Come together: diversity, discourse and the magic of place

Our national day is a pretext to be deliberate about our big, important conversations – our constitution, our identities, our senses of fairness. But all public celebrations let us indulge in a quiet, everyday magic…

Waitangi Day lets us celebrate our constitutional biculturalism and our demographic multiculturalism – with bands, picnics, dancers, hāngī, public art demos, speeches, skateboarding competitions, plant giveaways, panel discussions, multimedia, balloons, kapa haka, duck racing, kid races, musicians, debates, hot dog stands and spiral potatoes… Check out this lovely photo-roundup from Stuff of this year’s events around the Wellington region.

It’s also a great opportunity to power ourselves up with knowledge! The following are some Talk Wellington top reads / listens:

Waitangi Day crowds, Auckland

Lots of us, different, together in a place

While Waitangi Day is unique, ultimately all public holidays with something special about them have public celebrations. And that means loads of local people having a good time in the same place, wandering around, enjoying the same things, separately but together. Low-stakes micro-interactions – the glance and smile exchanged; the little chat about the great performer, the crying kid, the funny dog; the bumping into neighbours you never normally see…

In an age where we’ve forgotten how to be good neighbours, any free, public, celebratory gathering is just great for us as people.

And let’s be honest, it’s always good to know a little more about the place we love and live. Especially when it comes as music, dance, face painting and art – and cartoons!

Here’s a few cool perspectives on public gatherings, and “bumping-into” spaces in general…

Whether or not a particular public holiday is significant for you, head along to some of your local festivals this summer – because amongst the spiral potatoes, schoolkids’ performances, and bunting, it’s our people, your people.

It’s us, together.

As the talented Pencilsword of Toby Morris puts it: get amongst 10,000 people you love.

Image credit: tape art at Porirua City Waitangi Day celebrations

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up for our Newsletter

Unsubscribe any time.