UBC Day 20
We’ve just celebrated Australia Day – a day that is fun for all the supporters of this event, and sadness for our Indigenous people. The native aboriginal people call it “Invasion Day” as it was supposedly on January 26th, 1788, that the First Fleet of British ships arrived in Port Jackson.
Australia Day has been celebrated on various dates. In 1994, it was declared that January 26th be the day that we celebrate. Our Indigenous people have not been happy with that – or celebrating the day the way most of us do.
Red, White and Blue and BBQ
These days people wear crazy clothes – often with the Aussie flag, or the colours red, white and blue on them. It is common to have a BBQ – so families and communities get together for the usual “Sausage Sizzle”. There’s a lot of beer drinking and other crazy antics, like cane toad races, cockroach races, dunny races and lots more. It’s a day of fun, family and friends. Except that many of our Indigenous people choose to hold events to complain about the way they have been treated since 1788.
There’s no doubt that there is no unity on the Australia Day event. It is mostly about the date. Many of us suspect that whatever alternate day is chosen, there will continue to be the protests. Many of us like the date at the end of January – it marks the end of the summer school holidays, and it is usually hot enough to enjoy the outdoor activities that are many.
BBQ, Beer and Cricket
Cricket is a common game played on this day. Many folk go to the sandy beaches because, being mid-summer, it is usually very hot. They swim and cool off in the water.
Australia Day is meant to be a celebration of our country and the folk from many countries of the world that have now made Australia their home.
At this time of the year, other topics come up for discussion. When are we going to become independent of Great Britain? The Republican movement is still active. There are many issues around our native people that have not been resolved and it rears its “ugly head” at this time.
Well, Australia Day is over. So we will probably go about our usual activities until next January and the arguments will start all over again.
We have been celebrating with the same folk for 17 years – since the births of our grandchildren and friends. The girls have been at school together too – and the senior girls are going to university this year!