Monday, 3 November 2014

Book Review : "The dragon and the taniwha"


The Dragon and the Taniwha : a comprehensive study of how Maori and Chinese interacted in New Zealand. Edited by Manying Ip.


This book gives the reader a fascinating look at the history of these interactions and the role Maori have in Chinese immigrant’s experiences in settling into the NZ culture and lifestyle.
 Chapter 1 is by Jun Lu and is entitled “Ancient Maori-Chinese ancestral links

On his arrival in NZ 10 years ago he read an article in the NZ Herald about Maori and was greatly intrigued by the word “hui”. Although he could not find the word in an English dictionary, it did not prevent him from understanding the sentence, because ‘hui’ means ‘meeting’ in Chinese. He was puzzled why an English article should include a Chinese word. Later he was stunned to discover that ‘hui’ is a Maori word meaning ‘meeting’, and it’s pronunciation and meaning are exactly the same as the Chinese word ‘hui’.” 

Since his first encounter with the commonalities between Maori and Chinese, he has studied this topic and here in this book he shares what he has learned. An extensive bibliography accompanies his essay.

Read the book to follow on from and continue to be informed about the Maori-Chinese Interactions, are respectively, David Pearson; Nigel Murphy; Richard Bedford; Robert Didham; Manying Ip; James Chang, Sally Liangni Liu, Jennifer Hauraki, Margaret Mutu, Mark Williams and Cathy Ooi. 

Well worth a read by anyone interested in how New Zealand communities are made up and why it works for these two cultures in particular.

Available to borrow from the Maori Collection on the 2nd Floor of Rotorua District Library. At 305.8z DRA