February 6th, 2010

happy

Waitangi Day

In New Zealand, February 6 is a public holiday. Unfortunately for those who really appreciate lots of holidays, if it falls on a weekend we don't get a day in lieu. Anzac Day's the same.

Anyway, Waitangi Day is to mark the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, at the time a progressive and ground-breaking document between the indigenous Maori and the foreign English, created in order to allow the English to colonise and set up a government. It's always been controversial because not all Maori signed it (or even agreed to it) but those who did were taken to represent the rest, there were several versions that said slightly different things and therefore could be interpreted many different ways, and the settler-government didn't do a very good job of honouring it, leading to land loss and marginalisation that has affected the Maori people to the present day. More here if you're interested.

So we have this controversial national day that is a weird combination of celebration and protest - it's absolutely nothing like the 4th of July in the US. For many people, it's just a day off work and what it represents doesn't really matter. Others would like to see a day designated "New Zealand Day" to take the focus off the issues and put them on togetherness as people of one nation.

I kind of like Waitangi Day. I'm not sure it's cause for celebration as such, but I like it just the same, in a food-for-thought kind of way.

And today is a beautiful one. The weather is absolutely stunning. I'd just like to point out that two weeks ago I told you all that summer had officially started now I'd finished mainshear (in the middle of a howling southerly). And lo and behold!

Meanwhile, one beanbag filled one and a half of the three giant rubbish bags I bought for the purpose, and I'm about to start sewing some liners to put the beans in so next time will be simple. And there are only about 30 beans on the lounge floor. Go me!

PS Aristotal lives! Everything just worked, Windows 7 is pretty, Joel is awesome and I ordered Dragon Age in celebration of all these things. I bet I can get Alistair to kiss me..