Welcome to the Goethe-Institut CityScapes Blog.
From January through December 2011, these were the parameters for a playground of diverse, fascinating, vibrant tales: Responding individually to a collective impetus, a host of hand-picked young bloggers uploaded photos, texts, and multimedia. Every month, they were given a new theme. Step by step, they created a kaleidoscope of impressions, opinions, ideas and… plain fun.
This project has now ended. If you like what you see, you may want to check out the brand new CityTales Comic Blog.
For New Zealanders, the lead-up to Christmas signals a string of celebrations, the end of the year, Christmas, and the start of summer.
Depending on one’s attitude, the wind-down period can begin as early as early December. Auckland’s bars and restaurants have been full of Christmas parties and end of year functions for the entire month. It is not unheard of to be celebrating most nights for all of December, or as much as the body can handle.
The general mood is a unique mixture of stress, tiredness, relaxation and effervescence. The increasing sunlight hours and warmth extend the evening, forming the backdrop to the merriment.
Rituals and rites vary for everyone in this multicultural society. The common element is that from at least Christmas eve, you won’t see city dwellers for dust. Everyone will be heading to their favorite coastal locations or home to their families wherever that may be.
Writing this article is one of my very last tasks for the year. I look forward to the next few days of cooking, shopping, wrapping Christmas presents, meeting friends for drinks and celebrating Christmas in Christchurch with my family and friends. Boxing Day is my favorite day of the entire year when it is perfectly acceptable to eat leftovers all day and pretty much lie on the ground doing absolutely nothing. Maybe I will be reading magazines and books that may or may not be waiting for me under the Christmas tree. In the days to follow, I will be getting ready to head out of town to spend the very first part of the New Year in a very similar way to how this one began – the best moments of the year.