Author Topic: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?  (Read 8788 times)

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Vegemite Girl

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Re: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?
« Reply #30 on: February 23, 2010, 01:37:36 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.

I suspect it was the idea that because pre-contact Maori didn't have university graduations - and therefore had no protocol for them - they cannot develop one, and so their feelings/ideas etc don't count today.

And no-one has said the haka was a 'must' simply that it was usual at such events.

Lady Vavasour

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Re: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?
« Reply #31 on: February 23, 2010, 01:43:12 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.

Because it only makes sense to say university graduations are not part of Maori culture if you think that it stopped evolving once New Zealand was colonised by Europe in the nineteenth-century. They are part of Maori culture, and important to Maori, just as they are part of New Zealand culture in general.

aka

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Re: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?
« Reply #32 on: February 23, 2010, 01:51:00 AM »
Can you please explain? I don't understand how the 19th century fits in with this, or what you found offensive.

Because it only makes sense to say university graduations are not part of Maori culture if you think that it stopped evolving once New Zealand was colonised by Europe in the nineteenth-century. They are part of Maori culture, and important to Maori, just as they are part of New Zealand culture in general.

That makes sense; thank you for explaining it to me. (actually - I'm somewhat chagrined that that particular line of reasoning didn't cross my mind)

amandaelizabeth

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Re: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?
« Reply #33 on: February 23, 2010, 01:55:40 AM »
As you can see it is a subject that New Zealanders continue to debate.  I agree,  Vegemite Girl, that there is are still a lot of issues to be debated around protocol on such occasions.  I am in Education and it amuses me that we do not mix education and religion in our state system, unless it is part of someone's culture.  We use to have an end of year sausage sizzle at the zoo, but what with kosher, halal, vegetarian, non-beef, non pork sausages  all needing their own bar-b-que and utensils we now serve watermelon and strawberries.  With other fruit for those who are allergic to strawberries.  Mind you we once worked out we could have a festive occasion at least once a week, in somebodies belief system.

It can be a bit daunting but tackled with goodwill and a sense of humour on all sides it is slowly being sorted.

Amandaelizabeth

Lady Vavasour

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Re: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?
« Reply #34 on: February 23, 2010, 01:58:37 AM »
This is actually a really tough one and I don't see an easy answer to it. I started writing a response, but I don't think I have the heart to wade into it.

Though I did cringe at the way the writer described the haka. It wasn't very respectful or open minded.

Lady Vavasour

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Re: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?
« Reply #35 on: February 23, 2010, 02:03:00 AM »
Because it only makes sense to say university graduations are not part of Maori culture if you think that it stopped evolving once New Zealand was colonised by Europe in the nineteenth-century. They are part of Maori culture, and important to Maori, just as they are part of New Zealand culture in general.

But if you look at the graduation as being a rite of passage then wouldn't the Maoris have some sort of celebration for that?

No, I look at graduations as celebrating graduation from university. (??)

amandaelizabeth

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Re: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?
« Reply #36 on: February 23, 2010, 02:11:32 AM »
I liken this to an earlier discussion around a posting  about wearing guest wearing a kilt to a wedding.  Nothing about the wedding being in Scotland, or the happy couple being of Scot's ancestry.  It was around whether the attendee being of Scottish heritage should display an attribute of his heritage at a cultural gathering not his own.  Many of the posters thought it was fine if that is what his cultural protocol on dress occasions demanded.
Every culture has it's traditions and imperatives.  For instance why do we clap and shout hip hip hooray at graduations, shout Brava at opera diva's give gold medals for winners and bronze ones for those who come third?

None of this is wrong or even rude it just is, and as we ask others to accept 'our way' of doing things, then we should accept theirs without putting our cultural boundaries around them. The OP did not and so she was rude.

Vegemite Girl

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Re: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?
« Reply #37 on: February 23, 2010, 02:14:34 AM »
Though I did cringe at the way the writer described the haka. It wasn't very respectful or open minded.

Me too.

Stranger

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Re: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?
« Reply #38 on: February 23, 2010, 03:04:00 AM »
Though I did cringe at the way the writer described the haka. It wasn't very respectful or open minded.

Me too.

Me three  :) We are very recent immigrants, and I've mentioned in my previous post that in SA we see ullulating and dancing when some students get their degrees. I am used to seeing diverse cultures celebrating as they see fit, and I think it's nice. When everybody is respectful it makes for a very lively environment to live in!

the Wyffe

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Re: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?
« Reply #39 on: February 23, 2010, 04:26:41 AM »
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 that goes back to medieval times in some form.  My university's 600 years old and several of the graduation maces used date from that time.  You get hit on the head with 'John Knox's pants' as well ie a scrap of material that is actually Victorian. 

Nobody wore mortarboards at either of my graduations.

Twik

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Re: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?
« Reply #40 on: February 23, 2010, 08:20:11 AM »
I hope it wasn't understood that I meant that Maori people weren't supposed to graduate university. That was certainly not my intent - simply that a "university graduation ceremony" was not part of traditional Maori culture, as it's a fairly recent introduction.

With regards to whether this takes 16 hours or not, the OP indicated that the ceremony WAS held up for several minutes. If it can be held without delaying the ceremony, there is no problem, but that was not the situation in the OP.

I know that it's unlikely every single graduate in a large class will be Maori, but where do you draw the line in things that DO delay the ceremony? If you allow a long delay as given in the OP for Maori graduates, what about non-Maori families who want an "equivalent", say, of doing the wave, or just chanting, "Go (our graduate)!"? I think you might get some pretty hard feelings if one culture was entitled to delay things for however long they wanted, but everyone else had to rush through.
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rashea

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Re: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?
« Reply #41 on: February 23, 2010, 08:28:51 AM »
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? 


Wikipedia has a decent article on this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Square_academic_cap

I think if it could be possible to have the haka last only long enough for the person to cross the stage, then that seems quite reasonable. And you really could have it setup so that there were areas for the haka to be preformed (I'm going to assume it would be easier to not do it in the bleachers) with families rotating in and out. Or perhaps one great big one at the end? I guess I can see this working, but not if people were to insist on a 5 minute haka for each graduate. At that point, I think it would be time to entirely re-design the ceremony in a way that would work for everyone. I'm not going to make that attempt, I simply don't know all the cultures enough, but I would love to know what would come out of it.

Generally, I think if there is a protocol for an event, it's rude to hold up the event for everyone else. Either find a way to fit into the event, or find a way to do your celebration outside the event.

Personally, the graduation ceremony wasn't the critical thing for me, it was the group of family and friends who recognized me and celebrated after (of course, that might have been a bit different if my University wasn't so stupid as to not be able to figure out how to do accessibility at graduation).
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the Wyffe

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Re: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?
« Reply #42 on: February 23, 2010, 08:42:08 AM »
of course, that might have been a bit different if my University wasn't so stupid as to not be able to figure out how to do accessibility at graduation).

You couldn't access?  That's disgraceful!  Even medieval graduation halls make sure all their students can be honoured.  I'm sorry this happened to you.

Squeaks

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Re: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?
« Reply #43 on: February 23, 2010, 09:33:55 AM »

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.


I was actually wondering about this.  Could the next graduate simply be called when the first is across the stage?  I guess for some they would not like their moment overshadowed, but if their name can still be heard, etc.  it might be fun to see the very happy celebration while you walk, even if it is not for you.


Twik

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Re: From the Blog: Haka Lacken?
« Reply #44 on: February 23, 2010, 10:12:46 AM »
It appears that the haka wasn't expected at this event. If it's common at NZ universities, do they have protocols in place for it?

My main etiquette issue is that, in general terms (ignoring cultural issues here for a moment), it's rude to hijack one ceremony (the graduation) for a ceremony of your own. However, perhaps this is already included in the protocol for a NZ graduation, and isn't "hijacking", but part of the standard.

Perhaps I'm jaded, because I've grown used to graduations where the families are not even allowed to clap for their graduates, because it slows things down too much. If certain families were allowed leeway to have exuberant celebrations, I can see a lot of other families going, "the heck with this, I'm going to take time to celebrate MY kid as well", and the whole thing bogging down into a chaotic mess. If this isn't a problem in NZ, and other graduates are not drowned out by the haka, then it shouldn't be an etiquette issue.

I hope that clarifies my position somewhat?
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