Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The Australian national anthem sounds like

a dirge. The words are, at best, inaccurate and - well it is just plain awful. There, I have said it.
I will go on and say that I have no time for Australia Day. There are indigenous Australians who find it insulting, indigenous activists who call it "Invasion Day" and many others for whom Australia is the second country of allegiance rather than the first. The  idea that Australians are all one united happy people is utter nonsense. They're not. "Mateship", if it ever existed, went out the window years ago.
There was apparently an idea floating around that everyone should stop at eleven o'clock - or some hour - and sing the national anthem. Most Australians don't know the words and don't want to know the words.
The idea of a "national day" seems to be at odds with the other idea of a "multi-cultural country". How can you have both? How can you just have all the green and gold and wattle and football (Aussie Rules of course), meat pies, Holden cars and whatever else the song said - as well as claiming to have every other colour under the sun, a different shaped ball (for something called "soccer") and more foreign than locally made vehicles?
Yes, that last sentence was too long. It is not good English. 
There are always "citizenship" ceremonies on Australia Day. There are always pictures of people with happy, smiling faces. They have achieved their dream of being "Australians". Good on them. I am pleased for them, genuinely pleased. I hope they won't be disappointed.
But, last night on the SBS news, they interviewed the man who owns Kogan.com. He's a migrant who came here as a child. He had something rather blunt to say to other migrants. If you migrate here become Australians, don't try to bring your way of life and your values from your other country. I think it is a fair message.
But, it is a message that is at odds with the official message.


cathyc said...

I have to beg to differ here. There are core Australian values and ways which are to be utterly treasured. Friendliness is definitely one of them. I have no issue with the idea that if you decide to live in Australia you should be Australian - what's wrong with that?

catdownunder said...

I wasn't suggesting people are not friendly Cathy but perhaps "mateship" implies something more than that?
I think the problem with the "multi-cultural" idea is that it encourages people to believe they can bring in their own way of life and not accept the laws and traditions of another country.