Ready to call New Zealand by its original Maori name ‘Aotearoa’? Artist Hoheba Thompson, aka Hori, traveled to Zeeland two weeks ago to ask us this question. A question that surprises most Dutch people.
Horry arrived at Zeeland before dawn on Saturday 30 July. A day and a half ago he flew to London from Auckland. Once there, he hired a car and took a ferry to Calais with his cameraman. Vlissingen Beach was his destination. He attached a sign to one of the many stilts on the beach: “To the people of Zealand, I give you back the name New Zealand, and our country’s name is Aotearoa.” A television crew filmed his act for New Zealand television.
What is it again? How did the Maori country get its name from Zeeland, wasn’t it the British that colonized the country? Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand and are a minority in their own country. Descendants of European settlers are still the dominant group. Like Australia and the United States, New Zealand was a colonial possession. However, Dutch VOC captain Abel Dasman was the first European to arrive in Aotearoa in 1642, after which the VOC board decided to name the area after the province of Zeeland. The name was retained by later British settlers.
As a result of the British takeover of other people’s land, the language and culture of the Mauryas were long suppressed and cast aside as inferior. In recent decades, that has changed. Maori culture is again a positive experience. Having previously been chastised, Maury’s few words are now almost in the groin. By the national rugby team, the All blacksThe traditional Maori dance haka is recognized worldwide as an expression of a proud culture.
Petitions for and against
This renewed focus does not mean that the issues surrounding racism and exclusion have been resolved. New Zealand is and will remain a colony. It seems to exist Hobson’s Affirmation, a pro-colonial lobby group founded in 2016, has been confused by various initiatives and programs to combat anti-Māori discrimination. They were launched last year plea’New Zealand, not Aotearoa‘ Almost 59,000 people have now signed up.
Last June, another petition made headlines advocating a name change to Aotearoa. The petition was organized by Te Bati Māori, a political party that defends the interests of Māori. He also did not decrease 70,000 people signed it And the decision is now under serious scrutiny by a parliamentary committee.
Artist Hori decided to set up a campaign in this context. Big banners printed on him:Is Abel now called Aoderoa?” – The word Abel refers to a VOC captain. He put the banners on a trailer and last month he drove from the northern tip of New Zealand to the extreme south, about 3,000 kilometers. By Social media He informs.
Horry went on to Vlissingen, but stopped at the Zeeland village of Krabentijke, then on to Rotterdam, Leiden and Amsterdam. Everywhere he hung posters with Tasman’s picture and the question of whether we were ready to use the name ‘Autoroa’. A QR code leads to a website ‘Hori’s Affirmation‘ where he addresses the Dutch people directly.
Also read this paragraph: Maori culture unites in times of crisis
Appreciated by Abel Tasman
With his project, Hori criticizes the arrogance of European colonial countries that renamed entire regions as if people didn’t already live there. Now giving it a colonial name shows us the absurdity of that tradition. Colonial theories, now centuries old, have normalized the non-normal.
Here street names and bridges are named after a genocidal convict like John Peterson Coen standing on a pedestal. In New Zealand, Abel Tasman is revered and admired as the country’s ‘discoverer’. Both murderous V.U.C., The Big company It always was. By his act, Hori is sawing off the chair legs of our democratic, civilized societies based on myths of brave seamen.
It slowly becomes clear that those marines are not really knights. But now we have a hard time recognizing colonialism. There is something easy about condemning past actions. We can walk away from it as if it has nothing to do with it. But colonialism is not history, Aotearoa is the current occupied country and New Zealand is a colonial name because the Dutch East Indies was a colonial name.
“Introvert. Communicator. Tv fanatic. Typical coffee advocate. Proud music maven. Infuriatingly humble student.”