Meaning behind Whanaungatanga
The definition of Whanaungatanga from the Maori dictionary is relationship, sense of family connection - a relationship through shared experiences and working together which provides people with a sense of belonging. It develops as a result of kinship rights and obligations, which also serve to strengthen each member of the kin group. It also extends to others to whom one develops a close familial, friendship or reciprocal relationship.(Te Aka Online Māori Dictionary)
Why is it important?
Whanaungatanga is important as it values all aspects of relationships, such as friendships, family, communities and more! All these relationships helps provide us a sense of belonging. All these relationships that we have are all different, this is what makes them unique as not everyone has the same relationships. For example, you could have a relationship with someone because you could share the same interests as them. It is important that we also share relationships with other cultures, by having a wide range of relationship can develop our own lives and personalities.
There are many opportunities where we can develop our relationships with the people around us. In our communities there are endless opportunities to make relationships. An example of this could be volunteering. Through Vinnies at school, we connect with the community. This could be helping out and volunteering at their shop after school. Everyone in our community should have the same opportunities to develop personal relationships, such as friendships.