Christchurch: comming together as a nation

On Friday afternoon, I was at work. Someone made the comment ‘gosh there are a lot of sirens out there’. Then someone said ‘there has been shootings at a mosque down in Christchurch’. It wasn’t until I got home that night and saw the news that my disbelief turned into tears. Into denial. Into helplessness. Shock. Shame. Hurt.

We were all in denial. We didn’t believe anything like this could happen in New Zealand.

On Friday night and every day since then, our Prime Minister Jacinda Arden does press conferences including answering lots of harrowing questions from journalists. She is visibly disturbed but is authentic, open and a shining example of what we call a wahine toa.

This Maลri term is often difficult to translate into English but my basic understanding is that of a strong woman in leadership with courage, dignity and courage. A wahine toa leads her people through turbulent times to safety. Jacinda Arden is our wahine toa.

This article and the incredible image of Jacinda at the mosque on my street on Saturday reflects my feeling towards this kind woman. Jacinda reflects who we are as a nation. The terrorist does not.

Our hearts cry for our Muslim brothers and sisters who have lost their family. In some instances, people have lost their spouse and children. Last night, I saw a beautiful interview with another wahine toa. She had lost her husband and son. She takes refuge in her faith and that they died in prayer, a highly dignified spiritual place. That is all she has to stay strong. She does not hate the terrorist. Rather, she expressed a sorrow for him in that he clearly has not had love or the peace that her faith gives her. We all have a lot to learn from our beautiful Muslim brothers and sisters in our New Zealand community. They are part of us.

Since Friday I have visited the mosque at the end of our street to pay my respects. The incredible smell of flowers is in the air. People have created beautiful art work, tributes, banners and messages of love. Every time I go there I cry. I cry for their loss, their vulnerability and their grief.

Across New Zealand, vigils are being held. Below are photos the vigil in Wellington on Sunday night. It was at the cricket grounds because the original venue quickly became too small.

Across New Zealand, volunteers are out in force as well as food donations, fundraiser events and donations. This morning, New Zealand has donated about NZ$5,000,000 to our Muslim brothers and sisters in Christchurch and growing. Might not seem like a lot of money for big countries like America. But for a little island nation of only 5 million people, we have never seen people open their hearts like this before. Ever.

Amongst this horrific tragedy, New Zealand is comming together. Our disgust as a nation for white supremacy and guns is at an all time high. Our Goverment is passing gun reform legislation at pace.

In closing, stand tall with your local communities. Love your community. Be there for them. Show them you care. If you cross paths with our Muslim brothers and sisters, offer to give them a hug. Offer to stand by them while they do their groceries. They are feeling vulnerable and it’s not okay. Some New Zealanders are even refusing to accept payment for food from our Muslim family at this time as a goodwill gesture. Gestures like this are what real New Zealand is all about.

I write this post with a heavy heart. We are in an unprecedented situation but we as Kiwis will stand strong together.

Kia Kaha New Zealand.

Nga mihi nui,

Nwif xoxo

Ps below is a sign I passed on Saturday morning. This is who we are. A county unified.

I light a candle each night to respect those who lost their lives on Friday.

10 thoughts on “Christchurch: comming together as a nation

  1. Hi dear,
    itโ€™s a heart touching post . you have written you all were into tears and Into denial. You know we Indians live in fear . We donโ€™t know when and were some blast may take place. I always keep reminding my children to avoid spending time in crowded / over crowded places.
    Hats off to you all and your PM . I wish to re blog this post.
    Take care!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kindness, it means a lot. Iโ€™m sorry you live in fear. No one should live in fear. I invite you to repost, I think there is a way you can copy the link of the post so that people can navigate back to this page easily.
      Sending love and hugs from New Zealand โค๏ธ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผโœจ

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We here in the UK were also devastated and disgusted, Your Prime Minister is an inspiration to leaders everywhere, what a truly great woman. The way your Islands have pulled together after this atrocity is amazing and shows what a wonderful nation you are. I’m sure I speak for everyone over here when I send love, sympathy and wishes for a speedy healing of your beautiful country. xxxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your kindness, I am truly touched by your words. Day by day, we seem to be unifying more and more. Like this morning for example, I leaned that gangs across New Zealand are extending their hand to support police and mosques. For Friday prayers tomorrow, where the communities agree, gangs will be standing around mosque perimeters, unarmed, so that prayers can be made without fear. I am so proud to be a New Zealander.
      Stay safe my friend, and thank you again xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

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