Ranui Ellison-Collins


Te Rangitaki a Te Ranui
Eat noodles, find husband…

After learning thousands of characters, attending hundreds of classes, making dozens of friends from all over the world, travelling to several new places, sitting four exams, and completing two semesters, my time in China is coming to an end.
I remember when I first arrived, thinking about how much I took the small pleasures of home for granted. Things like a clear blue sky, fresh air, the green landscape, being able to see the horizon, the stars at night, how fresh our food generally is, how you can get from one side of town to the other without any hassles, and so on. Now, I find myself thinking similarly about China.

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Te Rangitaki a Te Ranui
Eat noodles, find husband…

I remember when asking locals which places are best to visit to learn about the Chinese jade culture, they directed me south to an area where jade is commonly sold. Not to where you source or those who have the rights to collect it, or even to those who carve, but to where the finished product was sold. Perhaps I was asking the wrong question, used words they were unfamiliar with, or they wanted to protect their industry. In any case, out of the numerous people I asked and countless internet searches, only one person suggested that I go one province south to Hangzhou and Liangzhu.

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Te Rangitaki a Te Ranui
Eat noodles, find husband…

In venturing outside Shanghai I found a new side of China that I had never imagined existed. In all honesty, I don’t know what I expected, but it certainly wasn’t what I discovered. I have now traveled to a few places and have found that each has their own flavour, dialect, and beauty that differentiates them from the next.

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Te Rangitaki a Te Ranui
Eat noodles, find husband…

Within a few days of writing this, I will be in Shanghai, the modern Chinese city that is home to more than 24 million people. The city has about 35 universities, with studies ranging across almost every discipline imaginable. I will be attending Fudan University, ranked in the top 10 of all Chinese institutions. Fudan has four campuses and more than 31,000 students.

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What it means to be Kāi Tahu

From a young age, my sister and I remember being dragged to hui across the country. Now, that is not to say that we didn’t enjoy the hui, but more that we wished that we had a retreat space, a room for us and other rakatahi our age where we could express our Kāi Tahutaka in our own individual way. This became the foundation for the space we filled for Hui-ā-Iwi.

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