This week, students involved with Māori culture and language began to learn a haka which encompasses the school’s mana and Mercy values. The haka is an opportunity to express what it means to be a Carmel student, and how it feels. Isn’t that awesome!?
Our instructor was a Māori singer and performer called Mihirangi. She has held haka workshops all around the world, and we were very fortunate to have her teach us. In this workshop our students learnt the meaning behind the haka, which is centred around unity and strength. Mihirangi’s passion for empowering women was a focus of the workshop, which made her visit that much more relevant. Her message of staying strong as women as “We are givers of life” resonated with many of the girls. The haka itself is about Carmel students standing strong and united in themselves, whilst embracing their femininity. Mihirangi encouraged everyone to take on the kaitātaki (leader) role of the haka, which meant calling certain lines of the haka by themselves. A few brave girls took on the challenge and did extremely well.
At the end of the workshop, Mihirangi asked each of us how we felt about the day. Some responses were “connected”, “unified”, “empowered”, “strong” and “excited”. It is only a matter of time before the entire Carmel community learns this haka and stands as one to perform it. A powerful thought, and an exciting prospect. Tihei Mauri Ora!!
Nā Sophie Farrell, Tu Wahine