Culture and tradition are two things that, to survive, must be passed down by the people.
Tiktok has provided us a great example of this with a viral video of a manu expert imparting his manu knowledge to a manu newbie, with wonderful results. Posted by @lil.yandy, it shows two fellas standing on a jetty, the apprentice mimicking the actions of his teacher.
As ‘Forever - 2021 Remix’ by Six60 reaches its crescendo, we witness a man fly for a brief second. Mother Nature holds her breath before gravity embraces him and pulls him into the water.
As the water spouts into the air he once inhabited, his instructor raises his arms above his head and claps - a job well done and a life changed. Forever.
The comments are full of Kiwis acting the most patriotic I’ve seen in years, especially online.
“C U L T U R E,” wrote one person.
“I miss home,” said another. “This is so cool. Māori are the best. I love my culture and all the people in it.”
“He watched and he listened to the wise words of the young ones and popped it on his first try,” an observant soul added. “Tu meke.”
“And he will tell his grandchildren one day about the time he learnt how to pop a manu,” one prophesising commenter said.
The manu - or v-bomb as it’s called in Tauranga - has a disputed history. Many Māngere locals reckon their suburb invented it, and that the name ‘Manu’ is actually a shortened version of Māngere. Others say it’s translated from māngere, the Te Reo word for ‘lazy’, as it’s a lazy-looking bomb.
As someone who can’t manu at all, I write these words with jealous tears in my eyes but also a fire of hope burning in my heart.