Friday, 6 February 2009

Waitangi Day

Today we joined in the peaceful celebration of Waitangi day and went to Okains Bay in the Banks Peninsula (close to Akaroa). Waitangi day signifies an important moment in New Zealand history. On this day in 1840 representatives of the British crown and over 500 Maori chiefs signed the Treaty at Waitangi in the Bay of Islands in the North Island. The Treaty formed the foundation of New Zealand and the country became part of the British Empire.
The day started with a Powhiri (welcome) at the Marae (Maori meeting house) In the middle you see Bob Parker, mayor of Christchurch. Part of the ceremony was the welcoming of people who received New Zealand citizenship.
There was lots to see and to do. Sheep were of course present. They outweigh New Zealanders with 10 to 1. Luckily these sheep got rid of their warm coat on this hot day.
I feel so good without my coat............................................................When is it my turn please
One of the beautifully carved Waka (canoe) The other one will arrive soon on the river.
But first a walk and some reflection by William near the beach of Okains Bay. Behind the trees is a camping where we stayed several times for a weekend in the past.
It was fun to look at the waves turning into drops who jumped happily against the coastline and sprayed the air in excitement.
The Waka is arriving, presenting the historic moment when 7 Maori Waka arrived on the Canterbury coastline from Polynesia via the Pacific Ocean 800 years ago.
The celebration took part around the Maori museum in Okains Bay. Today the Okains Bay store got handed over to the museum. The man and his dog on the picture take a rest after all the celebrations. It was a magnificent day.

18 comments:

  1. It's a beautiful post Marja, many thanks for sharing as I always love reading about other country's culture. I am sure the sheep was happy to lose his coat...otherwise it's a walking furry sauna :D

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  2. I found that very interesting Marja. I also like to read about the history of different country's and cultures.

    My heart goes out to sheep in the sweltering heat. How do they survive with all that wool?

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  3. Marja ik dacht dat ik je in mijn bloglist had staan om te zien wanneer jij post haebt geplaatst. Om één of andere reden was je er helaas niet in opgenomen, dat heb ik nu hersteld. Ik had heel wat in te halen met lezen en foto's bekijken.... Wat een prachtige uitzichten en wat valt er veel te zien en te beleven in je nieuwe vaderland.

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  4. Gosh, the sheep-shearing takes me back, Marja. When I was a kid, I would have to 'turn the handle' of the shearing-clippers for the 'men' to do the necessary, at Dick Woollacott's farm!

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  5. Marja,

    I come here via Robb and Bob's blogs. You've got some amazing phoptos and stories. I look forward to reading more.

    Best,
    D'Arcy

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  6. Thanks for sharing this historic celebration! Looks warm, which looks so good right now.

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  7. I went next door with some blankets and some beads, they would swap their land for them.

    Guess they got wiser :-)

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  8. A beautiful post about this celebration, and wonderful photos. Thank you for sharing :) Have a lovely weekend, Katie

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  9. Thank you Marja. I love your post, because it brings back all great memories of 4 years ago. You love Botanical Gardens, so do I . The park in Christchurch is also beautiful. We spent one afternoon there. Bedankt voor je comment! Groetjes, Wil.

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  10. Kia ora Marja,
    Happy Waitangi weekend to you as well! Hope you are staying cool and have had a great weekend. We went to the celebration in the Palmerston North town square and enjoyed the people and music. Have a great day.
    Aroha,
    Robb

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  11. looks like you had a lovely day

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  12. Shades of Wal and Footrot Flats in that last photo Marja! Thank you for a very interesting post about Waitangi Day. I would love to visit New Zealand one day.

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  13. Thank you for your interesting post,Marja!And I agree...I would love to visit NZ one day in future!
    Have a nice weekend!

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  14. Very unique blog.
    Fantastic images and topic.

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    Good day.

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  15. Kia Ora Marja

    I really enjoyed your posting on Waitangi Day. When we think back to 1840 when the treaty was signed, there were 1000 Pakehas and 100,000 Maori.

    It is so important this treaty is honoured and the wrongs redessed. Articles like yours help to heal.

    I enjoyed catching up on your earlier postings and the photographs of the South Island and Greenstone were superb.

    Thanks

    Bob

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  16. Marja...beautiful photos! I read this week about NZ's celebrations and its meaning in our national paper. I guess the day has become a bit of a flashpoint for protesters etc?

    It sounds lovely....how you spent your day. I would love to paddle one of those canoes. :)

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  17. Hi Marja

    You brought me much pleasure in this blog. And you know how much I love history and all things about culture. Thank you very, very much for helping me share pleasurable moments with you on Waitangi Day. This moment is as delightful as when I had my first experience of Waitangi Day in Auckland. And that's when I got hooked on Maori culture and all things about New Zealand. The museum exhibits and great craftmanship demonstrated in the waka and so many other things. Did you go inside the Marae and does the seating arrangement for women still stands?

    The richness of culture in New Zealand is awesome in my opinion.

    Aroha
    Paterika

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