Author Topic: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?  (Read 8958 times)

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Vegemite Girl

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Re: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2010, 11:45:53 PM »
I would raise you Waikato, well anything Hamilton

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Hanna

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Re: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2010, 01:05:22 AM »
I actually like that viewpoint - major events in one's life should be acknowledged in a memorable way.  I find myself wishing that every culture had some Haka equivalent.  And I can understand why people from cultures without one might feel a bit left out when one is being performed. 

Goodnight Kiwi

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Re: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2010, 10:35:43 AM »
I would raise you Waikato, well anything Hamilton

Amandaelizabeth

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Oi!  That's my beloved homecity/university!

And I agree with you both; I would have been surprised not to have seen at least one Haka at my graduation ceremony (there were several).  But they were kept quite short and (relatively) unintrusive.

rashea

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Re: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2010, 11:14:08 AM »
The problem I see here is that it is Western view of the world that events have to be managed in a certain way and in a specified time frame.  If people do not confirm to this view point it is rude.  The Maori view would be that it is rude to rush through things, without paying respects to individuals who need to be acknowledged in a a culturally appropriate way. What is a few moments compared to three or four years hard work at University and the time put into schooling before that.   


But unless the person being honored has contributed something to the whole university in such a way that everyone would know about it and want to celebrate them, isn't it better to separate those events? It just seems to make more sense that if there are 2000 people (just a number) there and only 50 of them see a particular graduate as having impacted them significantly then it makes sense to hold the celebration and acknowledgement of that person to a time when everyone understood it.

And if nothing else, hopefully the Maori would have celebrations for smaller numbers of people at a time if each person needs to be recognized for 5 minutes. 5 minutes is a big deal when it's for 100 people.

I would have been fine with it for a really short period, but maybe it would have been better to hold it to the end, and recognize all the people who put in a lot of hard work.
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wendelenn

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Re: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2010, 11:34:56 AM »
I actually like that viewpoint - major events in one's life should be acknowledged in a memorable way.  I find myself wishing that every culture had some Haka equivalent.  And I can understand why people from cultures without one might feel a bit left out when one is being performed. 

But if everyone was honored like that, the graduation would take hours!
"I don't mean to be rude", he began, in a tone that threatened rudeness in every syllable.

"--yet sadly, accidental rudeness occurs alarmingly often," Dumbledore finished the sentence gravely.  "Best to say nothing at all."

the Wyffe

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Re: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?
« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2010, 11:37:38 AM »
Thanks to this thread, I am now obsessed with youtube videos of the New Zealand Rugby Team, the All Blacks, doing the Haka.  

Heh heh heh.  I am obsessed with Dan Carter, haka or not!

Re the haka, if it's normal in that culture and those unis then I don't think we can say it's rude just because our own cultures might not understand.  The LW may have put a very negative spin on it - as one Kiwi posted, they sounded racist.

I went to the Open University graduations last year, and they were totally different from most UK ones.  Many OU students came late to higher education, or juggled massive commitments - one of my students was in her 70s and started after going blind in one eye.  Their graduations had all the formal processions etc, but then people cheered and hollered most of the way through - 'Go on, Gran!' etc

It might sound tacky, but it was actually a really warm, fun occasion.

When I graduated at Edinburgh there was one much older man - well into his 70s.  He came up to graduate and all the graduands started cheering for him.  Disruptive and unfair?  Possibly.  But it was sweet.

Twik

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Re: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?
« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2010, 01:34:29 PM »
I hope Stranger that you do come to AUT as it is a good school.  I also hope you are able to catch a glimpse of Maori culture as it is very interesting and the only place on earth, you are able to see it in every day reality.  The Haka the All Blacks do, is the one most people know, but there are others which are specific to people or events.

The problem I see here is that it is Western view of the world that events have to be managed in a certain way and in a specified time frame.  If people do not confirm to this view point it is rude.  The Maori view would be that it is rude to rush through things, without paying respects to individuals who need to be acknowledged in a a culturally appropriate way. What is a few moments compared to three or four years hard work at University and the time put into schooling before that.   

Here in New Zealand, we try to accomodate both view points, which can be hard and difficult sometimes, but challenging and exciting too.

By the way I to am a Pakeha Kiwi 

As others have mentioned, a "few moments" per graduate adds up. Would you like to sit through a graduation of several hundred students, with each one having its "just a moment" (maybe, say, 5 minutes) of family/friends celebrating "just for them"?

Let's see, 200 students X 5 minutes apiece is, oh, a mere 16 hours. I'm sure you'd expect all the families to sit through that?
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Blithe

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Re: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2010, 02:00:36 PM »
I hope Stranger that you do come to AUT as it is a good school.  I also hope you are able to catch a glimpse of Maori culture as it is very interesting and the only place on earth, you are able to see it in every day reality.  The Haka the All Blacks do, is the one most people know, but there are others which are specific to people or events.

The problem I see here is that it is Western view of the world that events have to be managed in a certain way and in a specified time frame.  If people do not confirm to this view point it is rude.  The Maori view would be that it is rude to rush through things, without paying respects to individuals who need to be acknowledged in a a culturally appropriate way. What is a few moments compared to three or four years hard work at University and the time put into schooling before that.   

Here in New Zealand, we try to accomodate both view points, which can be hard and difficult sometimes, but challenging and exciting too.

By the way I to am a Pakeha Kiwi 

As others have mentioned, a "few moments" per graduate adds up. Would you like to sit through a graduation of several hundred students, with each one having its "just a moment" (maybe, say, 5 minutes) of family/friends celebrating "just for them"?

Let's see, 200 students X 5 minutes apiece is, oh, a mere 16 hours. I'm sure you'd expect all the families to sit through that?

This is exactly what my issue with this situation is.  I do think that there are other venues at which this could be appropriate, (perhaps having some sort of processional where graduates go out to meet their families and friends immediately after the ceremony, or if they limit themselves to the time where their graduate is walking across the stage) but the nature of group ceremonies is that personal expressions need to be limited during them.  At my university, the simple fact of the matter was that during graduation, all venues that could be used for an individual college graduation, were being used and there wasn't a whole lot of turn around time in between different colleges' graduations.

Squeaks

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Re: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?
« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2010, 03:12:43 PM »
I have a question for all of you. 

Where did the custom of robes likely with square hat and tassel being warn at a "commencement" ceremony where someone walks across a stage, shakes a hand and gets a piece of paper come from? 

I think it is largely a western/European tradition.  I could be wrong, and i could be very off base as to what this ceremony was like.

To me if it is largely a "western" ceremony that has been adapted/adopted,  western rules of etiquette apply.

If it is some other style of ceremony,  maybe they wear bikinis and hop scotch backwards across a river and receive a rock, i don't know, just not a western style of commencement,  then that style of etiquette should trump. 

Likewise I wonder what is older, the dance of the commencement ceremony.  It seems that if the dance is older to apply to great accomplishments, then how and when it is used in tandem with a new ritual would be open to interpretation and somewhat fluid.  I suspect the dance is older and someone somewhere along the line decided  that graduation was a good time to do it.  Which is fine, but deciding it has to be done as the person's name is called is a choice made when deciding how to blend the two.  Choosing to do this ritual at a time, and in a manner and for a length of time that inconveniences others, and violates the established rules is rude. 

Now granted maybe educational commencement ceremonies have been in their culture for a long time and they are older and we should defer to them. But it sounds more like an ancient ritual that is being applied to a modern situation. I am all for a blend of old and new, but when you do the blending, you should be cognizant of the rules and decorum of the new, so as to blend the old into it in a manner that preserves the old, but does not detract from, or hurt, the new, or otherwise becomes rude according the standards of the new you are blending to.

I do think there are times when honoring your culture can still be rude.  I had a friend who's father was Native American (Disclaimer: I have asked on this before and no one has heard of this etiquette rule or custom, so i am not trying to insult Native Americans, most people think he was off his rocker. I am however stating what culture he was a part of in case someone here recognizes something that helps it to make sense of what happened, as i would be interested in learning more).  He was sent an invite to her wedding, and never sent back the RSVP.  Later she asked him if he was coming (they were a bit estranged) and he informed her that "Native Americans (I think he used Indian if anyone cares) not RSVP, they either come or they don't"  That might be his culture but it is still rude.  It seems to be that if that really is the case the polite thing to do would be to say that you can not plan to attend, so you will not attend.  Or something to that effect.  Refusing to find some balance between modern logistics and culture does strike me as rude.  (and again, i have no idea if this is real of if he was being a smart alec,  If anyone knows anything i am happy to learn)





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Re: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2010, 06:16:23 PM »
This is why I would be intrigued to know where the OP's university was.  If it was in New Zealand then no, it is us (western) grafting our ceremonies on the the Maori culture.  As I said up post, this is still a feeling of the way on both sides with the situation being very dynamic and changing as our society changes.  It is what makes living in New Zealand very exciting.

If the capping took place overseas then it is slightly different.  I don't think either side were rude, but there were cultural assumptions were made, that were unfortunate.

As a good (Maori) friend once said to me - "what is your obsession in living your life on fast forward"  As my pakeha (non Maori and probably European) friends think I am very laid back you can see that we all have a lot of talking still to do.

Twik

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Re: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?
« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2010, 06:46:46 PM »
This is why I would be intrigued to know where the OP's university was.  If it was in New Zealand then no, it is us (western) grafting our ceremonies on the the Maori culture. 

As a PP said, university graduations are not actually an integral part of Maori culture. Therefore, I doubt that Maori culture says that you "have to" have a haka for each Maori graduate.

Again, would you sit for 16 hours as all graduates got their personal five-minute ceremony?
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amandaelizabeth

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Re: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?
« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2010, 10:12:05 PM »
Hi Twik

Without going into the History of New Zealand, and legalities,and although the graduation is an import, under the Treaty of Waitangi  (our founding document),   universities and other institutions would expect this to occur.  In other countries I am not so sure.  It would depend I think on their history, ethnic makeup and willingness to encompass customs from outside the mainstream.  New Zealand is the only place where Maori are the first people and I would expect their way to be acknowledged.  As we have have a very diverse immigrant population although no large groupings except British and even then the Scots, Irish and to some extent Welsh want to separate themselves out, we are in for some exciting times ahead.  New Zealand is not going for a melting pot experience and trying to accommodate all of our cultures whilst keeping faith with the Treaty is not going to be easy.  However when you are only 4 million odd people living at the edge of the world, you can try new things.  And we have to.  More Samoans live in New Zealand, and it is the same for Cook Islanders  and Tongans. Four fifths of Nuieans live in here, not in Nuie and it is almost the same for Tokoluans.  So If we cannot keep the culture alive here it will disappear all together.

Probably not the succinct answer you wanted but I am trying my best to explain

Vegemite Girl

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Re: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?
« Reply #27 on: February 22, 2010, 11:15:12 PM »
I'd also like to point out that there is no homogenous 'Western' culture, or etiquette. Expectations vary dramatically between Western countries.

And as amandaelizabeth has said, New Zealand (in general) is pretty dedicated to trying to meld expectations from our various contributing cultures to create our own individual whole. We're a young country (our founding document, holding us to this melting pot/working together experience is only 170 years old) and we're still feeling our way. It's a large part of what gives our country it's soul, colour and flavour.

Twik: practically, there would be no 16 hours. I have been to ceremonies with a large Maori contingent. What happens is person a walks across the stage and is given their haka as they move and collect their degree; person b then begins their walk, and their haka begins as they move, blending with the end of the haka for person a. In other words the ceremony is not held up and no-one stops moving.

Having said all this, I do continue to be fascinated with the questions of where/when and if cultural and religious ideas that are not compatible with today's generally held ethics (especially surrounding equality and sexism) should continue to be practised. But I don't think this issue is on that same level.

Lady Vavasour

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Re: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?
« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2010, 01:19:08 AM »
This is why I would be intrigued to know where the OP's university was.  If it was in New Zealand then no, it is us (western) grafting our ceremonies on the the Maori culture.

As a PP said, university graduations are not actually an integral part of Maori culture. Therefore, I doubt that Maori culture says that you "have to" have a haka for each Maori graduate.

Again, would you sit for 16 hours as all graduates got their personal five-minute ceremony?

Maori culture has moved on since the 19th century, you know ...




« Last Edit: February 23, 2010, 01:30:58 AM by Lady Vavasour »

aka

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Re: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?
« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2010, 01:31:02 AM »
This is why I would be intrigued to know where the OP's university was.  If it was in New Zealand then no, it is us (western) grafting our ceremonies on the the Maori culture.

As a PP said, university graduations are not actually an integral part of Maori culture. Therefore, I doubt that Maori culture says that you "have to" have a haka for each Maori graduate.

Again, would you sit for 16 hours as all graduates got their personal five-minute ceremony?

Maori culture has moved on since the 19th century ...

I'm sure you don't mean it, but that is actually quite offensive.


Can you please explain? I don't understand how the 19th century fits in with this, or what you found offensive.