Ukulele & Languages

Different countries,
Different cultures
one common language... the ukulele.

Ukulele in New-Zealand

22 2009

I’ve been so taken in my search for ukulele songs in rare languages that I have scarcely written about ukulele songs from English-speaking countries.

In order to amend myself, today’s post will be about New-Zealand. Why New-Zealand ? Apart from having a great Ukulele Orchestra which you are all already familiar with, my curiosity was piqued by this video :

38. English (New-Zealand)

The Wanganui h song performed by the Riverton Uke Troupe

The story behind this is a decision by the New Zealand Geographic board to add an “h” to the name of the city of Wanganui. The reason evoked is that the river the city has been named after is called Whanganui with an “h”.

Whanganui comes from the Maori language and means great harbour or expanse of water.

Although it does seem rather logical that the city and the river should be spelt the same way, I am not sure I would be too pleased if someone were to decide to change the spelling of my hometown.
Old habits die hard !
And it seems like the locals do feel that way as a referendum favoured the Wanganui spelling without “h” by 77% !

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