from strength to strength,
May its fame spread far and wide,
Let not strife
Nor dissension ensue,
May it ever be great

Let its territory
Be ever enlightened
Throughout the land
Let envy and dissension
Be dispelled,
Let peace reign
Over Aotearoa

Let its good features endure,
Let righteousness and honesty prevail
Among the people of God
Let it never be ashamed,
But rather, let its name be known
Thereby becoming the model to emulate

7 comment(s):

Swimming said...

BTW English is not officially an official Language in NZ.

Lucia Maria said...

Big News.

It depends who you listen to.

From a NZ Government on Nationhood and Identity:

Official languages

New Zealand has three official languages, English, Māori and sign language. Māori became an official language in 1987. New Zealand sign language became a third official language in April 2006.

But, strangely enough, on the NZ Curriculum website:

Te reo Māori and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) are official languages of New Zealand. 1English, the medium for teaching and learning in most schools, is a de facto official language by virtue of its widespread use. For these reasons, these three languages have special mention in The New Zealand Curriculum.

Are the NZ Curriculum people insinuating a change in consciousness here, starting with the young?

Lucia Maria said...

And rather than editing my comment above, I'd like to point out to the skim readers that the NZ Curriculum website considers English a "defacto" official language, due to widespread use, rather than an official language.


ZenTiger said...

I suspect it's just a vicious rumour propagated by those that do not wish to acknowledge that English is the widespread and common language of New Zealand; its laws are debated, passed and written in English; the major media channels communicate in English; and the language of business and trade is English.

To say it isn't an official language would make any formal declaration that decided not to acknowledge formally what we all understand informally a good example of political revisionism of the worst sort.

Somewhere, in this debate, there may yet be room for truth.

Swimming said...

You`ll note that the Nationhood and identity site doesn't say when English became an official language. Because it officially didnt.It is indeed a defacto official language because of the extent of its use ( in much the same way as laws acknowlege de facto relationships akin to marriage).

It's not just the NZ curriculum that acknowledges this, either.

MathewK said...

One wonders, what else would they like you to do, maori style.

Anonymous said...

BigNews: If English isn't an official language, and it upsets you so much, then why is your blog written in English?

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