Ko Vivian tōku ingoa

Tēnā koutou katoa – Greetings All
Kei te noho ahau kei roto i te taumarumaru o Te Pane o Mataoho – I sit in the shadow of Māngere Mountain
I tipu mai ahau i ngā tahataha o te moana o Manukanuka o Hoturoa – I grow better on the shores of Manukau Harbour
Nō Mārehia ahau – I am from Malaysia
Ko Tāmaki Makaurau te rohe – I live in the area of Auckland
Kei Te Piriti o Māngere ahau e noho ana – I sit in Māngere Bridge
Ko Vivian Chandra tōku ingoa – My name is Vivian Chandra
No reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa – And so greetings, greetings, greetings to you all

I grew up here in Aotearoa, I was a wee child when I moved here and don’t really know anything else. Yet when creating a pepeha (statement outlining your heritage – example at beginning of this blog) thru doing te reo Māori courses and at school, I still felt queasy about laying claim to a maunga (mountain) or moana (water/sea). It’s not my tūrangawaewae (the place where I stand and belong). I don’t have a right to claim any of it.

And yet, I know nothing else.

I stand at the crossroads of two existences. I’m an immigrant that knows no other context. I feel disconnected to my own cultural heritage, and yet there is not one I can adopt and call my own.

So, I thought long and hard about creating a pepeha. How do I do it so that I remain respectful, and have something to introduce myself with 🙂 I can’t lay claim to the maunga close to where I was born… I’ve never even been there! I feel no affinity with that maunga. However, Te Pane o Mataoho (Māngere Mountain, just down the road from my house) is where i’ve lived for almost 10 years, I’ve had my children here, we buried our dogs here (our first babies, really).

So thank you so much to Chris Cormack (@ranginui), Rev Chris Huriwai (@revChrisHuriwai) , Hemi Kelly (@hemikelly) and others too numerous to name.

Crowdsourcing ideas on Twitter was great. People felt that they could constructively feedback, and others were inspired too.

However, there is no need now! Feel free to copy mine, or here is a template from Auckland Library in a handy-dandy infographic – check out their original post on instagram here.

Share yours in the comments below. Especially if you are Pākeha or tauiwi, i’d love to hear from you.

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