Waitangi Day – Day Of The Wailing Waters

Just the other day it was Waitangi Day here in New Zealand and I bet you have no idea what that really means. And if I tell you that Waitangi means ‘waters of sorrowful cries’ in Maori, you’re probably still none the wiser. For most New Zealanders, Waitangi Day is just another welcome day off, yet for those in the know, this is a day that marks either a celebration or a lamentation of historic proportions.

It is often said that out of all the European colonies, New Zealand treated their indigenous Maori population best. Many Kiwis will happily reiterate this statement, often pointing the finger at their barbaric neighbours in Australia who still hold one of the worst track records in terms of racism and inequality. Compared to the Aussies, New Zealand is a veritable role model and a text-book example of how to establish a colony while still respecting the native population. This is certainly a convenient truth for the less than 170-year-old New Zealand government, largely consisting of European descendants…

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One of the ways this popular belief is upheld is by marking February the 6th every year. A public holiday in New Zealand, this day commemorates the signing of a treaty – the Waitangi Treaty – between some 45 Maori chiefs and the Queen of England, who thus annexed their land and made it part of the British Empire.

While the Waitangi Treaty has had obvious benefits for the Maori – such as being recognized as humans rather than animals like colonial powers did in South America, Africa, Australia etc. – the treaty was by no means a just affair, nor is it even, to this day, part of the domestic law of New Zealand.



Hey you!

Just thought I would share with you how thrilled I am that today I reached 5000 views! That’s roughly 10 views per day since I started this blog about 1½ years ago.

Initially thought as an extended version of a postcard (mostly for my mum!), this little project has turned into quite a focal point in my travels, not least because of all the feedback I get from you readers. I feel very very privileged to have somebody reading my posts and although many bloggers have readers in the millions, I am just overwhelmed that people from all over the world have taken the time to read about my experiences on the road. Thank you!

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Not all the amazing things I experience make it into my blog. Here is for instance a snap of me jamming with blues legend Taj Mahal, not to mention the equally amazing Francesca and little Francois. God I miss those guys…

Looking at my blog statistics I am proud to see that I have had readers from 67 countries! These include interesting places such as Fiji, Yemen, Uganda, Myanmar, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan and Colombia. You lot are a mixed crowd it seems 🙂

Australia takes the lion’s share with just over 40% of the views and Denmark is riding shotgun at just over 20%. After that comes New Zealand, the US, Germany and then India on a 6th place with 103 views.

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Here’s a very recent photo of me, in case you have forgotten what I look like… This is from my campsite in Wellington. The dog is Tui – the best dog in all of NZ!

My most popular post is also my most recent one, dedicated to the incredible Kiwiburn Festival. That one has had no less than 410 views in 2 weeks – I must have hit a nerve there… The 2nd most popular post is about my beloved friends at Ponyland where I spent most of my time in Australia by far. Last on my top 3 of most read posts is the inspired piece I did on the Eclipse Festival in Australia where I got to see a total eclipse of the sun.

What a life! What a privilege! What a great support you guys are!

Thank you so much for reading this…