What Australia Day Means to Australians
Last week on January 26, Aussies all around the country celebrated Australia Day. Every country has a national day where they celebrate the day their nation became a country.
In my last post, I explored the history of the discovery and formation of Australia. We didn’t officially become a ‘country’ on January 26. On this day, we merely (simply, only) celebrate the anniversary of the day that Captain James Cook declared this land for Great Britain in 1788.
The Controversy about Australia Day
Many people consider Australia Day ‘Invasion Day’. This land was inhabited by Aboriginals before the British arrived, and it is said that many native Australians were killed during the British occupation. What a surprise, white people invading a new land and killing the natives! Sorry, on behalf of all white people. This controversy sparks protests around the country every year as many ‘bleeding hearts‘ (overly compassionate people) believe that we shouldn’t recognise this day in a positive light.
So, why do we celebrate Australia Day?
For me, my friends and everyone I know, we let this history go and celebrate Australia Day by remembering why our land is so good: Out multiculturalism. Australia is a melting pot of different histories, cultures, languages, foods, music and sports. Sure, we have our Aussie traditions, but the one thing that we all have in common is that we all come from an interesting cultural background and we accept all others.
Take a look at the video promoting Australia Day this year. NOTE: You might want to use subtitles, the accents are strong 😉
How do we celebrate?
For me, I love to gather my friends outside for a BBQ, some drinks and some good Aussie rock music. You’ll see plenty of beer and meat, especially sausages and lamb. The video above is actually an advertisement for lamb!
After lunch, eventually we get out the cricket set and play a game in the park, backyard or beach. It can get quite competitive and loud, think of it as equivalent to a Christmas football match in Latin America.
I think this answer will be different for everyone, because like I said above, we all come from different cultures.
Australia Day is a way to celebrate how lucky we are to live here. It may be far away from the rest of the world, it may have dangerous animals and it may not have its own fully developed individual culture, but it’s mine, and it’s home.