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Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Waitangi Day Celebrations

Waitangi Day is a national holiday here in New Zealand. It commemorates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on February 6th, 1840. There has been much argument since then as to the meaning of what was signed away by the Maori, with there being a document that was translated for signing by Maori, not being of the same meaning as that in English. 
However, Waitangi Day around New Zealand is a day to celebrate family and the culture of New Zealand.
Waitangi is not a big place, but it is the home of the Treaty House and Flagstaff, plus a wharenui - Maori meeting house. 
Here's a quick video link from waitangi.org.nz that gives an overview if you want to get a mental picture.
Having an overseas visitor, as we did, is always a good reason to visit Waitangi on this day. 

It was a blazingly hot day, we've had no proper rain for weeks here, but it makes for a great summer.
Love the sun shade


We watched the waka,(Maori canoes) 








I got a video from my phone, wanting to catch the sounds for you, of the conch shells being blown and the calls as paddles are dipped. It isn't clear enough, but you get the idea.


video


This video bite of 3 seconds is the group preparing for the haka.


video

As well as entertainment on several stages, there were cultural groups, the NZ Navy band, markets with lots of NZ foods to try, like hangi and creamed paua, mussel fritters, flax ketes to buy.

All entertainment and buses were free. The buses are so that you can park a distance away and be ferried to and from your vehicle.

They had made a big effort to minimize waste, with much of it being biodegradable, and having volunteers manning the recycling stations to help people recycle everything correctly.

All in all, a fabulous day.


2 comments:

  1. Those long canoes are amazing. For some reason the videos don't appear on my screen while the link did. I love hearing about your country as I know so little about it. My daughters and I were intrigued with the movie Whale Rider and watched it many times years ago. It was such a beautiful movie and good story.
    Right now there is a big controversy over an oil pipeline going through Native American land and threatening their clean water. Obama stopped it just before he left office and now Trump has reinstated the work permits to continue it. It is so unfair. For hundreds of years we have trampled their rights and it seems we should be more evolved than to continue to break treaties and ignore their culture. I had written to Obama thanking him for stopping the pipeline and got a personal response.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Cynthia, I'm sorry those videos don't work for you - they are testing ok, I hope others can see them.
      That's so nice that you got a personal reply from Barach Obama - everyone misses him :-( Damn Trump - how dare he.

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