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Entry 471, on 2007-02-07 at 16:12:44 (Rating 3, Comments)
New Zealand's national day is known as "Waitangi Day" and it commemorates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi 167 years ago which supposedly marked the birth of our country. The treaty was supposed to produce an agreed truce between the New Zealand native Maoris and the British settlers. But our national day is a failure. A recent poll indicated over half of the people asked believed it has no significance for them at all. Other polls indicate an even higher degree of apathy. The significance to Maori is much higher, however.
Why is this? Other countries have national days which are widely celebrated, so why does ours have so little meaning? I guess its mainly because its been taken over by political correctness. It has become a Maori celebration at a Maori location, for an event which was supposed to be a partnership but now appears to be a Maori event. Most New Zealanders have no Maori heritage so they have no interest.
I would certainly put myself in this category. Shock, horror... I don't really care about Maori culture! I find some Maori mythology interesting and some craft and carving is quite impressive, but overall I find it quite boring. So Waitangi day really has nothing for me.
I don't really care though, because I get a day off work and what else really matters? I have no attachment with Christmas either, because I find Christian mythology tedious, but I still look forward to it happening because that's when our summer holidays start. Obviously, other religious holidays, such as Easter, are in the same general category.
So do I have an official day that I do enjoy celebrating for its own merit? Well, not really. I try to celebrate Christmas as a mid-summer day. That suits my interest in astronomy and the fact that summer is (theoretically) there, but changing the meaning is cheating a bit, I suppose.
So I suppose I will just have to ignore Waitangi Day and continue to be cynical and apathetic like most of my fellow New Zealanders.
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