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Different Coloured Tears: dual cultural identity and Tangihanga

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Author(s): Kiri Edge | Linda Waimarie Nikora | Mohi Rua

Journal: MAI Review
ISSN 1177-5904

Volume: 2011;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: bereavement | culture | identity | intercultural conflict | resolution

ABSTRACT
Although whānau/family that are configured by both Pākehā and Māori identities number significantly within New Zealand, there has been little or no attention paid to the ways in which these identities influence the bereavement processes that will inevitably impact upon the lives of these whānau/family. The present study explored the experiences of an individual, whose whānau/family included two life ways: Māori and Pākehā. Of specific focus was the ways in which these identities influenced his bereavement subsequent to the death of his beloved wife, who was of Māori descent. One elderly male Pākehā participant was interviewed, using an open ended narrative approach. The interview was semi-structured around five broad themes, but the focus was upon the participant’s experiences and his preference in expressing these. The data analysis utilised a thematic process which allowed the participant’s experiences to determine the emergent themes. The results depicted the diversity of issues that may be raised for dual cultural whānau/family within bereavement processes. Two central themes are discussed in relation to intercultural conflict and the eventual resolution that was created. Decision-making processes, cultural and language differences played significant roles within the conflict and exclusion experienced by the participant. Communication and compromise provided resolution to the prior conflicts experienced. This created positive and unexpected outcomes which resulted in increased understandings and the strengthening of links between the participant, his whānau/family and his wife’s marae.
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