Blog: Hands off my playdough

Last updated 11:05 27/08/2012
dough stand
A cultural discussion has erupted around the use of playdough as a teaching and artistic tool.

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"New Zealand is becoming too PC!" many people scream whenever they read about things they disagree with. Mostly, if it's in support of a minority, it's not for them.

OPINION: Surely, while there are sprinkles of PC here and there, it isn't enough to really make our lives completely miserable. In saying this though, I have to make some exceptions:

I love different cultures and respect cultural differences. I love that we live in a country where people have the freedom to express beliefs and traditions freely.

However, much like religion and alternative lifestyles, I for one am against forcing cultural practices on to people of a different background.

When I go to a marae, I participate in respectful traditions, including a karakia before eating. I may not be comfortable in doing this, but I do it out of respect because I am in a specific cultural environment.

But one thing that has pissed me off this weekend is a possible ban of edible art in educational environments - pre-schools, primary schools,  etc - based on cultural beliefs.

Kids should have the freedom to express their creativity by whatever means they wish.

If Maori parents of Maori children don't wish for their kids to use play-dough or macaroni as forms of art, I respect and understand that.

But to force that cultural stance on to other people? No way!

If we are to embrace one culture's practices into our educational system, we should be embracing all other cultures to truly reflect the multi-cultural make-up of New Zealand.

I reiterate: I love and respect cultural differences, especially when I am in a specific cultural environment. I just don't appreciate being denied my own rights and beliefs.

I probably speak for many people here in saying that I enjoyed making my macaroni photo frames and pirate ships out of play dough when I was little.

So, decision-makers, please use your brains here. One cultural stance may not be fitting for everybody.

Don't remove creative edible arts from a child's education because of  one cultural stance!

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- Taranaki


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