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Womad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The second weekend in March is absolutely, positively, totally, absolutely, completely THE BEST WEEKEND OF OUR YEAR!!!! Every year. And this year we are going to the USA aqnd Canada for six weeks in November and December, and we bet that Womad weekend will still be the best weekend of 2014.

WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) is an international arts festival. The central aim of WOMAD is to celebrate the world's many forms of music, arts and dance. Aussie gets it the first weekend in March (Womadelaide) and we get it the week after. It's also in Charlton park (UK), Abu Dhabi, Cáceres (Spain), Sicily, and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (we've been there! Las Palmas, not Womad) every year. Sometimes they do one-off festivals like Womadrid. We think they should do all the "ad's" and "mad's" in the world ... Womadana, Womadapazari, Womaddis Ababa, Womaden, Womadhamiyah, Womadiyaman, Womado Ekiti, Womadoni, Womadison, Womadiun, Womadras, and Womadurai. Bwa ha ha!

We went to our first Womad in 2005, which is where we first discovered our favourite artist, Xavier Rudd . This was also the year we discovered Daara J ., Les Yeux Noirs , and Ozomatl i. Over the years we have been fortunate enough to have seen many other artists and bands who have become our favourites, like David D'Or , Lo Còr de la Plana , Mahotella Queens (who have been together since 1963!), Guo Yue , Salif Keita , Speed Caravan , Ska Cubano , Calexico , Babylon Circus , The Alaev Family , Melbourne Ska Orchestra , and Antibalas , to name only a very few.

THIS YEAR we discovered (again, to name only a very few) Breabach , La Chiva Gantiva , Airileke , Red Baraat , Danyel Waro , Los Coronas , Makana , and the A-M-A-Z-I-N-G MOKOOMBA ! And, once again, we spent lots of time in the Taste the World tent where the vibrantly wonderful Jax Hamilton hosts artists from around the world while they cook a dish from their country. They talk to the audience while cooking, and the audience can ask questions, and most of them sing, and usually the sessions are really funny. The last session this year, with Brittany-based street theatre company Cie Fracasse de 12, was H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S!!! I don't think any of us (us animals or the tent full of humans) have EVER laughed so much.

It has hard to explain Womad to those who have never been ... but we'll try. Womad is what the world should be like. Lots of humans of different ages and races, all come together to enjoy singing and dancing and music and food and shopping and friendship. Strangers sit down next to each other and start talking, people embrace and respect each others' differences instead of getting angry about them, and everyone is happy. It is truly a wonderful time.

This year we were clipped a little by cyclone Lusi - but only a little. We've been there other years when it was wetter. And one funny thing we have found about bad weather - it makes humans talk to each other. You are a funny species! You should just talk to each other no matter what the weather is.

We didn't take many photos this year ... we have taken sooooo many photos in other years, that this year we just enjoyed being in the moment without focussing on what would take good pictures. But you humans say a picture tells a thousand words, so here, in some pictures, is what Womad is all about. And this year was Womad NZ's 10th anniversary, so it's kind of appropriate to have photos from other years as well.

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