In today’s Sunday Star Times guest columnist Emma Woods reflects on the importance of community in tough times. She reflects on the ways that coming together to share food and experiences, good and bad, has united communities in Christchurch.
I grew up in a small Canadian town and have lived in isolated towns with a few hundred people to cities with more than 4 million.
The idea of what constitutes community, and how people find their place in one, has always interested me.
When I moved to Christchurch, I found my community at Linwood Playcentre. It was there I discovered a group of people who shared my values and who placed the same importance on education and children. Many of the families from our playcentre go on to Discovery 1 School, so the relationships between our families have strengthened.
I recently read about a group of neighbours in Christchurch who, after the September earthquake, worked together to create a vegetable garden in a shared area. The earthquake connected them and they were keen to continue the relationships that had been formed. The garden gave them the opportunity to share knowledge and experiences and they found a new sense of community.
The February earthquake brought out more stories of neighbours coming together to look after each other. With the extent of damage and loss of services being particular to certain areas, people had more reason to identify with each other and shared some common goals.
Read the rest here.