Tattooing is the most misunderstood art form in Japan today. Looked down upon for centuries and rarely discussed in social circles, people with tattoos are outcasts in this country, banned from most public spaces such as beaches, bathhouses, and even gyms. Tattoos have an extensive history in Japan, and to truly understand the stigma behind them it is essential to be aware of their significance. The first records of tattoos...Read More
Long time reader, first time blogger here.
Some of you may have noticed that I can be a little patriotic… My friends in Abu Dhabi used to joke that New Zealand has “small country” syndrome because it is always determined to be the best. I think like the Canadians, we are determined not to be seen as the same as our more populated neighbours.
With that in mind I would like to introduce you to a New Zealand artist, Dave Dobbyn, who we like to say is “world famous in New Zealand.” A few years back he wrote a song entitled “Welcome Home,” about an Algerian who was seeking political asylum and having some difficulty from the New Zealand authorities. I think it is apt for the first night at TGS…
Tonight I am feeling for you, under the state of a strange land,
You have sacrificed much to be here, ‘there but for the Grace’ I do offer my hand,
So welcome home, I bid you welcome, I bid you welcome,
Welcome home, from the bottom of our hearts.
Out here on the edge the empire is fading by the day,
And the world is so weary in war, but maybe we’ll find that new way…
I have never seen such an excited troop of children entering boarding school. Brad talked about the feelings of being a parent tonight, but as a teacher I feel humbled and extremely fortunate to have this opportunity. I can’t wait to start teaching at YBC in the open plan areas, I am itching to see them try to maim each other fencing and I look forward to seeing this group in a years time, taking the newbies under their wings (Betty Alonzo style) showing them what will come.
Finally, I am going to teach you a word that has no translation. Sir Edmund Hillary had it, as did Jean Batten, Kate Shepherd and Katherine Mansfield. The word is mana which one online definition described as a supernatural force believed to dwell in a person or sacred object. But it is so much more than that… To describe someone as having mana is one of the highest compliments you can pay a New Zealander. Joann, having met you, and having the privilege to be part of this, you have it, you are mana wahine!
Mā te rongo, ka mōhio; Mā te mōhio, ka mārama; Mā te mārama, ka mātau; Mā te mātau, ka ora.
(Through resonance comes cognisance; through cognisance comes understanding; through understanding comes knowledge; through knowledge comes life and well- being.)
Nau mai, Haere Mai,