Poi E: Two sisters and their story

Interview in englischer Sprache

The documentary “Poi E: the story of our song“ tells about how Dalvanius Primes song could encourage Generations to rediscover their traditional Maori roots. The sisters from New Zealand Taranaki made the whole way to Berlin. I was lucky to have the opportunity to speak to them.
The aunties, as they are called are two heart-warming persons and as we started talking I was almost forgetting that this was an interview.

Aunty Bib and Nana Bub (their nicknames) have been with “Poi E” since its consistence. They were foundation-members of the "atea Māori Club" since 1967 and 1981 when Dalvanius Prime arrived home from oversees and wrote "Poi E" they started to sing the song. They must have been in their 20ies early 30ies when they went to London to perform for the Queen. At that time they were in Great Britain for two weeks and saw a few things in Scotland.
It was lovely to see the queen. And after the show was finished they came down to the stage“, Nana says with a shine it here eyes.

I can't stop smiling to the two ladies who seem to have so much to tell me.
When we heard that there should be made a film about „Poi E“ we were like „A movieee?“ We were blown away, because nobody thought it would come so far. It came to Berlin. Gosh! We were grateful to bring our part into it. It was hard work but it was great.“

Indeed, "Poi E" is a great movie, because it teaches you to be proud of your culture and your language even though it might not have been respected or still isn't respected.
In New Seeland as the English took over everything that was Maori wasn't allowed.
Even though our parents were fluent Maori speakers they weren't allowed to talk Maori to us and even at school we weren't allowed to. So we learned Maori later on in life and we still can't speak Maori properly.“, the sister tell me.
And that comes back to the song Poi E. Its made for you to speak the language.
Children and grandchildren are starting to speak Maori again and all over the world repressed languages reappear. But some people say that far in the future we might be speaking only one language all over the world. The aunties and I agree that this is a sad thought.
Language tells you where you come from and gives you a sense of belonging somewhere.
We should all learn different languages, because it is nice to hear other people talk in they own language!“

Tell, me did you ever got tired of singing Poi E? I ask at the end of the Interview
Yes, sometimes. When you are on stage your face is different - you smile and when you get of the stage: she changes her face to an exhausted expression
You do get tired of singing it, we sing it every Monday night when we teach young people the song, the language and the dance. But we are going keep on singing it because the massage stays the same!“

When I come to New Zeeland I will come and join you I tell the aunties. This leads to the aunties giving me a Poi. „You can do it either this way or this way, up and down.“ After I failed to do it, we agreed that I need to practice a bit.

17.02.17, Liv Thastum

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