This current week, 26 July–1 August, has been Maori Language Week, which has been celebrated in New Zealand each year since 1975. The theme for the 2010 Maori Language Week is 'Te Mahi Kai – The Language of Food'. With this theme in mind, the Maori Cultural Group at my place of work has been organising various food activities, such as selling Maori Bread and tickets for the Hangi Lunch on Friday.
Today was cake decorating day. Representatives from the two main areas in the building were charged with making a Maori Meeting House. They were presented with chocolate cake, biscuits and sweets to construct their building, and they could add other food items if required. All this was done in the strictest secrecy behind closed doors. At 2.00pm the entries were escorted into the cafeteria amid much fanfare. The two judges pondered long and hard and finally reached their decision. This entry took second place. The chocolate cake was cut and shaped into a meeting house with chocolate biscuits on the roof making a very realistic looking meeting house.
The winning entry came from my side if the building. Made of chocolate cake, this entry featured wafer biscuits decorated with icing swirls reminiscent of Maori motifs. The free standing meeting house met the judges approval and romped home to first place. Both entries looked good enough to eat.
And they were, when a little later the cakes were taken to their respective areas and cut up for general consumption. A couple of Maori phrases from the information sheet seemed to fit the situation quite nicely. “He pai tenai”, meaning “this is good” certainly described the rich moist chocolate cake. And then the phrase “he mea ano mau?”, meaning “do you want some more?” seemed appropriate as I nibbled on my second piece of cake!