Archive for the 'Culture' Category

New Zealand: Cambridge – All Ages Gather to Sing in New Zealand

Tuesday, March 10th, 2020

We were lucky enough to be invited to a Maori cultural group to mingle with women and children. We learned the craft of making instruments. And then we enjoyed singing along (with song sheets) with everyone from kids to their grandparents. All ages joined together to sing – and the kids knew all the words! People are wonderfully inviting all over the world.

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New Zealand: Cambridge – Maori Neighborhood Gathering

Tuesday, March 10th, 2020

Just like all over the world, people of similar backgrounds form social circles to keep their heritage intact. In Cambridge, NZ, we were invited to this Maori gathering to make our own poi balls. The balls are attached to long strings and swung rhythmically, one in each hand. Today, the women dancers perform the Maori poi. Men used it for strength and coordination and they were also used as a weapon during a battle. It is really hard to spin those balls.

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New Zealand: Northern Island- Hamilton Gardens, Northern Island, NZ

Monday, March 9th, 2020

Invoking the floral colours of an intricate Indian rug, the Indian Char Bagh Garden at Hamilton Gardens definitely has the feel of India. A bagh is an enclosed 4-part garden 8 -18th century Muslim world Asia to north Africa to Spain, paradise gardens universal garden became a distinctive art form in 16 & 17th century under mughal Rulers and then Hindu aristocracy poetic secret pleasure gardens feel breezes, hear water gurgling perfume of flowers real living carpet.

 

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New Zealand: Hamilton Gardens – Hollywood Garden in Hamilton Gardens, NZ

Monday, March 9th, 2020

This “garden’ in Hamilton Gardens, NZ just did not evoke Hollywood to us. Only the image of Marilyn Monroe gives a hint of what it is. And yes there’s the ubiquitous swimming pool you would find in Hollywood, but who’s in it?

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New Zealand: Hamilton Gardens – Traditional Maori Garden in New Zealand

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

In the Te Parapara Garden in Hamilton Gardens, NZ, traditional (to Maori) rare kuumara (sweet potato) varieties are planted on puke (mounds) in the summer and then harvested. 

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New Zealand: Hamilton Gardens – Maori Garden

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

Here is the traditional entrance to the Te Parapara Garden in Hamilton Gardens, NZ. Notice the carved face sticking out his tongue. This is a gesture you would see in Maori dancing and is a method of intimidating invaders.

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New Zealand: Hamilton Gardens – Tudor Garden at Hamilton Gardens, NZ

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

In the 16th century the English aristocracy were fascinated by intricate geometric patterns. These Tudor Garden reflects this. There were also knot gardens and some were called fantasy gardens where fantasy plays were held.  Notice the carved heraldic beasts on poles: griffin, dragon, centaur, phoenix, unicorn, satyr and sea serpent. See if you can find “Bottom”  from Shakespeare’s play Midsummer Nights’ Dream.

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New Zealand: Hamilton Gardens – New Zealand’s Famous Writer

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

Katherine Mansfield may not be a name you know, but everyone in New Zealand knows her. Her famous short story, “The Garden Party” is depicted in a garden in Hamilton Gardens. She is by the way, often considered one of the founders of modern literature.

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New Zealand: Hamilton Gardens – Alice in Wonderland in New Zealand

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

You never know when you might bump into Alice and Wonderland depictions as you travel around the world. This one was in the Hamilton Gardens in New Zealand. It is truly amazing that this story from centuries ago, has resonated so far and wide. 

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New Zealand: Hamilton Gardens – Wooden Mural

Monday, March 2nd, 2020

This depiction of real life and imagined life in Hamilton Gardens was an unpaid labor of love for carvers Derek Kerwood and Meghan Godfrey. For this unbelievably intricate carving, the wood came from a single camphor laurel tree which grew on the nearby Waikato river bank.

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