Red-headed people all over New Zealand will be celebrating their ginger roots today.
Hug-A-Ginga Day, an The Edge radio station promotion, was created six years ago to raise awareness about the bullying of redheads.
“It’s about showing gingas some appreciation and making them feel proud of their flaming locks,” said programme director Leon Wratt.
Taryn Utiger, 25, thinks the day has been really positive so far and might be one day become an established cultural phenomenon such as the buzz-bee or pavlova.
“It’s a day to celebrate a minority and to celebrate who you are” the Witt journalism student said.
This year, the radio station has supplied ”permission slips”, so people can apply to have the day off – and Miss Utiger was surprised when her tutor gave her one.
“My tutor signed my permission slip to give me the Ginga Day off, but unfortunately I have too much work to do so I will be sitting in class all day drinking Fanta, and eating Gingernuts,” she said.
Mediaworks senior promotions director Matt Davy said the day was about appreciation.
“The idea is it’s a fun day, which is there to support gingas as they do get a bit of a hard time. It’s not meant as a bullying sense at all”
In 2010, a father complained to TVNZ’s Close Up programme, saying the day was offensive, and some schools banned children from participating, fearing it would provoke bullying.
A poll conducted by Close Up said that 60 per cent of respondents thought it was a harmless idea.
Kyle Wadsworth is a Witt Journalism student
- © Fairfax NZ News