The Maori people came to New Zealand from Polynesia in canoes a long time ago. There they developed the art of chanting, singing, and dancing. They called it poi, after a small swinging, bobbing ball on a string. Sunday, the 23rd of September, the choir will perform Tama Tu, a Maori proverb set to music. It starts off with chanting in the native Maori language, continues with song, briefly switches to English, and circles back again. It’s not a song you will find it easy to sit still for. In fact the Maori words:
Tama tu, tama ora; tama no-oh, tama mah-tay kai.
Kukuti. Poata ra-u. Puoro! Kani kani!
The one who stands, lives; the one who sits, suffers.
Gather together. Now is the time. Sing! Dance!
It may be hard for some to sing or dance in body, but everyone can make a joyful noise and “pew dance”!