Saturday, January 2, 2010

Royce Jones
NZ Study Abroad

After reading the chapter on Cook and the relationship with
the Maori people, I have a better understanding of how the two
races get along today. Although the Polynesians were the
first to come across New Zealand in exploration, Captain Cook
was the first to develop important relationships with the
native people. The Maori people did not take kindly to the
"intruders" initially because neither group knew anything
about the other which brought fear to both groups. The Maori
culture was very different than the English culture Cook
brought with him and this led to a difficult interactions
between the two groups.
During the first meeting, blood was shed and the
English were introduced to the haka or Maori war chant. This
was used for intimidation purposes, originally against other
tribes, but the English became very used to it very quickly
after seeing it various times. Some of what I found most
interesting is how the cultures are represented today. It
is made to seem that the two groups got along swimmingly in
their first encounters as a way to find a middle ground in
describing their histories. Originally trading was what
brought the two groups together, and the English respected the
Maoris' warrior characteristics. What surprised me the most
was how the two cultures today do not properly share their old
relationships truthfully. Instead of embracing their
differences, they look to make each other more similar than
they really are.

I plan to get a lot out of this trip culturally,
educationally and personally. Exploring all the different
terrains and habitats in New Zealand will be nothing I could
experience anywhere else in the world. With my lack knowledge
in geology, I hope to better understand the physical world in
geological terms. Such as being able to brag to my friends
back home which waves are which. I am excited to see
different volcanic sites and understand the rock formation and
flora and fauna populations that inhabit the area. The
different sites that we will be going to on the coast will be
the most intriguing aspects of our adventures because of my
interest in marine sciences.
The educational purposes of this trip will not be the
only element I will be looking forward to. Meeting native
people and seeing where their culture comes from will be a
great experience in itself. One of the most exciting parts of
the trip is how much traveling we will be doing and the vast
range of communities we will get to know. On my free weekend
I hope to see the National Rugby team compete and get a first
hand sight of the Maori War Chant. Not just the events of New
Zealand will add to this trip, I am looking forward to forming
friendships with the other students and the faculty.

No comments:

Post a Comment