Its already a year on since I wrote my appreciation of Australia Day.
It seems that my opinion is not shared by all. There are some that say
celebrating the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales is not OK – that ultimate New Age condemnation.
So sadly, there will be some people who will say that celebration of the arrival of a different culture is in fact a celebration of the subjugation of the Aboriginal people who were already in Australia and apparently owned all the land and resources thereon.
This is a common theme of native populations who were affected by the arrival of more technologically advanced and powerful colonists. It is a sad fact that in Australia and the Americas, by and large, the people who were there were defeated and subjugated and those who were not successfully incorporated into the new societies still suffer diminished and pathetic lifestyles and the disappearance of traditional cultural practices.
In Africa and Asia, the colonists were expelled after a century or two of domination and exploitation, leaving modern technology, knowledge and infrastructure and some vicious struggles to achieve power and the benefits that flow from the dispensation of favours. The eventual collapse of economies and reversion to tribal conflicts is frequently blamed on the historic, invasion of the colonists.
That is a digression which may make some people hot under the collar – we don’t really need that as the southern part of the continent is stricken by a heatwave, leading to the cancellation of many functions. But let me hasten to add -NOT THE CRICKET!!
(On second thoughts, given the success of the Australians against the Poms, maybe it should be cancelled as a threat to national morale.)
No doubt this viewpoint of the mainly left wing and some indigenous people will gather momentum, like the #Me Too movement, notwithstanding Germaine Greer‘s opposition. (Who would have thought of her on the right side of the spectrum…?) .
Me? I am not an Aussie mate, but I love the country. I thought the day was meant to celebrate Australia, not some ancient event invested with political significance.
Pick a day which doesn’t create too many bleats and change it. Celebrate the day like the popular song says:
Australians all let us rejoice
For we are young and free
We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil
Our home is girt by sea…
Look forward, not backwards!