Celebrating Australia’s Birthday

Celebrating Australia's Birthday

January 26th is Australia Day, which commemorates the arrival of the first fleet in Sydney in 1778 and the beginning of the colony.  Celebrating Australia’s birthday on this date has become controversial, however, because the nation’s first peoples see it as Invasion Day.  There have been calls to change Australia Day to another date out of respect for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.  So far Australia Day remains a public holiday and a day to celebrate our diverse culture.

I Am A Kiwi Aussie

Even though it is not politically correct, I still enjoy celebrating Australia Day.  I am proud to call myself Australian, and love my adopted country.  I was born and raised in New Zealand and came to Australia when I was 19, in 1986.  New Zealand is as much a part of me as Australia.  My sons think of themselves as Kiwi Australians because they had frequent holidays to New Zealand with me.

The symbol for a Kiwi Aussie - half kangaroo (Australian), half fern leaf (New Zealander).  Source:  Clipart
The symbol for a Kiwi Aussie – half kangaroo (Australian), half fern leaf (New Zealander). Source: Clipart http://cliparts.co/clipart/2806792

There has always been a bit of rivalry between Kiwis and Aussies.  The beginning of this video by actor Sam Neill explains it with a humorous twist:

https://www.facebook.com/SBSAustralia/videos/10156058565748686/

Australia, My Adopted Home

My sister and I came to Australia as two naive teenagers, and set out on the big Aussie adventure, backpacking on a working holiday.  We started off in South Australia, picking grapes at a vineyard and packing dried fruit at an apricot factory.  My poor mother struggled with the sudden loss of her daughters, so much that my parents emigrated the following year.  One brother then the other eventually moved here as well.

Three of us married Aussies.  I decided to make it official and became an Australian citizen after my first son was born.  My dad, who was a widower by then, became a citizen at the same time.  The law changed over time, and now it is much harder to become an Australian citizen.  One of my brothers had to go through a very lengthy process because he had returned to New Zealand to live for five years.  He proudly became a citizen on Australia Day 2020.

Celebrating Australia Day with friends - I'm in the middle.  Photo: 3 women wearing Australian hats
Celebrating Australia Day with friends – I’m in the middle

Celebrating Australia Day

We will celebrate with my husband’s family the way we usually do:  with a barbeque, a dip in the pool, and a few beers.  We’ll try not to get sunburnt, and avoid the crowded beaches that are the favoured place to celebrate Australia Day.  This year’s celebrations will be much more subdued because of Covid-19, but we’ll fly our Aussie flag and get into the spirit of day by listening to some Oz Rock.

Happy Australia Day!

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Shared on Life This Week Linkup on Denyse Whelan’s Blog

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8 Comments

  1. Happy Australia Day, Christina! I didn’t realise you were originally a Kiwi so you learn something new with each blog post LOL 🙂 Unfortunately, I think Australia Day has become political and I can see both sides. Anyway enjoy your celebrations. I’ve just seen that Smiths Chips have a Limited Edition Lamb & Mint flavoured chips! #onlyinaustralia #lifethisweek

    1. Hi Sue, Happy Australia Day to you too! Some people can pick up my accent but I’ve been in Australia for 35 years so it’s only faint. I agree, I can see both sides too. I must try those chips! Regards, Christina

  2. I enjoyed this Christina, I didn’t know you came over from New Zealand as a teenager either! How interesting that your whole family made the move too! Love Sam Neill 🙂 #lifethisweek

    1. Hi Debbie, It was a big deal for my parents to move here! It shocked a lot of people. I’m so glad they did, especially mum. She loved her lifestyle here. Thanks so much for commenting, regards Christina

  3. Great to learn a little bit more about you Christina – I didn’t realize you were an honourary Aussie – lovely that you took up citizenship (and especially that your dad did too). It’s a great country and I truly hope we can find some unity over the whole “Australia Day” controversy.

    1. Hi Leanne, I love that term – honourary Aussie! It’s a great way of putting it. I hope we can find unity as well. I love celebrating Australia Day because I love this country, but I can also see it from the point of view of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Thanks so much for commenting, regards Christina

  4. Nice to learn more about you from this post Christina and I can understand your views on celebrating. I wrote a post today, after reflecting on Australia Day that now is. I do not like what it has become and hope, with all Australians included there can be changes made which do not hurt.

    Thank you for linking up this week for #lifethisweek. Great to see you and your blog here! Next week it’s about #sharingoursnaps and that’s an optional prompt. Join in each week for a friendly connection in a great community on-line. I am very grateful to you all. Denyse.

    1. Hi Denyse, It is a shame that there is division over Australia Day. I do hope that we can solve this as a country so that all people can be included. Thank you so much for hosting Life This Week. It is a beautiful community that I am proud to be a part of. Regards, Christina

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