Matariki as a Cultural Astro-Bridge between Two Hemispheres
By Andrei Dorian Gheorghe (text and astropoems), Danut Ionescu (text and photos) and Florin Alexandru Stancu (design)
In the traditions of the indigenous Maori from Aotearoa (New Zealand), Matariki represents both the Pleiades star cluster and the star considered its mother, Alcyone.
(In other words, “a mother with her daughters”.)
Next, I'll let Danut Ionescu speak.
(Born in Romania, where he was a great popularizer of astronomy, editing the magazine Orion - 1990-1993- and producing the weekly radio show Contact Astronomic-Radio Contact - 1994-1997 -, Danut Ionescu settled in New Zealand in the 2000s, where he collaborates with the national astronomical movement and became the No. 1 correspondent for Romania in the southern hemisphere.)
“In Maori tradition, the New Year begins with the rising of the Pleiades.
This year, the New Zealand Government has decided that the traditional Maori New Year, called Matariki, will become an official holiday on June 24, 2022.
Demonstrations related to this event took place throughout the country.
On this occasion, I thought of involving SARM as well, and Andrei Dorian Gheorghe, our well-known cosmopoet, to send a gift in verse to those in New Zealand.
This gift was posted in main points in Tokoroa township: on the main street at the Art Gallery, at the Library, at the Tokoroa Middle School and the Community Notice in the biggest store, New Word.
In this way, we created a cultural bridge between Romania and New Zealand.”
Considering that this is how New Zealand became an astronomically blessed country and a model to follow for the whole world (astronomical traditions being there part of the politics of state representation), I was, therefore, delighted to be able to send Danut Ionescu two astropoems, which he also posted on the Facebook pages of some astronomical groups of Australasia: Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand Education Group, Wellington Astronomical Society, Astronomy in New Zealand and Phoenix Astronomical Society (in New Zealand) and Canberra Astronomical Society (in Australia).
Finally, here is our creation, adapted for the AWB Astroarts program:
A Cultural Astro-Bridge between Romania and New Zealand
By Andrei Dorian Gheorghe (astropoems) and Danut Ionescu (photos)
THE RISE OF THE MATARIKI STAR CLUSTER
In the country of All Blacks,
the Pleiades become the “eyes of God” -
something really fine!
Happy New Year, Aotearoa!
Be blessed by
Carina helps the heavenly navigation,
the Magellanic Clouds don't bother stellar clocks,
the Southern Cross raises faith in the Universe
and nobody can steal the Jewell Box.