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POKAREKARE ANA February 9, 2009

Posted by wmmbb in Life Experience.
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It turns out it is a love song. Nobody told us. We dutifully sung it, or what passed for singing it as I remember.

The production values in this video are reasonable, and there is a pretty good photo summary of New Zealand, or Aotearoa. I find it difficult to relate to the elevated level. After all, Pokarekare Ana is a folk song:

The Maori lyrics we sort of knew:

Pokarekare ana
Nga wai o waiapu
Whiti atu koe hine
Marino ana e

E hine e
Hoki maira
Kamate au
-i te aroha e

Tuhituhi taku rita
Tuku atu taku ringi
Kia kiti to iwi
Raru raru ana e

E hine e
Hoki maira
Kamate au I could die
-i te aroha e

E hine e
Hoki maira
Kamate au
-i te aroha e

Kamate au
-i te aroha e

The poignancy of the song is conveyed by English translation:

Stormy are the waters
Of restless Waiapu
If you cross them, girl
They will be calmed

Oh girl
Come back to me
I could die
Of love for you

I write you my letter
I send you my ring
So your people can see
How troubled I am

Oh girl
Come back to me
I could die
Of love for you

Oh girl
Come back to me
I could die
Of love for you

I could die
Of love (for you).

All these matters and emotions we completely unaware of and the lyrics we had and used, to the consternation of those who would supervise us were along the lines”:

Pokarekare ana,
I had a squashed banana,
I threw it at the teacher,
She said, “Come here”,
I said, “no fear”,
afraid she would hit me over the head
with a bottle of beer.

Now that is culture for you. We were then children and had no idea what the words meant.

I am of planet earth respecting the indigenous and other cultures of the people around me, and including those cultures distance in place and time. We as human beings do not need conceptual barriers. We need respect for diversity combined with understanding.

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