Celebrating Australia Day

by Kelly on January 27, 2009 · 15 comments

in Life. People. News,Travel. Photography

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“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:
Our land abounds in nature’s gifts
Of beauty rich and rare,
In history’s page let every stage
Advance Australia fair,
In joyful strains then let us sing
Advance Australia fair.”

So goes the first verse of our Australian national anthem. It seemed fitting to start this post off with the anthem because we’ve just finished celebrating Australia Day weekend here.

The time of year when BBQs abound, families hit the beach, we have thong throwing and sand sculpture contests, cricket and tennis is all you can see on television, and every man, his Holden and his dog is proudly wrapped in the Australian flag.img_1067

For me, Australia Day involved lying around on the sand and under the trees at our local harbour, listening to the free concert, watching the squealing kids throwing themselves in the ocean, while too cool teens paraded their wares in flag bikinis, low slung board shorts, huge sunglasses and an Australian flag draped across their shoulders.

img_1080Bunny entertained and surprised us as we walked to the beach by singing the anthem, which I had no idea he even knew. Obviously the ridiculous rates I pay for his pre-school are paying off in some way. I was mighty impressed I can tell you. He’s not even 5 and I know 40 year olds who barely know the lyrics beyond a mumble.

Australia Day January 26th – is our national holiday because it celebrates the day Captain Arthur Phillip and the First Fleet arrived at Sydney Cove in 1788.img_1050

For this reason, the celebration can be a bit of a sore point for our Aboriginal community, who feel this date represents an invasion of their land.

Many Aboriginals do celebrate Australia Day as you can see with the red, black and yellow Aboriginal flag in this picture. But others feel we need another date to celebrate as a complete nation. Personally I can’t see that happening.

For most of us though, Australia Day is a day to get together with friends and family. to drink beer and eat sausage sandwiches, to celebrate our diversity, and wonderful, sun drenched lifestyle, while saying “G’day” to perfect strangers who set up their picnics next to ours.

We finish the day with an awesome fireworks display and most of us fall into bed with a smile on our face and try not to think of the hang-over and sunburn we shall surely have tomorrow.

To Robin, Monika, Skellie and all the other Aussie bloggers out there, hope you had a wonderful Australia Day mate!

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1 BC Doan 01.27.09 at 9:55 pm

Looks like fun, and I’m glad you had a good day!

BC Doan’s last blog post..Photos for the Third Week of January

2 Lance 01.27.09 at 11:02 pm

Hi Kelly,
A fun day, indeed! And…for me, a bit of a history lesson – thanks much Kelly. See, I’m smarter already and my day has just begun!

Happy Australia day to you Kelly (and all those out there who call Australia home)!!

3 Jenny Mannion 01.27.09 at 11:32 pm

Hi Kelly,
Thanks for teaching me about Australia Day. Looks like a lot of fun. Amazing Bunny knows the lyrics already – isn’t it nice how they can always surprise you? :-)

All the best! Love, Jenny

Jenny Mannion’s last blog post..Interview with James Sinclair, Director of “What If?” Part I

4 Vered - MomGrind 01.28.09 at 5:53 am

Sounds like a great day! And just like lance, it’s nice to know more about Australia.

Vered – MomGrind’s last blog post..Breaking: Cosmo Magazine To Change Its Name

5 Robin 01.28.09 at 6:03 am

Hi Kelly – we had a good one – we had 6 days at a festival, camped out in a paddock on farmland in western Victoria – and I can tell you, it was “sun drenched”.

We came home happy but a bit tragic from exhaustion – and not terribly impressed by the forecast of 40+ C for the next 4 days!

Robin’s last blog post..Guy Finlay Followed By An Illustrated Meme.

6 Frisky Librarian 01.28.09 at 10:54 am

I think we need a different day for Australia Day too. While the treatment of the indigenous population since settlement and their current poor standards of living are shameful, the Australian people should still be able to celebrate all that is wonderful about living in a free, democratic, affluent, safe and peaceful country. We are lucky and we should have a day to rejoice in that – but on a date that has no ties to the dawn of white settlement. It should be about celebrating the present, not so much commemorating past events.

That’s what Australia Day means to me, anyway.

Frisky Librarian’s last blog post..Bovine erotica

7 Evelyn Lim 01.28.09 at 1:41 pm

It’s a long weekend for us too, as it is the Chinese New Year!! I’m betting that I’ve already put on another 2kg, just munching on all the goodies.

Happy Australia Day!! It looked like you & Bunny had a great time!

Evelyn Lim’s last blog post..Benefits To Meditation

8 Kelly 01.29.09 at 10:08 am

@B.C, Lance, Vered and Jenny
Had a lovely day thanks, and I am happy to impart some information about Australia. Will do a more thorough, thyings you didn’t know post about Oz soon.

@Robin
You must be sweltering down there now. Haven’t been to a festival in awhile. Glad you had fun.

@Frisky Librarian
Welcome to SHE-POWER! I like how you point out that Australia should be about celebrating the present. I agree, and ideally I also would like them to change the day to one everyone can celebrate without negative associations. But you know how it is, this country almost never changes any traditions/laws on referendum.

@Evelyn
Happy Chinese New Year. We have some good celebrations for that too in Sydney. Don’t worry about the 2kg, it’ll come off easy enough :)

Kelly

9 J.D. Meier 01.29.09 at 1:22 pm

Get together days are great.

You painted enough of the day that you gave me a vicarious experience.

J.D. Meier’s last blog post..Avoid Mental Burnout

10 Mark 01.29.09 at 7:26 pm

Thank you for the history lesson!

11 Dot 01.30.09 at 7:53 am

That was fun looking at and hearing about. Bunny has such a sweet smile!

Dot’s last blog post..About Your Business

12 Marelisa 01.30.09 at 8:45 am

Hi Kelly: Sounds like a lot of fun! Did I tell you I watched the movie “Australia” with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman? I loved it! Now I want to visit Australia even more :-)

Marelisa’s last blog post..Awesome Creativity Blogs

13 Jannie Funster 01.31.09 at 9:56 am

I’ll get there some day! I’ve got my two pals in Brisbane.

And I like how you guys make your kids wear hats, I wish our country woule do that.

Vive L’Australie!!

Jannie Funster’s last blog post..Taking Blog Stock

14 Stacey / Create a Balance 02.01.09 at 3:27 pm

Happy Day! I love Australia and will be celebrating w/ you here in the states.

Stacey / Create a Balance’s last blog post..Celebrate Your Life Friday! 1.30.09 (winners, online retreat, and more)

15 Cath Lawson 02.03.09 at 8:23 am

Hi Kellie – Thanks. I didn’t know about Australia Day and the pics of the beach and all the sunshine really cheered me up while we’re up to our eyeballs in snow.

I didn’t even know you had a national anthem of your own. Is that you with the flag wrapped round you, or is it someone who looks like you?

Cath Lawson’s last blog post..The World Is Knackered – What About You?

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