Now that New Zealand is in Level 1, and the cap on the number of people attending public gatherings has been lifted, it looks like Kiwiburn can go ahead in January more-or-less as normal. Except for one major difference: our borders will likely still be closed to most countries, and so we may miss out on welcoming Burners from overseas (except hopefully Australia). So let’s spend a few moments celebrating what our international members bring to Kiwiburn. They bring us the experience of other Regionals: how Dragon Burn manages to celebrate the Ten Principles while adhering to regulations set by the Chinese government; what it’s like to burn under snow and icy hail at Freezer Burn (lots of snuggling). These conversations connect us to the wider Burner community, and help us find ways to strengthen our own, building on the experiences and practices of other Burns. Other travellers experienced their first burn here, then took the Kiwiburn experience back with them to seek out other such communities.
We asked a few international members what Kiwiburns offers them, and their answers often mention the appeal of a Burn with a river, plenty of shade trees, and “no snakes”! But mostly, they love the Kiwiburn community. Pippa, from the UK, who hadn’t been to a Burn before, said “I’d never been part of such a warm, welcoming and inclusive group of people before […] It was only when I came to NZ that I learnt all about this magical world I had been missing out on.” She also realized “that this wasn’t just about a 5 day event. This was a way of life all year round. An eclectic tribe of lovely humans who live their most authentic life and create all sorts of weird and wonderful experiences for their community.”
Hopefully we can share Kiwiburn with the world again soon; in the meantime, let’s celebrate the connections we’ve made. And if you’d like to connect with Burners from other Regionals online, check out the Burner Pen Pal Project.