Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Bob Marley's birthday is a national holiday in New Zealand

The Bob Marley Museum, Kingston Jamaica
If you've ever visited New Zealand, or if like me you're fortunate enough to live there, you'll probably have realised that reggae music is very popular in New Zealand - there's a long tradition of local reggae bands from the late 1970s to the present day.
    Several years ago I visited the University of the West Indies in Kingston Jamaica and went to the Bob Marley Museum in his old house in Kingston. Our guide proudly showed us the framed parliamentary legislation establishing the Bob Marley Day national holiday on Feb 6, the anniversary of Bob Marley's birth.  I commented to her, "Feb 6 is a national holiday in New Zealand as well." She looked amazed and replied, "No maan, for true! Your country respect Bob that much?" I told her that "Yes, Bob Marley was very popular in New Zealand." 
   Of course it's a complete coincidence, Feb 6 is Waitangi Day in New Zealand that commemorates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 between the  British Crown and over 500 Māori chiefs. The treaty is considered to be New Zealand's founding document. However, it's a very happy coincidence and there are always lots of reggae bands performing on Bob Marley's birthday on Waitangi Day.

from The Universal Machine

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