Happy Australia Day: A prior it may seem like a simple question. But according to the latest surveys, fewer and fewer Australians know how to recognize the main and historical reason for this celebration. Exactly 56% of the inhabitants of Australia have not the faintest idea why January 26 is the date set for this holiday. And this, for some, is great news. And a reason to, finally, be able to change the Australian International Day to another date. Another date that, in this way, everyone can really celebrate.
Happy Australia Day
On January 26 Australia Day is celebrated in Australia. And we return to the initial question: And what is Australia Day celebrated? Quiet if you do not know. You see that even most Aussies, fortunately, do not know the reason. On this date, the arrival of the first British to the antipodes in 1787 is commemorated. The country is paralyzed, the parks and beaches are filled with young people and families and barbecues. The cities are decorated with flags and the sky with fireworks so that everyone in unison can shout proudly: I am Australian!
But the arrival of the first British to Australia is also a reason for something totally different from a celebration. That is why many Australians also use this day to repent of what their ancestors did two centuries ago in this country, especially the first inhabitants of Australia. And so, instead of painting his face blue with stars for his beloved flag, they decorate his face with red and black paintings and a yellow circle: the aboriginal flag.
We have a lot of history to tell: the history of Australia
The arrival of the British in Australia was a real tragedy for the Australian natives. To his quiet and traditional life, in which nature was sacred and respected, came the dreaded western colonization. Destruction of the tribes of the authentic inhabitants of Australia, damage to the environment, harassment of their culture. Countless reasons why January 26 is a day to go out to protest instead of celebrating.
We have previously told all the details of the sad history of the Australian aborigines. For decades, the native Australians have struggled to recognize everything that happened. Because they are given back the property of what is theirs. Or not even yours. For what belongs to everyone: nature. Mountains and sacred lakes, places that for centuries lived respecting and now are harassed by rude tourists. And, little by little, the original inhabitants of Australia are gaining respect from the Australian government.
The truth is that in Australia Day, many people in Australia are becoming aware of the controversy that this holiday causes. Many participate in events to demand respect for the Australian natives, to recognize and repent of everything that happened. While, apparently, others have already forgotten why this date. Although this fact could also be cause for outrage among Australians, it may also be the perfect time to change the day’s festivity. And keep on January 26 only with the claim for the rights of the Australian natives.
A problem with the Australian natives past, present and future
The Australian government has been trying to resolve this racial conflict for years. The country of the antipodes proudly boasts of a well-off middle class and of being one of the most egalitarian countries in the world. However, a large percentage of Australian natives struggle against social marginalization in cities or in the remote deserts of Australia.
The presence of the natives in Australia goes back to the beginning of humanity. In this way, their legends and songs describe the passage of time, the change of times, and, above all, the eternal relationship with a nature to which they have always respected above all.
In 1972, Jenny Munro, of the nation of the wiradjuri, changed her home in the Aboriginal neighborhood of Redfern in Sydney for a tent set up in front of the Parliament in Canberra . Since she has memory, this activist has fought for the rights of her ancestors and contemporaries. And this symbolic act was followed by hundreds of Australians who accompanied her in her protest.
In more recent years, this same tent has been re-installed multiple times to continue the protests. At times, injustices have continued to happen to the Australian natives. The cuts in aid, the reduction of budget for actions concerning these communities … The Australian government is well aware of the fight against this problem, but much remains to be done.
When the natives of Australia banned Coca Cola
It is worth making a small point in all this Australia Day to tell you this curious story.
The Anangu tribe, an inhabitant of the central areas of Australia, suffers like many other Aboriginal communities’ food problems for decades. The scarcity of resources and the destruction of their own natural resources have led them little by little to the consumption of an unbalanced diet, composed mainly of fast food. That is why, in 2008, they began to carry out the Mai Wiru project.
Among the members of this tribe was born this truly revolutionary initiative: prohibit the sale of sugary drinks in all its establishments. Also incorporating educational plans to promote a healthy and balanced diet since childhood, the project made real progress. But he did not get government support, so this training in the schools could not continue. And the fight against sugar adds to the problems that Western culture has caused the native Australians.
So what do we celebrate on Australia Day?
Despite the new initiatives that have emerged after the recent survey mentioned above, there is still debate among the people of Australia. There are still people who are not able to recognize that January 26 is not the best date to celebrate the pride of this country. But fortunately, like us, there are more and more Australians who have this day especially in mind everything that happened, everything bad that was done and everything good that should continue to be done.
The change of date would be no more than another small gesture of all that remains to be done by the Australian natives, for their rights. And the appearance of these initiatives denotes a ray of hope. It shows that more and more Australians are joining a struggle that has been taking place for centuries. Increasingly they begin to demand respect for the rights of the aborigines. More and more Australians are doing everything possible to ensure that the first true inhabitants of Australia can achieve what they have been demanding for years: to return home.
Australia Day: a day of celebration, but also of protest
If you plan to live in Australia and want to become an authentic aussie, you should familiarize yourself with the country’s celebrations. One of the most important is the commemoration of the British invasion, a national holiday called Australia Day that takes place every January 26 . Coinciding with the good weather of summer, it attracts the attention of tourists from around the world. Fun in the sun is guaranteed! All the information of this unique experience, we tell you below.
What Australia Day is celebrated ? A little history of Australia
Australia Day commemorates the arrival of the British in Sydney, at which time the land was proclaimed a colony of the British Empire. On January 26, 1788, a fleet of 11 convict ships from Great Britain, commanded by Captain Arthur Phillip, landed at Sydney Cove . There they found a suitable space to establish the first penal colony in Australian lands, a fact that supposed a radical change in the history of Australia.
Activities to celebrate Australia Day
It was from 1994 that this celebration acquired a national holiday character , meaning a relaxed day meant to be shared with family and friends. The good weather of the time encourages the most common activities of the Day of Australia to take place outdoors: appetizing picnics or barbecues, long walks on the beaches or parks and various cultural events for the occasion.
Among the latter stand out the multiple parades, as well as the national song before the Australian flags that decorate all the corners of the cities; all this, as a sign of Australian national pride. The heavens, on the other hand, are dressed in artificial games, and a prize giving ceremony is given to the Australian community, giving awards like Australian of the Year, Citizen of the Year, Community Event of the Year or Community Group of the Year.
In addition, how could it be otherwise, also on this occasion the multicultural personality of Australia comes to light. During Australia Day, citizenship ceremonies are organized to welcome new residents in style. And it is that, for many inhabitants, this represents the final step to become an Australian citizen in its own right. Being aussie is a matter of attitude!
Celebrate or protest? From Australia Day to Invasion Day
The meaning and implications of Australia Day, however, have evolved over time, and over the years the other side of Western colonization has been uncovered and denounced, arousing the outrage of the Australian natives.
As early as 1938, a member of the Aboriginal Progressive Association called William Cooper , accompanied by other activists, came together to recognize the history of the aborigines of Australia, as well as the Torres Strait Isles, removed from their lands and traditional culture.
Since then, Australia Day is seen by many as a perfect occasion to protest and demand justice for indigenous Australians : a justice still being challenged today, as they are victims of cuts in aid and reductions in budget for their communities.
Thus, the Australian natives complain that most Australians ignore the true cause of the celebration and claim the need to change the name of the holiday. They propose to leave Australia Day for the Day of Invasion, and instead of decorating their faces with the stars of the Australian flag, they choose to do so with the aboriginal flag.
All this, at the end of the day, does not stop enriching the experience of witnessing this celebration, which at present acquires an important interpretation of reflection about the Aussie identity.