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CIP Co-Organizes 3rd Māori New Year Celebration with New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office as Taiwan Recovers from COVID-19

  • 更新時間:2020/08/26 15:23:11

Since 2018, the Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) and the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office (NZCIO) have co-organized annual Māori New Year celebration events in Taiwan. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s celebration took place as scheduled, albeit on a smaller scale. The event featured traditional Māori cuisine as the two countries celebrated the deep cultural connections between their indigenous peoples. Residents of Hualien County’s Harawan community were present at the event to show their support. They had previously visited New Zealand and forged a deep friendship with the local Māori people.

The 2020 Matariki (start of the new year) celebrations were held on the afternoon of July 17 by the CIP and the NZCIO. CIP Minister Icyang Parod and NZCIO Director Moira Turley co-hosted the event. Presidential spokesperson Kolas Yotaka and several diplomatic representatives were also in attendance.

New Zealand and the Māori people celebrate Matariki and the Māori culture in June or July every year by putting on kapa haka performances and preparing hangi dishes. Named after the Pleiades (or the Seven Sisters) in the Māori language, Matariki is the single most important festival of the Māori people. In Māori culture, the first new moon after the first rising of Matariki signifies the beginning of a new year. For the Māori people, the star cluster is important for navigation and timing the seasons. It is said that the brighter Matariki is, the warmer the weather and the greater the harvest will be in the coming year.

According to Mr. Icyang, this year’s Matariki celebration in Taiwan served as a home away from home for New Zealanders of Māori descent living in Taiwan while also demonstrating the unique cultural bonds that exist between the indigenous peoples of the two countries. Mr. Icyang hopes that New Zealand and Taiwan will both come out of the COVID-19 pandemic stronger than ever before.

Contact: SAYUN Tosu (specialist)

Telephone: (02) 8995-3092