Friday, 25 March 2016

Non-Christian Perspective of Easter

I gave a respectful Non-Christian perspective of Easter last night on Radio Waatea in a live Reo.
 I was interviewed by show host, Pierre Lyndon.

Here is the podcast of that interview 

Pierre: Warm Easter Greetings to all listeners.Many of you are travelling to and from your destinations on the roads. There are also many celebrations on our Marae. TeRata Hikairo joins us on the phone tonight, insomuch as there are many Non-Christians in New Zealand, and it can no longer be said that New Zealand is just a Christian Country. Greetings TeRata.

TeRata: Greetings Pierre, Warm Easter Greetings to all listeners tonight. 

Pierre: TeRata, when I grew up, Both Easter and Christmas feature prominently as Christian Festivals. I am aware though that many different (Asian) people are here in New Zealand who are diverse. Is this a modern trend?

TeRata:Yes indeed. First off, imsomuch as I am the first guest of the night, I do not forget those who died in Europe and pay tribute to those who died in Brussels, Rest now in the love of God.So yes, to begin, we engage tonight's topic of Easter. Easter a time of love, a time of family. I acknowledge my brothers and sisters in Abraham, the members of Churches and Christians here in New Zealand and around the World, Greetings to all. But yes, tonight's topic looks at we who are outside the Church and we who are NOT Christian. We who are of different faiths, different groups and different schools of thought. So I am here to interview, to discuss and to speak about this with you tonight Pierre.

Pierre: TeRata, I have seen many different (Asian) people, and there are many and I am aware that they do things differently to Western people. It can be said that these times are not viewed the same way by all, is that so?

TeRata: Yes yes. That is so. It is true that for each faith group, there are different festivals. In terms of us as Muslims, first of all Easter is a Christian Festival and Easter has no relation to us as Muslims, we as Muslims have our own festivals. We have our own festivals and have our own (different) celebrations. Christians have Easters, we Muslims have something different. The same can be said, for Hindus, Jews and Buddhists. Yes. That is it. Christians have Easter, and Non Christians have other festivals.

Pierre: TeRata, Easter celebrates the Resurrection of Christ and his Ascencion to Heaven. Roman soldiers went to his grave and found that the dead body was not there. From that time, this was known as Easter. Is that what you say of Easter, so as to have unity in our discussion tonight.

TeRata: I would say this. The Maori language names this time as 'Aranga' (Resurrection Time). The English languages calls this time Easter. And so English does not really communicate the true meaning of this time, that is one thing to say at the start. Secondly, Christians have their celebrations for this time of Easter, given to them by their traditions. BUT, there is not 1 Biblical verse that calls us to celebrate Easter. So then where can have a unity in our discussion? We both say there is one God who has many Prophets. We also all believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah.In that we have unity, but not neccesarily in the celebration of Easter. We have unity in the love of Christ.

Pierre: TeRata, one thing is clear. At this time people can go to the shop and buy eggs. Eggs as a symbol of new life. BUT, Easter eggs, much like Christmas celebrations if really researched, it is seen that these are NOT really from Christianity.

TeRata: Yes. Yes that is the basis of what I am saying. But before we really get in to that. I just want to say that I respect and love all the Christians of New Zealand and of the whole world. Many of my family are still Christian and go to Christian churches and they still celebrate Easter. And so I love my family who celebrate Easter. That is that. But Yes, what you say is true and yes research proves it. Eggs, and Chocolates and Bunnies all have no relation to the Bible. The Bible does NOT say 'In April go and eat eggs and chocolate and go after the chickens for Easter'. The Bible does not say that. Therefore why do Christians go and eat chocolate and search after rabbits and chicken eggs, because the Bible says nothing about that. These have nothing to do with Christianity and are from outside Christianity. 

Pierre: TeRata, what is Ramadan?

TeRata: For Muslims, Ramadan is a religious celebration. Just like Hindus have Diwali and Jews have Passover. Ramadan is one of our more famous celebrations. Ramadan is a one month where we fast. A time where in the daylight hours, we do not eat, drink or touch our spouse. So yes, a time where during daylight hours, we do not eat, drink or touch our spouse and this is for the whole month. This is a religious celebration for Muslims. This is similar to many religious celebrations in many religions that celebrate God. 

Pierre: TeRata, I have seen that the number of Maori Muslims has increased.Is that so?

TeRata: Yes. Statistics say that there are nearly 2 thousand. Something like 1800 Maori Muslims according to Statistics.

Pierre: TeRata, Is it true that Muslims don't cut their beards.

TeRata: Yes. Male Muslims do not generally cut their beards which is according to choice. We see great blessing in keeping a beard. Each person has a choice. Personally I myself, don't keep a beard as a school teacher. I know many Muslims who do keep their beards and keeping your beard is a good thing. And each person has a choice.

Pierre: TeRata, just one last question. Is it true that women must wear clothes that  cover their face, is that correct?

TeRata: Our Scriptures outline rules for dress. Our Scriptures say women can publically show their face and hands and nothing else. Men can show, the head, shoulders and the beginning of the chest and cover everything down to their knees. Everything must be covered between the chest and the knees. Rules differ between men and women. But there are rules for everyone related to dress. 

Pierre: TeRata, our time has run out. It is great to listen to you and our language. This has been learning and a sharing of knowledge. Thank you

TeRata: Thank you Pierre, Thank you everyone.

Pierre: That was TeRata Hikairo.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016


I am urging all people of all faiths everywhere to pray for the people of Brussels.
Indeed we are once again called on, to pray for those struck by the great tragedy of ‘terrorism’.
We do not forget the suffering in all places and in all countries, including our own. We are secure in the knowledge and faith that God Almighty is our comfort.

Priez pour Bruxelles
J'exhorte toutes les personnes de toutes les confessions du monde entier à prier pour les gens de Bruxelles.
En effet, nous sommes une fois de plus fait appel à prier pour ceux frappés par la grande tragédie de «terrorisme».
Nous ne pas oublier la souffrance dans tous les lieux et dans tous les pays, y compris la nôtre. Nous sommes en sécurité dans la connaissance et la foi que Dieu Tout-Puissant est notre confort.

Bid voor Brussel
Ik aandringen alle mensen van alle geloven overal te bidden voor de inwoners van Brussel.
Inderdaad zijn we weer een beroep op bidden voor degenen die getroffen door de grote tragedie van 'terrorisme'.
We niet het lijden in alle plaatsen en in alle landen, met inbegrip van onze eigen vergeten. We zijn veilig in de wetenschap en het geloof dat God de Almachtige is onze comfort.

Bete für Brüssel
Ich fordere alle Menschen aller Glaubensrichtungen überall für die Menschen in Brüssel, um zu beten.
Tatsächlich sind wir wieder auf beten genannt diejenigen, für die große Tragödie des "Terrorismus" geschlagen.
Wir vergessen nicht, das Leiden an allen Orten und in allen Ländern, einschließlich unserer eigenen. Wir sind sicher in dem Wissen und den Glauben, dass Gott, der Allmächtige unser Trost ist.

-          TeRata Hikairo – Maori Muslim in New Zealand