Cafe encouraging use of te reo

‘HE KAWHE KOA — A COFFEE PLEASE’: Far East Coffee co-owner Steve King is proud to support Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori by encouraging people to have a go at ordering their coffee in te reo Maori. The coffee shop has resource cards to help people make their order. Picture by Shaan Te Kani

Ordering a coffee in te reo Maori is an exercise promoted in some of Gisborne’s cafes this week for Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori, Maori Language Week.

For the second year, Far East Coffee Co is promoting ordering coffee in te reo.

It is using a resource card, made by Te Taura Whiri i te reo Maori - The Maori Language Commission, which has phrases and words to order a ‘‘kawhe’’, or coffee.

With the aid of the resource and assistance from the local baristas, owner Steve King says a lot of customers have been “giving it a go”.

“It has been great. People have been making their whole order in te reo — their drinks and food.

“Having the resource is a nice ice-breaker. Its a nice way to have a go at speaking te reo without feeling pressure. There’s no judgement. We’re all novice te reo speakers here, It’s fun to have a go.

“It’s also nice to be involved in the promotion of our country’s native language.

“Living on the East Coast, te reo is quite important. It’s the first community I’ve lived in where te reo is so prevalent and spoken so openly, which is awesome.

“Quite often we hear people speaking it at tables.”

A customer of Far East Coffee Co recalled having a conversation in the 1980s with the late Ngoi Pewhairangi, a renowned Maori language advocate, composer and co-founder of Maori language education programme Te Ataarangi.

“I remember Aunty Ngoi saying, ‘one day we will hear te reo being spoken in tearooms’.

“To see and hear what is happening today, I get quite emotional about it. I think of those old people who are no longer here, who had hopes and aspirations for the language to grow and be heard in everyday places.

“It’s wonderful to see these things realised.”

Ordering a coffee in te reo Maori is an exercise promoted in some of Gisborne’s cafes this week for Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori, Maori Language Week.

For the second year, Far East Coffee Co is promoting ordering coffee in te reo.

It is using a resource card, made by Te Taura Whiri i te reo Maori - The Maori Language Commission, which has phrases and words to order a ‘‘kawhe’’, or coffee.

With the aid of the resource and assistance from the local baristas, owner Steve King says a lot of customers have been “giving it a go”.

“It has been great. People have been making their whole order in te reo — their drinks and food.

“Having the resource is a nice ice-breaker. Its a nice way to have a go at speaking te reo without feeling pressure. There’s no judgement. We’re all novice te reo speakers here, It’s fun to have a go.

“It’s also nice to be involved in the promotion of our country’s native language.

“Living on the East Coast, te reo is quite important. It’s the first community I’ve lived in where te reo is so prevalent and spoken so openly, which is awesome.

“Quite often we hear people speaking it at tables.”

A customer of Far East Coffee Co recalled having a conversation in the 1980s with the late Ngoi Pewhairangi, a renowned Maori language advocate, composer and co-founder of Maori language education programme Te Ataarangi.

“I remember Aunty Ngoi saying, ‘one day we will hear te reo being spoken in tearooms’.

“To see and hear what is happening today, I get quite emotional about it. I think of those old people who are no longer here, who had hopes and aspirations for the language to grow and be heard in everyday places.

“It’s wonderful to see these things realised.”

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