February 6 is Waitangi Day back home in New Zealand - “It’s the closest thing we have to a National Day”, I find myself explaining to people here in Chile. It’s kind of a twofer as it’s also our national day of shame - for thinking three paragraphs and one day of debate was a good enough basis for a treaty between the British Crown and the local Maori tribes.
I was looking through some photos taken on my phone from my first few weeks here and this image from a concert reminded me of one of the stark cultural differences. While New Zealand seems to be in a struggle to define its cultural identity, Chileans just do a better job at embracing its diversity. Not only within their race and culture, but along political and philosophical lines also. The divisions are so vast here that it’s often futile to attempt any form of agreement on issues. But regardless, they’ll take any occasion as an opportunity to proudly show support for the movements they are passionate about.
Sometimes that’s just turning up at a concert and enthusiastically waving the national flag on a crudely fashioned pole.