Kia Ora from me, Nicola (My Inner Creative), all the way from Wellington New Zealand. And I am going to share a little back story with you!
I am originally from South Africa, and my whole life I was surrounded by family, I knew from the day my dad immigrated to New Zealand, that it was where I wanted to be. I went for my first visit at 16 and fell in love with the place. I became so obsessed with the culture and land it was all I could think about. So much so, I even sent a hand written letter to the Prime Minster at the time who was a woman!
My final year speech at school was actually an entire tribute to the Maori culture and the language and people. Needless to say I got an A :P - I think mainly on passion.
When I finally FINALLY had the opportunity to move to New Zealand, I felt so grateful. Like I had found my place in world. My "forever home". When I first arrived I was located in a place called Napier, which is on the east coast. From there I moved to Auckland, the main business city but not the capital. When I had my son Quinn, we were based in Gisborne, which is stunning and also on the east coast and finally then into Wellington!
Only when I moved to Wellington did I realize that I was in the home of "Middle earth". Now if you are a Lord of The Rings Fan, you would know that New Zealand is where this was filmed and Weta, is the digital production house based in Wellington that did all the edits (a couple of other big movies too, like Planet of the Apes, Avatar, Jungle Book etc etc)
Even now, Ill look at where we live, or drive through the hills of Wellington I am reminded of how gorgeous everything is, and how lucky I am to be living in a country like this.
So in 2018, I studied a Diploma in creativity, as part of this, we were asked to explore something called our "Turangawaewae", and the whole project blew my mind. Because I felt like up until now, that this was not something I felt in my country of birth. The best way to explain Turanagawaewae is "your place of being", "where you plant your roots". The exact translation is "domicile, standing, place where one has the right to stand - place where one has rights of residence and belonging through kinship and family" . Its more a feeling though than a right.
What is Waitangi Day?
On the 6th of Feb every year, 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. The day was first officially commemorated in 1934, and it has been a public holiday since 1974. Recognition of the significance of the Treaty of Waitangi as the nation's founding document will continue to encourage leaders, communities and individuals to mark the day in new ways.
How do I spend the day?
Every year for last 3 years (Since I received my Citizenship) , I spend the day making sure I write down what I am grateful for. For me personally its a reminder of how lucky I am to be accepted into such a special country. I never want to take that for granted.
Drawing Kiwi Doodles
This year Ill be spending some time drawing and creating in my journal, and doodling in all the things I am grateful for. Some of the typical things that are associated with New Zealand and us Kiwi's happen to be things like the Kiwi fruit, the kiwi bird, Paua shells, Lord of the ring vibes and much much more!
Drawing kiwi doodles is simple and pretty much anyone can, considering the simplicity of the shapes!
Here are a ton of examples for you to try!