Manaakitanga is the concept of caring about others, uplift them, support them, make them feel at home and loved.
You would always find a crowd of whanau, friends at the home or marae, the presence of people is not disturbing. Sitting together for hours and hours, talking, laughing, just being together. Manaakitanga a tinana, physical nourishment, uplifting and elevating the levels of happiness by sharing and creating memories through laughing, crying and enjoying each other. Loneliness and attention deficits are never problems or issues with Maori, because there is always someone, somewhere caring about you.
Apart from providing nourishment for the body, this principle also means to provide food for the soul if it is needed. To care about each other’s wellbeing. But to have the energy to do so, you first have to care about yourself. Listen to yourself, love yourself, forgive yourself. We are normally never as harsh with anyone else as we are with ourselves. In showing more respect and love for us, others will see the lovable and worthy person that we are even clearer. And if we all make this tiny bit of effort we can make everyone feel more secure, safe and respected, with “Love towards us, love going out from us”. When you are invited or welcomed into a maori space wherever that maybe its because they really share that with you from their heart, it’s not something they do out of pity or sorrow its something they do because they care to do it. Everything that is done, is done because that’s how we manaaki people, that’s how we care, show our love and making one feel comfortable and at home. Do not confuse Manaakitanga or this quality with the idea that someone wants something from you or that it is unauthentic. Believe me when Maori do want something or to do something they will not and also let your presence be known that it’s not welcomed.
- Children are important to the culture,your are observed with how you interact with the children and elders
- Wherever you can offer your services to help, it would be much appreciated, even though you would likely to be told no its ok but it shows your caring and willingness to help.
- Maori love to laugh and joke around, so please do not be offended or take things so seriously, they just like to play with you and have fun.
- You will see often alot of singing going on, join in if you like! you are always welcome.