What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child?
So i sat and watched the sky being blasted with arrays of vibrant colour, silently grimacing each time the hoarse drunken chant of “Aussie Aussie Aussie” went up around the crowd.
Australia Day, a very confusing time for me in some respects. I love Australia, i think it’s a great country, and it’s definitely got a lot going for it. The nature of Australia Day itself has always bothered me though. It basically seems like a celebration of all the things i like the least about Australia.
Public barbeques in every park are packed with fat laden sausages and charcoal encrusted steaks. Drunken yobbos roam the streets with painted faces and Australian flags adorning various parts of their anatomy, looking for someone “unAustralian” enough to pick a fight with. Thousands of people flock to see a massive fireworks show celebrating the replacement of one culture for another more “civilised” one.
Being a migrant to this country, but now also a citizen, i can see both good and bad things about our way of life, and how its “under threat”, in these times of world terror, by non western immigration. One the one hand i do think we need some kind of bridge between the various ethnic minorities that make up the population, or else we’re really just creating mini versions of Italy, Greece, China, Vietnam, and Lebanon on Australian soil. On the other hand i find it the height of hypocrisy to suddenly turn around and say we no longer want or need immigration, because that’s what this country was built on.
Without migrant labour half of our cities wouldn’t exist as they do today. Without migrant influences on food and culture we would be nothing more than a convict remnant of British society. Whereas today Australia as i know it is a culturally diverse environment where people of all ethnic backgrounds are able to celebrate their customs with the freedom they deserve.
My personal thoughts on the whole thing are possibly summed up by this quote:
To me, it seems a dreadful indignity to have a soul controlled by geography.
The fireworks are pretty though.
This is Australia after all… apathy always prevails.