14 October 2013

Taking in the sights, sounds and smells of Diwali

If you can't go to India, then immersing yourself in a little of the culture here at home, sounds like a good compromise!

Vega and I went out to the Diwali Festival of Light, held in the Napier Sound shell, and organised by the Multicultural Association.

There were food and produce stalls around the outside of the open-air theatre; with throngs of people either sitting on the grass or standing around the outside and spilling out onto the pavement.

It is hard to be exact but I would estimate that only half the people there were of Indian descent.  The women wore their traditional saris and it was a shame that the lighting wasn't brighter so that their colours and designs could have contributed more to the richness of the event.

The festival was a performance, by dancers on stage, and had nothing of the participation that I imagine would have taken place in it's country of origin.  There were also no fireworks or candles but to make up for that they did have a fire-dancer and a fire-breather.

The last act of the evening demanded an encore by the audience, and the 4-man dance troupe gave it their all - no mean feat considering their routine was the longest medley of the whole evening. 

Diwali Festival of Light, Napier

Male dancer at the Diwali Festival of Light, Napier

Some of the saris seen at the Diwali Festival of Light, Napier

Male dancer at the Diwali Festival of Light, Napier

Napier Sound Shell at night

I was surprised that I was keen to go and check out what the celebrations were about, and felt that I would be missing out on something had we not been able to attend.  Standing among the crowd I could imagine myself discovering the festival in it's native land; as well as the music and dance being symbolic of any culture, any country, any where we may go.  Yes, it's events like these that continue to stir the soul for travel and that extra-ordinary life.

Hawke's Bay

What are you willing to experience in the name of doing something new?

04 March 2013

Picnic under the rotunda

We headed out this evening for a picnic in the park - a large pot of potato salad and another full of cobs of corn.  As we sat in the rotunda in the middle of the gardens, only two other people passed by.  We saw neighbours playing shot put and heard others making use of the playing fields around the side.

Vega sat on a remote park seat and read the newly-acquired 'Complete Collection of Sherlock Holmes', while the others run around playing hide and seek and generally running free among the beds of roses.  At one stage Castor came back to me and was adamant that I follow him and bring Kita, as he wanted to show us the Prince Charming rose.  How sweet!

I wandered off to 'smell the roses'.

Hawke's Bay

What simple pleasure can you enjoy today?

04 March 2013

Strolling through a country market

Maraekakaho is one of those blink and you miss it places.  We'd passed by on the way to Stony Creek Ranch previously but never had a reason to stop, unless photographing the war memorial for a friend counts.

So off we drove to see what there was to see.  The Market Day was certainly larger than what we had anticipated, with artisan stalls, white elephant, food & drinks, even the Civil Defence were there.

We ended up catching up with someone we hadn't seen in years, and who didn't know about Kita!  Always fun to 'shock' people!

After that, we tootled over to Whakatu, with absolutely no idea of what we would find at the 'Junk to Funk' day organised by David Trubridge Ltd, but nosey enough to want to find out.  Vega, Gemma and I were pleasantly surprised, and could have stayed longer had it not been for the boys being in tow.  People had brought 'junk' to donate to a collection of objects that anyone could then up-cycle /re-fashion into something else.  Some tools were on hand and the welder looked to be working overtime.  The creations were show-cased under a platformed gazebo and could be taken away by anyone for a donation.  It was one big huge kindergarten workshop craft area for adults.

I would usually shy away from events like this for their arty farty nature, but I was drawn to this one due to it's innovative environmental element.  It did win me over.  I also liked that Vega and Gemma could create from a variety of materials and they didn't have to follow us home.  We will certainly be looking out for the announcements of the 'Junk to Funk' days in the future, and this time I know the boys will want to join us. 

Here are some of the objects we made:

'Junk to Funk' - Steampunk bustle skirt from a market umbrella cover

'Junk to Funk' - plastic rods stuffed into a tube and cut crosswise

'Junk to Funk' - wicker basket filled with testtube-like containers for floral arranging

Hawke's Bay

What have you done differently lately to take yourself out of your comfort zone?