So it’s that day of the year that Australian’s love so much! Such a shame it has fallen on a Sunday this year though! No public holiday on Monday? So, apart from getting completely plastered with your family and friends, just what is Australia day about? I was actually a little unsure. That being said I am really not a good example of an Aussie. I’ve never surfed, I prefer Guinness to XXXX, my accent is most definitely more English now and give me a nice Indian curry over a Meat Pie any day of the year… That being said I AM AUSTRALIAN!
So, when did Aussies start celebrating this day? Let me quote from the government website:
“The tradition of noticing 26 January began early in the nineteenth century with Sydney almanacs referring to First Landing Day or Foundation Day. That was the day in 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip, commander of the First Fleet of eleven convict ships from Great Britain and the first governor of New South Wales, arrived at Sydney Cove. The raising of the Union Jack there symbolised British occupation of the eastern half of the continent claimed by Captain James Cook on 22 August in 1770.
Some immigrants who prospered in Sydney, especially those who had been convicts or the sons of convicts, began marking the colony’s beginnings with an anniversary dinner – ‘an emancipist festival’ to celebrate their love of the land they lived in. Governor Lachlan Macquarie, the emancipists’ friend, made the thirtieth anniversary of the day in 1818 a public holiday, thirty guns counting out the years of British civilization, a tradition Macquarie’s successors continued.”
I left Australia in 2008. Something which I had been intending to do since a very young age. Why? I’m not sure. Nevertheless I can say that since I left I have looked at Australia in a different light and now recognise that it is a great country. Most Australians are a very laid back bunch. Give them a pool on a hot day with a ‘stubbie’ (Beer) and yes, a Barby, and they are happy!
Having visited (and lived) in a few countries now I have, naturally compared each place to OZ. I used to think England was my home. I know now that it is not. The same can be said for Australia. Essentially I feel a closer connection to the ‘Eastern’ world. However it is important to recognise your roots and not matter where you are or how you feel you can’t deny that your own country has moulded you into who you are today.. So, thankyou Australia. I can say that I am PROUD TO BE AUSTRALIAN
How are you celebrating your Australia day? I hope you are drinking responsibly!
Here are a few snaps from the past which typify Australia day! (and yes that is my bare arse, and me passed out next to a XXXX!)