9 votes

Cook Islands to choose new indigenous name and remove any association with British explorer

5 comments

  1. [4]
    Algernon_Asimov Link
    So they're removing the obvious mark of colonialism, but they're making sure the new name incorporates one of the effects of colonialism. That's sad.

    He said the new name would have to incorporate the nation’s strong Christian faith and Maori heritage.

    So they're removing the obvious mark of colonialism, but they're making sure the new name incorporates one of the effects of colonialism. That's sad.

    7 votes
    1. [3]
      vakieh Link Parent
      As antireligious as I am, it would be kinda stupid to reject reality. They are very strongly Christian.

      As antireligious as I am, it would be kinda stupid to reject reality. They are very strongly Christian.

      4 votes
      1. [2]
        Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
        But how did they become strongly Christian? Because European colonialists imposed that religion on them. That's not part of their pre-colonial culture. If we're going to argue that they should...

        But how did they become strongly Christian? Because European colonialists imposed that religion on them. That's not part of their pre-colonial culture.

        If we're going to argue that they should choose a name which reflects their current situation, rather than their historical culture, then there's no reason to remove "Cook Islands" in the first place: they were found by Captain Cook, and they are part of a country which was created by Europeans. Why not just keep their "Cook Islands" designation to reflect those modern-day realities?

        They want something that reflects their traditional pre-colonial indigenous culture, and Christianity was not part of that culture.

        4 votes
        1. vakieh Link Parent
          'They want' is your interpretation. My guess is they want something that represents who they are today - a Maori, Christian nation. The fact Cook rediscovered them centuries ago is likely...

          'They want' is your interpretation. My guess is they want something that represents who they are today - a Maori, Christian nation. The fact Cook rediscovered them centuries ago is likely meaningless to them, the fact they are Christian now is clearly not.

          5 votes
  2. alyaza Link
    there have been a relative flurry of place name changes recently, beginning with swaziland and its switch to eSwatini, macedonia's negotiated change to north macedonia, and now potentially the...

    there have been a relative flurry of place name changes recently, beginning with swaziland and its switch to eSwatini, macedonia's negotiated change to north macedonia, and now potentially the cook islands. of note, there has been one effort like this that was voted down before:

    Mark Brown, the deputy prime minister, supported the change but said it would need to involve the nation’s 12,000 residents. In 1994, the Cook Islands held a referendum to change the name to Avaiki Nui but the proposal was resoundingly defeated.

    but this one seems more likely to succeed, since it has the backing of the major parties on the islands and traditional leaders have also been consulted on it. we'll see if anything comes of it.

    2 votes