Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Australia Day

Happy Australia Day everyone!  I hope you spent it celebrating in style, I sure did.  I had a sleep in, went to a BBQ in the park and finished the day eating gelato and playing on swings, all in the best of company.  What more could you want?

Australia Day means different things to different people.  As a pretty damn patriotic Aussie, it has always been special for me, a day to think about all the things that make this country great. In fact, my activities today kind of summed it up.

A sleep in - we work hard in Australia, but we know how to enjoy ourselves too.  We are rabid sports fans, devotes of the beach, lovers of a good time.  Most people I know are extremely committed to their jobs and work some serious hours, but give us time off and the laid back Aussie emerges.

BBQ in the park - I love the community spirit in this country (which I guess is summoned up by the word mateship, although politicians have stolen that word for nefarious means and I don't like it so much any more).  I have the most marvellous group of family and friends who form my community, but it is larger than that.  The response to the floods shows that this whole country of ours is a community, and it is wonderful

Gelato - Australia is a land of immigrants.  In fact I'm first generation Australian on one side.  Any each of those waves of immigrants have brought such richness and vibrancy to this country.  Food is a great example, but there is so much more of our identity that has been forged from the influence of all those nations.

So on Australia Day each year, I get to revel in the enormous luck I had to be born in such a wonderful country.  However 3 years ago Australia Day took on another meaning for me, because on the 26th of January 2008 I got to stand next to my best friend as she married the love of her life.  We all thought they took a risk on the weather given that Australia Day is generally bloody hot (it was 37 today) but it was perfect, in fact the whole day was perfect.

I've said it before, I love a wedding, but watching my best friend get married was really special.  The happiness that those two have brought to each other's lives, the fate of them finding each other, the life they have forged together, all of those things now form a part of Australia Day for me.  So happy anniversary guys to to everyone else, happy Australia Day!

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