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Friday, February 6, 2009

Waitangi Day - Auckland, New Zealand, David Lim, GDI, Daily Pic

Today is a public holiday and have the chance to get a few done. The kids went to the Lantern Festival at Mt Albert Park, Auckland. Since there were limited parking space near the city, I opted to drop them off and pick them up again after they spend the evening there to enjoy the food fair, exhibition and celebration. Click here for the map of Waitangi, Northland, New Zealand.

Many are not aware that Waitangi Day is also the birthday of Bob Marley the raggae legend! I am one of there rare student back in mid 1980's who listens and appreciate the raggae music at the Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO. 63701, USA.

Liberation, equal rights and justice and resistance to oppression were dominant themes in Bob Marley's lyrics; his uncompromising messages rooted in the many struggles he endured in his rural Jamaican birthplace and later in Kingston's gritty Trenchtown ghetto resonated with maligned and marginalized people everywhere. From Hopi Indians in the American Southwest to African freedom fighters, Bob was celebrated as a motivating and empowering force by a diverse range of ethnic groups. Among the clans that continue to commemorate his life and music 26 years after his death are the indigenous Maori of New Zealand.

Marley's profound importance among the Maori community is also reflected in their observance of Waitangi Day, a national holiday which celebrates the signing of The Treaty of Waitangi by representatives of the British Crown and Maori chiefs, on February 6, 1840. The Treaty, as it is called, established New Zealand as a British colony and gave the Maori the rights accorded all British citizens as well as the opportunity to own their land and other properties throughout the island.

Waitangi Day, February 6, is also Bob Marley's birthday and many Maoris refer to Waitangi Day as "One Love Day" according to Nandor Tanczos, a Rastafarian and member of New Zealand's Parliament since 1999. "It is a day of unity; in Auckland we hold a celebration called "One Love" and we commemorate Waitangi Day and Bob Marley's birthday. 15,000 people come to that celebration in Auckland and it is not only a day of togetherness but a day of respect, unity and also justice."

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