6th February

Waitangi Day: commemorates the signing of the Waitangi treaty which gave the Maori people the right to be treated as British citizens with rights to their own land (I don’t think this actually happened), so try a haka dance, learn about the (extinct) moa …

Sports include ki-o-rahi and tapawai.

Sami National Day:

Sami, sometimes known as Laplanders, are the northernmost indigenous people in Europe, living in Sapmi, an area through Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia, for at lease 5,000 years. Sea Sami live off fish and Mountain Sami live off reindeer.

Nomads following their herds, they had to pay tax in Sweden, Norway and Finland as the reindeer passed through; and at one point, Sweden captured them to work in a slave mine.

Since then, because they are dependent on land owned by the governments of several other countries, they have been excluded from the fishing quotas, Russia dumped radioactive waste in their fishing waters, Chernobyl wiped out the lichen the reindeer need in the winter, they lost their winter grazing land in Sweden to the world’s largest onshore wind farm, and of course everyone wants to mine their lands.

Although they are recognised as a protected indigenous people, this has all been mainly without compensation.

Their handicraft is called duodji: their national singing is called joik; the national anthem is ‘Sámi soga lávlla’.

Massachusetts founded (1788): British Puritans landed here in the Plymouth Colony. The Boston Tea Party was when colonists threw tea out of boats rather than pay tax to the Brits for importing it. Their first-response militia, the Minutemen, were among the first to fight in the Revolution. Cape Cod. Boston cream pie.

1819 Singapore founded

Temasek (meaning ‘Sea Town), founded in the 2nd century, was the earliest known settlement in Singapore. In the 13th century the Kingdom of Singapura was founded on the island but was destroyed by the Indonesian Majahapit Empire in the 13th century. In 1613 Polish raiders burnt down the remaining settlement.

In 1819 the British East India Company signed a treaty with Johor (in Malaysia) to develop Singapore into a trading post. The population went from 1,000 people to 80,000, mostly Chinese labourers to work on the rubber plantations.

In WWII Britain surrendered Singapore to the Japanese. Winston  Churchill called it the ‘worst disaster and largest capitulation in British history’. The Japanese massacred thousands of Chinese people. The Allies bombed Singapore a lot, you know, to help. When Japan surrendered Britain took it back.

In 1969 Singapore was granted independence. The first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, helped to make Singapore the Garden City it is today.

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