Day of Arts and Culture
As it’s Sunday today we decided to have a day off from driving and have an arts and culture day in Dunedin, which is a Unesco Creative City of Literature. Those of you who follow this blog will know that I researched the work of poet Hone Tuwhare prior to coming to New Zealand. Today I went to the largest bookshop in Dunedin in search of some of his work and failed to purchase any. There was a copy in the shop according to the computer but the assistant could not find it anywhere. I did however see the statue of Robbie Burns in the centre of the city . His poem John Anderson, me Jo was a favourite of my maternal grandparents. The importance of knowing one’s lineage was brought home by the Tangata Whenua exhibition in the Otago museum which also pointed out that place names were the first form of poetry in the Maori language. The names of places not only described features in the landscape but provided an oral map that was woven into songs and chants that were learnt by heart so that people could find their way on seasonal trips. We did much the same thing by memorising the street names on the city plan so that we could find our way to the campsite yesterday. As I said we cheated today and took a taxi in to Dunedin- and the taxi driver’s topic of conversation was his lineage – Scottish on his father’s side and Australian on his mother’s. The importance of lineage was further reinforced in the ‘Double Lane Corridor’ of the Chinese Garden which we decided to visit as the Public Art Gallery did not take us long to visit. The idea of having a double corridor is so that the inner lane can be used to display the history of the family while the outer lane is used for basking in the morning sunshine. As I type this post the motorhome is bathed in evening sunshine and we will soon be gathering with the rest of the tour party for an evening of wine and cheese.