“Every year on 6 February, New Zealand marks the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. In that year, representatives of the British Crown and over 500 Māori chiefs signed what is often considered to be New Zealand’s founding document.” https://nzhistory.govt.nz/politics/treaty/waitangi-day
Unfortunately many New Zealanders have been put off the celebration due to controversy and politicking. Protesters have often used the day to make their point and many British descendants grew tired of being reminded of the sins of their land-grabbing great, great, great, great, great Grandfathers. This year all venues have remained quiet. There have been no ‘brown-eyes’ bared to insult dignitaries and no dildos thrown at surprised politians. Nothing. It is quite uncanny!
My husband and I attend a small celebration each Waitangi Day at a settlement called Clive. We like the multicultural emphasis of this particular celebration because New Zealand is home to many different cultures now. The organisers, volunteers, try to represent as many cultures as possible in the flag display.
The Clive celebration begins with a reenactment of the first landing of settlers and Te Aute Anglican Maori Boys College perform a hair raising haka, the ceremonial challenge probably better known as performed by the All Blacks before a rugby match. There are food stalls to sell sweet Maori bread (Rewana) and craft stalls where you can buy greenstone pendants (pounamu) and flax baskets (kete) while local bands perform on stage.
Gang insignias have been banned from the grounds but a determined member found a way around that this year.
Alchoholic beverages are also off-limits to ensure a good time is had by all.
Soon it is time for tea. So in keeping with the multi-cultural theme of the day we do something no experienced gastronome would ever consider. We purchase 2 packs of sushi and 2 chai lattes to go.
Here we learn that Sushi and Chai do not cohabit peacefully together. I am not sure who to blame. I like both – just not together.