I love this word, this concept. Thank you, foldedcranes for introducing it to me. It’s a beautiful, simple articulation of the simultaneous firm, rootedness of ‘place’ or ‘home’ while it also alludes to it’s slippery, ephemeral quality–a concept: invisible, light, airy unless we pin it down somehow physically. Even then, it may last a while, but certainly not forever. That’s why I value history so much and insist on its existence, its importance–no matter how ephemeral the paper it’s written on may be, too.

foldedcranes

Living on the other side of the world, geographically far from home – and here when I refer to home I am referring to the place I am from – has made me think about the notion of “home” a lot. Of course, distance from family and friends are the things that make it hardest to be living in another hemisphere. But I have also come to have a deeper sense and appreciation for the idea of turangawaewae. In Te Reo Maori, this literally means place (turanga) and feet (waewae). So, taken together, a place to stand or “standing place”.

Through different stages of my life I realise I’ve had various turangawaewae depending on the particular phase, but they have all been in one country. Now however, I find myself questioning whether I have a turangawaewae here in this country I am now living in, so far removed from where…

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LP

I tend to watch wheels go round and around.

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  1. History is really interesting – especially the contested nature of events. Turangawaewae has really helped us to articulate our relationship with place – in its physical and its abstract sense – and it’s really great being able to share this with others.

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