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If a person puts themselves first before others and their personal ambitions they are considered unhealthy. Communication through emotions is more powerful than words. If people show what they feel, instead of talking about their feelings, this is regarded as healthy. Te taha Wairua refers to spiritual well being. It is believed that if someone is lacking this they are more prone to ill health Wairua may also explore relationships with the environment, between people, or with heritage.
The breakdown of this relationship could be seen in terms of ill health or lack of personal identity.
Te taha Tinana refers to physical well being There is also the question of personal space to take into account. Maori consider stepping over someone as rude and demeaning to that person’s mana (personal authority/power). However there are different ways in which respect is shown to another person. For example Maori tend to have minimal eye contact and respect each other’s space in formal situations.
Body language is also an important feature to note.
Whanau/Family – is the prime support system providing care, not only physically but also culturally and emotionally. For Maori, whanau is about extended relationships rather than the western nuclear family concept. Maintaining family relationships is an important part of life and caring for young and old alike is paramount. Everyone has a place and a role to fulfil within their own whanau. Families contribute to a person’s wellbeing and most importantly a person’s identity. A Maori viewpoint of identity of identity derives much from family characteristics.
It is important to understand that a person carrying an ancestral name will often be seen as having the qualities of their namesake. It is important to be aware for Maori, a persons identity is gleaned by asking “Where are you from” rather than “What is your name? ” Maori identity is based upon an ancestral Waka (canoe) a physical landmark, which is usually a Maunga (mountain), a body of water Awa (river), Moana (sea) and a significant Tupuna (ancestor). Once this is known people can share a common bond.
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