Yesterday (by a few hours) was Australia day. People were posting on social media about enjoying the celebrations. People lined the foreshore of Perth to see the spectacular fireworks display, others having too much to drink, while others had nice picnics with their families. Even the Tennis went on break at the Australian open in Melbourne, while fireworks were heard and seen, exploding in beautiful colours.
With so much life surrounding this day, it’s so easy to get caught up in it. But that’s not really all there is to this day, is it? While others were rejoicing yesterday, others were burning Australian flags, some just out of hate and disregard for the law, others out of true hurt at the fact that the day celebrated is the day their lands were invaded and taken away.
I can’t help but wonder, if what we are meant to celebrate is being Australian, the people, this vast nation and all it has to offer, why then is it so hard for people to agree with something as simple as the day Australia is celebrated. Shouldn’t it bother us that something we are doing now, offends our neighbour? What would be lost if the date were moved? it doesn’t have to be the 26th of January, it can be any other day of the year. Why pick a day that changed the lives of the Aboriginal people of these lands? Does it aid the building of bridges or just fuels tension.
i think of Australia Day as a day where unity despite the differences held, is celebrated, so why should a day like the 26th of January be the day, when all it does is fuel anger in the Indigenous people? Sometimes we need to consider others and do what benefits all parties.