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26 Jan 2013

I am NOT a Bogan & I celebrate Australia Day!

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Australian Flag design proposed by John Blaxland from the Australian National University

The only reason why I have time to rant at all today is thanks to the #bigwet our roads are flooding so our traditional Australia Day BBQ is postponed pending weather.  This is the first time in two decades we have not had an Australia Day BBQ which is sad in more ways than one.  Predominately being housebound and therefore having the time to follow Twitter and read all the news.  Sitting back reading on a wet Saturday morning should be an enjoyable past-time, instead I am just getting more & more frustrated being told how bad a person I am because I enjoy Australia Day?

Well I do!  Yes the day is on the wrong date and I am sure it will be changed in the future.  Yes the Union Jack should be flicked (or minimised majorly) and yes we should stop kowtowing to the Queen...  Countries evolve over the years, Australia has as well, and will continue to do so.   We can question & discuss our future as a nation, we can look at what has been done wrong in the past & learn from it, improving ourselves as a Nation every year, BUT in doing all that, we can still enjoy one day of the year to be grateful that we even live in a country like Australia.

It seems to be acceptable to be proud that the Sydney Harbour bridge is having both the Australian Flag & Aboriginal flag being raised on this morning, (and I am, we are growing up), yet, myself having  a BBQ is celebrating ‘Invasion Day’?  Maybe it is good we can’t have our BBQ, I would be forced to report Aboriginal attendees as traitors?  Immigrants also seem to be able to celebrate Australia Day.  So many news items are praising the record amount of ‘new citizens’ today, where they have come from, many loving the fact that they can now call Australia home.  That sentiment seems to be acceptable, they are allowed to have their parties today guilt-free, lucky buggers.  Actually, problem solved, how about we move our BBQ to a friends place (variety of options with Immigrant & Aboriginal friends), then we can ALL have a guilt-free Australia Day celebration?

Now, I am a ‘white’ Australian who is proud of my country and grateful that I had the dumb luck to be born & raised her.  Contrary to media belief and Twitter outrage, I don’t have a southern cross tattoo,  I don’t have an Australian Flag on my car, and I sure as hell have never participated in a race riot!  Seriously, for my overseas friends reading our news, I know that is what they think us ‘Australians’ are (except for Aboriginals, Torres Strait Islanders and any Immigrants that have recently arrived here).  Sorry, only recently arrived immigrants are exempt from the 'Uncouth Australian' description, sorry you 2nd or 3rd generation ones have been corrupted, unless of course you are strictly still adhering to your original culture & abstaining from any Australian ways, you are also now in the same grouping of the ‘Ugly Australian’ now.

I am sick of it!  Yes, the day we celebrate Australia Day needs to be changed.  Yes, Australia Day is not where it should be yet, but every year we are getting better, more inclusive, that should be celebrated, not negatively moaned at.  Yes, our flag is crap, it should be more inclusive as well to reflect what modern Australia is.  BUT, those things will come.  So many writing and complaining about Australia Day is not helpful at all.  It just makes people feel defensive.  The ones who so proudly think it is ‘smart’ to condescendingly put down anyone who wants to celebrate Australia Day as an uneducated bogan, and to acknowledge anything good about it is beneath you, well, that is just really sad, maybe you should get the stick out of your butt and contribute 'positively' to the Australian conversation instead of sitting in your high & mighty eyrie judging the rest of us and lower class past-times.  Many of you are intelligent people and that attitude is just ‘elite’ snobbery.

My take...  We may have many issues in the this country that need to be fixed, but, considering what happens elsewhere in the world, considering the millions who would love to live here, considering the opportunities this country has given to many (including the original convicts that had no bloody choice in being here either), considering our kids have not been stained by the high-brow accusation of Australian cultural cringe as yet, thank god, as per an awesome Wendy Harmer article "Australia Day: The Kids Are Alright", I don’t think I have anything to be ashamed of, I am proud of all my friends and family, proud of the diversity there is among us, proud that we all share that diversity and cultural differences.  All you Australia Day knockers, contribute to the conversation by all means, work towards making this country better and more inclusive, BUT, stop trying to make me feel ashamed because I want to spend one day a bloody year with my family & friends, celebrating the end of summer (and the kids going back to school), having a drink, comparing who brought the best dish this year, swimming in the pool, laughing and smiling, and basically just appreciating that we live in a country where we can do this!  Australia Day knockers, look down on me if you will, but you will NOT take away my enjoyment of celebrating being a small part of this country, only forces of nature like the #bigwet can do that!

Happy Australia Day EVERYONE!
Noely @YaThinkN

PS. 1. My pick for a new inclusive flag, good reasoning behind it, take the time to watch the video “New design proposed to replace national flag” by John Blaxland from the Australian National University.
PS. 2.  Yep, sorry I even like the Adam Hills "Australian National Anthem to the tune of Working Class Man", better call the cops now in case of an Australia Day riot if that is played UGH!

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