Ellen Allerton explores the complex cultural politics and public debates surrounding Māori Language Week, part of a larger effort to grapple with New Zealand’s history of colonization. While the promotion of te reo Māori (the Māori language) has generated both expressions of cultural pride and conservative backlash, it also involves troubling examples of what Allerton calls “commodification of the culture through performances and feasts that are meant purely to attract tourists.”
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By Bridget Ireland
A very large part of Jordanian culture today is interwoven with the effects of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Jordan is a nation of about 10 million people, and almost 2 million are here as refugees from Palestine or descendants of these refugees. It is not abnormal to see the Palestinian flag flying alongside the Jordanian flag, and Palestinian food and dress are common. Many generations of families who live in Jordan identify as being Palestinian and speak of their roots. Tragically, it is rare for those living in Jordan to be able to return to their homeland or even visit relatives in Palestine as Israel controls the visa process. Part of a recent art exhibit at Darat Al-Funun named “Do It in Arabic” I attended helped to include visitors in the art as a way of conveying the realities of the Palestinian struggle.