Being free to celebrate as we wish is worth celebrating

Last Waitangi Day I spent most of the day getting to Auckland to celebrate the silver wedding anniversary of friends.

I can’t remember clearly what I did on February 6 the year before, or the year before that or any other Waitangi Day.

Early February is a busy time on any farm so regardless of the holiday there has to be some business as usual.

I suspect when our daughter was at school we took the opportunity to go to the river for a swim but I have no memories of marking the day in any way which showed I was aware of its meaning.

That could also be said of Queens Birthday and Labour days.

But Waitangi Day is still special.

I can’t think of any other country where there was such an attempt to bridge the gap between the indigenous people and the government of the colonisers.

That the execution didn’t live up to the intent is shameful, but that shouldn’t detract from the importance of the attempt.

Such respect for indigenous people and recognition they had rights was probably unique at the time and it’s by no means universal now.

It’s fitting to mark that with due ceremony at Waitangi and wherever else people choose to do so. But if some, perhaps most of us, choose to mark the anniversary of the treaty’s signing, without the hoopla with which other countries celebrate their important days, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Being free to celebrate a wedding anniversary with friends, swim in the river or do whatever else we please is just as much a celebration as making a big fuss.

Meanwhile though, in Townsville my niece, who is a Kiwi of Scottish, English and Dutch descent, will be having a hangi with friends.

4 Responses to Being free to celebrate as we wish is worth celebrating

  1. Woollcombe says:

    Is Gemmell’s Crossing still a good spot to river swim?

    Like

  2. homepaddock says:

    I haven’t swum there for years so I’m not sure but Clifton Falls, a few kms up the Kakanui River from Gemmells is as good as it always was.

    Like

  3. Woollcombe says:

    I have not been there for a long time either (say) 1970 with an early girlfriend of the time who sneaked the key from her parents’ crib and we had a rollicking week there instead of being in school in Timaru! I think we swam for the first half hour. The following 167.5 hours was busy too!

    Like

  4. Fairfacts Media says:

    this post made you blog of the week in the HOS

    well done!!

    Like

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