Thanks for sharing that Sandra, I wrote the following was my effort to explain manakitanga as we celebrated Maori language week last year:
Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (The Māori Language Commission) have chosen “Manaakitanga” as the theme for Māori Language Week 2011 (4th-10th July 2011).
“ “Manaakitanga” is a very important aspect of Māori custom and identity, it is about how we make people feel welcome when they are in our company, and how we give regard to and care for others when hosting visitors”, says Chief Executive, Glenis Philip-Barbara. But manaakitanga can also mean showing kindness, caring for others, treating people with respect, nurturing relationships and more.
As always our main focus in the Atawhai room is about developing relationships and supporting ngā tamariki in building a secure base from which they are empowered to engage in independent learning and exploration. Understanding that ngā tamariki feel most secure when they know their basic needs will be met, we continue to try and establish routines that best suit individual needs, particularly with regard to eating and sleeping, these caregiving times are the perfect opportunity to engage in sensitive, responsive and co-operative interactions that allow the development of trust and understanding between adults and children. Atawhai means ‘to care for with kindness’ and this philosophy fits perfectly with the principle of “Manaakitanga”. Teaching young children to be with others is equally important as teaching them independence when ngā tamariki witness aroha ki te tangata (respect for others) in action they begin to understand what relaxed, respectful relationships look like.