What is biculturalism? This is when the environment reflects the values, morals and practices of two cultures. In Aotearoa, those two cultures are Tangata Whenua (Maori) and all the other diverse cultures of New Zealand.
Why are we bicultural? As a centre, both staff and Goverance have committed to creating a bicultural learning environment for our children, because as New Zealanders, Maori culture is a huge part of our nations identity. Being bicultural is a clear part of our philosophy and also a requirement of the Ministry of Education. We value Maori culture and will promote this within our centre. Our philosophy states "We embrace te o Maori, promoting and affirming te reo (language), tikanga (customs and traditions) and the kawa (protocol) of our community."
What can you expect to see in our centre? Children will be given the opportunity to participate in many activities that we have designed to introduce them to, or build upon their knowledge of Maori culture, protocols and values. Some examples of our bicultural environment and curriculum are: We say a karakia (grace) before eating, we learn our Kindy waiata (song), we learn arts and crafts; such as flax weaving, poi making, kanikani (dance). Lots of te reo is spoken during the day; through mihimihi, commands, questions, welcomes and farewells, and requests. The kindy environment reflects our bi-cultural country, with Maori language, symbols, artwork and positive role models represented.