Sunday, January 28, 2007

Kia Ora

When I young I always wanted to read an encyclopedia from cover to cover. I am sure I read and reread the a's and the b's 20 times in attempts that always ended with a distraction to other more compelling things..

So wikipedia has been a challenge to me and a frequent destination for me when something comes to mind.

For some reason last night I was hanging around the K's in wikipedia and I found this entry:

"Kia ora
is a Māori language greeting which has entered New Zealand English. It means literally "be well/healthy" and may also be regarded in a more formal sense as a traditional greeting of "Good health." It is used for both "Hello" and "goodbye" and as a general exhortation or acknowledgement when listening and responding to a public speaker."

" also signifies agreement with a speaker at a meeting, as part of a culture which prizes oratory as infotainment. Other Māori greetings, "Tēnā koe" (one person), Tēnā kōrua (two people) or "Tēnā koutou" (three or more people) are also widely used, as well as the phrase for goodbye, "Haere ". The Māori phrase "kia kaha", literally "be strong", is also frequently encountered as an indication of moral support for someone starting a stressful undertaking or otherwise in a difficult situation."

Now I was attracted to this entry for two reasons. First the words themself seem musical and attractive to me - kia ora - and are similar to the hebrew word Shalom (peace) which is also used as a greeting.

Secondly there is something about Maori that is interesting to me. Although I am not usually an opera fan. I am aware of, enjoy listening to and am fascinated by Kiri Te Kanawa. Even her name describes talent, the exotic, beauty and more.

It is interesting what a word can stimulate in a person's mind


Anonymous Anonymous said...

About 30 years ago from my Grandmother I received a Jade Heart pendant with the words "Kia Ora" on it. The research that I did about 12-15 years ago indicated that the words represented the main mast of a ship, or the main support of a house (Maori origin). Cynthia in Alaska

10:23 AM  

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