Together at Bright Star today we shared a beautiful celebration of Matariki, the Māori new year as we gathered our tamarki, whānau and friends to the centre. Our tamariki sang and welcomed Joe McLeod, chef/CEO/Internet and TV presenter/Webmaster into our centre to share a wonderful celebration with us to welcome the Māori new year. Joe states that he revives, preserves and Promotes pre-European Genuine Māori cuisine and contemporary Māori cuisine concepts for the people of New Zealand.
We were so fortunate for Joe to bless us with his presence and Kai as he talked us through the process of making the Hangi food or ‘kai’ which he explained to be traditionally wrapped in leaves. The woven baskets which contained the nutritious kai is then placed on hot stones which the food is then covered with wet cloth to contain the heat and cook our delicious meat and vegetables. Joe then blessed our food and did a Whakatauki. This was such a truly lovely moment for our tamariki and whānau to come together and be a part of something so important in New Zealand through the Māori culture.
Experiencing a hangi is a great way to interact with the Māori culture, as it is not only a means of cooking food, but also a social occasion to share with friends and family and welcome a new start and occasion such as the month of Matariki. This was such a huge learning experience for the children at Bright Star as they all engaged and developed on their knowledge of the Māori culture and experienced the beginning of the Māori new year together through a shared gathering of a Hangi where everyone came together in such a beautiful way.