South Taranaki Star
TE WHARE TAPA WHĀ – TAHA WHĀNAU
OPINION: We’ve covered three sides of our Te Whare Tapa Whā and now it’s time to finish off with the last taha of our whare, taha whānau.
Whānau is the Māori word for family but, in this context, whānau can mean friends, family and your wider community.
This looks at the social wellbeing of a person and how the people around you can impact your hauora (health).
Whanaungatanga (relationships) is huge in Te Ao Māori because as Māori we are always together sharing kai (food), stories, spinning yarns and having cuppa convos.
It’s what binds us together as an iwi (tribe).
My marae is where I go to connect with my whānau.
It’s a place where we can celebrate events, have tangihanga (Māori funerals), have massive feasts in the wharekai (dining hall) and wānanga together (have discussions).
Having a place to call home can strengthen your connection with the people you call family.
A place where you can all meet and laugh and/or cry together.
This is a big part of being Māori and having that skill of whakawhanaungatanga (relationship building).
It’s important that we establish healthy relationships with the people around us, with a community that makes us feel heard and seen for the people we are.
By doing this we can assure that our taha whānau will thrive.
Often in this day and age it’s easy for our generation to be out of touch with those around us and be more in touch with the virtual world. One way that we can all deal with this issue is by setting aside an hour or two where your whole family puts away their phones and comes together each night to connect.
This could even be at the dinner table.
Make sure to mindfully communicate with one another, this way they feel heard when they’re talking to you and vice versa.
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This small activity can look different for many different families and it’s also important to find something that you all enjoy doing together. Whether that be watching a movie, sharing kai, playing cards or even playing a sport together.
Through communication we can build these strong relationships with our whānau, hoa and hapori (family, friends and community). By having this sense of whānau in your life you become more grounded in who you are. It is also much clearer to understand one another and a person’s health by understanding the people who surround them.