I am not surprising myself that for six year living in Sydney Australia Day has never been anything but another public holiday. However, since my Australian citizenship application has been approved late last year and I will take an oath to be become an Aussie sooner or later, I decide to explore the celebration of the country’s national day which I trouble with.
National day is normally set on the birth of the modern nation: a revolution or an independence from the colony. In Thailand, it was designated on 10 December when the first official Thai constitution was, in theory, handed to the people but later on it was moved to the King’s Birthday. In general, it is a significant event in the history that reminds the people and draws them together to value the pride of the nation.
On the other hand, Australia Day is on 26 January, the day British first fleet of convicts arrived. What is to be proud of? It neglects the fact that there were indigenous tribes living here thousands years ago and the settlement has never been reconciled with them. I have not seen any message of this history in any publicity piece of the day at all. It seems to be suppressed everywhere. Therefore the core content of the day is very shallow. What to feed the punter are just public live show, fireworks and getting drunk, not any difference from New Year Eve, Melbourne Cup or even Mardi Gras.
Maybe I am just being too serious. Stilgherrian has a much better way to celebrate the day.