It all started at the Hui

Post by Hemi Hema

Kia Ora, my name is Hemi and this is my sign name.

I am going to talk about Māori culture. Māori identity and culture.

So where did I learn about it? And where did I realise it was a part of me? It was at the National Hui for the Deaf. Lots of people went there in 1993. I was on the Marae, looking at all the Māori Deaf people who travelled there. They were all signing away. It really was something.

I was observing the culture and the language there. I asked questions ‘iwi - what do you mean?’ oh yes, I have an iwi. Ah right, I learnt so much about me.

After the hui finished I went home. I asked my family questions. Where is my iwi? Finally I was connected. Our land is where? Our history is what? I asked more and more questions and learnt more about where I come from. The more I learnt the more I wanted to do research and to keep learning more.

It all started at the Hui – that’s where I learnt that I had a Māori identity – that really impacted me.

Thank you for watching

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