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Ambassadors for Peace

Ambassador for Peace Describes Maori Culture at Parliament of the World's Religions

Melbourne, Australia - Merekaraka Caesar, founder of Wahine Maori of Queensland, Australia, explained Maori traditions at the Parliament of the World's Religions, which met in Melbourne, Australia, December 2-9, 2009.

Tikanga is a practical, vibrant, living part of the Maori culture that has been handed down from the Tipuna, or Ancestors. It gives spiritual guidelines for daily life and interaction. Since the very beginning of time, when people stood as eternal brothers and sisters, it has helped to remind the Maori of their sacred cultural and spiritual values.

An Ambassador for Peace with the Universal Peace Federation, Mrs. Caesar is the Founder and President of Wahine Maori, a nonprofit cultural and humanitarian organization based on the Gold Coast of Queensland, in northeastern Australia. It helps Maoris assimilate into Australian society and encourages fellowship and harmony among people of all cultures based on accepting diversity and promoting the physical, spiritual, and mental well being of all people. Offering opportunities for people to share skills and knowledge, it helps prepare people for better job opportunities while retaining their cultural values. It has a humanitarian arm and plans to build orphanages in third-world countries, commencing with Thailand.

Permeating all aspects of life, tikanga sets the codes of conduct for all situations, from interacting with people, to preparing medicine, gathering food, making buildings, performing dances, and every other aspect of daily life. It is an oral rather than written tradition. The Maori are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand; there are more than 70,000 people of Maori descent living in Australia, which has a population of more than 400,000 indigenous peoples. For more information about Maoris, click here.

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