Australia Day Gone Wrong

Traditionally, Fox and I spend Australia day in a pattern. It’s typically a hot day so we wake up late. In the evening, we eat a lamb dinner, slow cooked, and then we go to the beach and watch the fireworks, together. We listen to Australian songs on mobile planners, and we sing along with the National anthem. We come home, we wash sand off our feet, and then we stay up late, together.

There is literally none of that we did today. It was a cool morning. We woke up early. The lamb I had bought had its packaging torn, and went rancid without realising it. We did not go to the beach, because Fox developed a dreadful headache. Silence filled the house while she slept. In order to make her smile and make her feel better, I walked to the pub, got some cash out, and bought her Chinese food for dinner. Then we came to bed, and watched Youtube videos.

One of the first things I read this morning was someone I didn’t know telling me that if I celebrated Australia day they didn’t want to know me. It was something that had nagged at my mind for some time, given that I am, by default, quite a guilty-feeling person. This is how I celebrate Australia day – it is a day where I am grateful that I was born, grateful that this country was a home to my mother and my father, grateful for a society that was as free as it was and provided me with healthcare and tried to offer me education.

My country was founded in genocide. I know. It’s still doing horrible things, in the names of stupid ideas. I’m sorry. I’m sorry that yesterday, I went to bed, expecting to spend my day enjoying a celebration that has become, to me, a tradition.

I don’t know what kind of celebration was expected. I’ve never celebrated “Haha, Fuck Aboriginals And Also Asians And The Dutch” Day.

I genuinely did not know that this was what Australia day meant. To me, it’s always been the Seekers.

The Seekers - I am Australian(1993)

I’m really sorry about everything, really. It seems that I got the day I deserve.

1 Comment

  1. From my perspective, Australia Day is not about guilt. It is about being people. No matter what happened in the past, no matter what might happen in the future, we are a nation made up of people, each as unique as any other, and each one like one another, whether we like it or not. We are a nation, and this is the day we celebrate our unity.

    Today, you only got the day you “deserved” if you think you did. Today – like any day – we are all people, as flawed as the next. Today, we act like we could be better because we are untied by our nationality, even if not by our culture. Today, we act like the past is the /past/.

    Personally, I think feeling guilty for things other people have done is going to give you an ulcer. I think I have /never/ considered you to be racist, and holding yourself responsible for the faults of others – especially those you are too young to have /ever/ influenced – is unhealthy. I think that today is about us choosing to make a better world for all of us, irrespective of difference. Today is about us unified as a nation, and that is something to feel proud about working towards.

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