Tuesday, January 25, 2011
I'm a proud New Zealander, proudly living in Australia. We arrived 4 years ago, with me thinking we were only staying for 3 years and then I'd get to go home, like a Tour of Duty. Now I can't imagine living anywhere else.
I used to justify my homesickness and then lack of homesickness by thinking of things that were better about each country.
But that was too much "us vs them". And in fact, I'm actually a little bit of "us" and a little bit of "them". Because there are things that both my countries do so much better than the rest of the world - wine, scenery, beaches, food and a joie de vivre and honest ethic that makes us stand out from our global peers.
But one thing that Australia does do a little better than New Zealand, is stand up and celebrate our national day. The weeks leading up to it see the shops full of Australian flagged clothing, eskies, beach chairs, and umbrellas. The country is awash with picnics, street parties, beach get togethers, and fireworks. Australians love to party and 26th January will always be one of the biggest.
For many, New Zealand's national day, Waitangi Day is hampered with historic and racial political baggage, perhaps justifiably so. And who am I kidding, Australia has plenty as well. It's just that is doesn't seem to damper the Australia Day spirit like it does in New Zealand. No one really celebrates being New Zealanders. We don't seem to have a day when we go "I'm proud to be a kiwi" even though we are all fiercely proud of our country. We just need to leave everything aside for a day, and celebrate pride.
Because that's what Australia Day seems to be about. Being proud.
Happy Australia Day.
Labels: Observation and chitchat