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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Taipei International Book Expo

A massive international book fair, held in the Taipei Trade Centre. 

Taiwanese are mad about books.  The instant the doors open at ten each morning of the festival, the crowd swarms in.

 This year was special, as New Zealand was the Guest of Honor.

Two Maori carvers were a great attraction. A large slab of totara wood had been imported for them, and they spent the days of the fair turning it into the Face of Hawaiki.  Here they are with the New Zealand administrator for the Publishers Association of New Zealand, Ka Meecham.

The gorgeous kapa kaka group, Nga Kete Tuku Iho, was also guaranteed to attract a big crowd.

Here you see them performing in the New Zealand pavilion, which was marked out with three big tokotoko, or "talking sticks."

There was a constant program of panel discussions, smoothly organized, with no hitches that I could see.

Here you see me with Gray Tan, a local rights agent and moderator of this discussion, on my left, and graphic artist Ant Sang on my right, with Selina Tusitala Marsh obscured, and our lovely interpreter, Ellen, in the foreground.

Right next door to the NZ pavilion was the stand for the Council of Indigenous Peoples, which was staffed by the gorgeous girls you see here.

Just a portion of the fair from above.  The New Zealand pavilion was beneath the blue balloon.

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