Have you ever tried to stop a sneezing attack? It can be so frustrating as one sneeze seems to encourage the next, with no end in sight.... It happened to me on Friday just as I was heading into a hui. For some reason, in the middle of the attack, I remembered an old sage piece of advice my mother used to say.... "Snort some water up each nostril, if the inside of your nose is wet, the sneezes will stop.." I had never actually bothered to try that out. This time I did, and I can tell you it works...! So as I sat there impressed with myself, eyes watering but sneeze-free, I got thinking about the sort of knowledge that gets handed down from generation to generation, full of practical wisdom that comes from actual experience, refined over the years, tried and true. In the international arena of the United Nations, whole work programmes are currently underway to try and preserve and protect "traditional knowledge". Here at home, a group of elders determined to protect their traditional knowledge bravely initiated a claim that is now referred to as "Wai 262". We all have examples given to us; you will have your own and you might have heard some of these wise sayings that I grew up with:
- for extra juicy lemons, dip them in hot water
- rub a cold wet teabag over your streaked mirror or glass and wipe clean
- a teaspoon of vinegar into your stew or boil up makes for quickly tenderised meat
- chew parsley for fresh breath
Why not give this a go - try and remember one or two examples of traditional knowledge that you have been given over the years, and pass it on to a member of the next generation. Now that really is a "taonga tuku iho" - a treasure handed down.