Community over individualism & COMING OF AGE
What could the phrase ‘community over individualism’ possibly have to do with coming of age? Coming of age is, after all, linked to birthdays and more often parties, centred around the person whose birthday is being celebrated. There is a logical connection, however. ‘Community over individualism and coming of age are connected when a person celebrates their birthday with the intention of fostering community and connections, embracing and showcasing different cultures and striving to make a difference. I recently turned 30, not disheartened by the fact but rather indifferent to it all. Just months before my 30th I gave birth to a happy, healthy little boy and my perceptions towards a lot of things changed. When I found out I was pregnancy I focused my work as a World Vision Blog Ambassador towards raising money to help support maternal and child health in Africa. With postpartum hormones still raging I decided I wanted to celebrate my coming of age. I saw 30 as that moment because it was at this point in my life I felt truly mature and like an adult. I suppose it could be argued that it was more the life event of having a child then my chronological age. I see it as a mixture of both. I wanted to celebrate my joy and make a difference. There were certain things I wanted for this celebration: as much of the produce and products used at the party to be local and organic and to support small businesses instead of larger corporations. I didn’t want gifts, instead I asked my guests to consider donating to my World Vision maternal health fund. I also wanted to introduce the different groups of people in my life to each other: the Fijian community in Dunedin; my small business owner friends; my new-found mum friends; and mutual friends of Patrick and myself. There were some over lapping groups. I wanted a celebration that would finally physically bring together all the different aspects of who I am.