Maori-Indian New Zealanders Finding Their Roots
Date 2012/9/19 3:20:26 | Topic: Hindu Press International
NEW ZEALAND, August 21, 2012 (Rotorua Daily Post): For Maori with Indian whakapapa (genealogy), an upcoming hui (Maori gathering) will provide an opportunity to learn more about their Hindu heritage. There are about 2,600 Maori in New Zealand who also have Indian whakapapa. [The island nation has seen a large number of India-Maori marriages.] aHui co-ordinator Guna Magesan said Maori-Indians had yet to realize their potential and importance.
With an upcoming free trade agreement with India, Dr. Magesan said Maori-Indians were in a unique situation where they could help. "The most important reason for me to run this is New Zealand and India are going to sign a free-trade agreement. "These Maori-Indians happen to be in the right place at the right time, they have both whakapapa. "With India growing economically, I think it's time Maori-Indians have some share in that."
Dr. Magesan said from his own experience with those with Maori-Indian heritage, many had been brought up by their Maori families and had lost touch with their Indian side. "Many want to know about their Indian side. They want to know why women put the bindi on their forehead, many also have a sari but don't know how to tie it. At the hui, we will teach them this, and how to cook vegetarian food and teach the importance of organic farming."