My boys loved the Haka
Hey look, Mummy,’ my 7-year old son Isaac said. ‘There’s someone swimming in the lake!’
Hip-hop act De La Soul were on the main stage, which was separated from the audience by a natural lake – and there was indeed someone swimming doggedly towards them! It summed up the spontaneous, can-do feeling of the whole festival.
It was March 2016 and I was at Womad, in New Plymouth. Known as ‘the world’s festival,’ there’s a Womad in 30 countries around the world, including the UK, Chile, Spain – and New Zealand, where I now live, having married a Kiwi!
Held in the stunning Brooklands Park, there was a focus on world music – we saw the amazing Ladysmith Black Mambazo perform, as well as British folk band Spiro and local acts Bic Runga and Katchafire. Te Kapa Haka o Te Whanau a Apanui opened the weekend. Kapa Haka is Maori performance arts – essentially, ‘the Haka’ is part of Kapa Haka. There was lots of music and stories, and it was culturally very relevant. The kids loved the living library – where you could loan ‘human books’ for 30 to 60 minutes to tell you a story. I enjoyed several visits to the Asiainspired Kunming Garden retreat, with healers, naturopaths and tarot readers. What I liked best was how local it all was – half of Auckland turned out! It was so safe that the kids could go off by themselves, with a pre-arranged meeting time and place. For a world festival, it really made me appreciate the unique culture and spirituality of the country I live in.