Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Australia Day...kangaroos, food and lovely music....

I am, You are, We are Australian...The Seekers
The Pinnacles, Western Australia 
I am celebrating Australia Day tomorrow.  Over the last decade or so Australia Day has become an important holiday, in fact not unlike Thanksgiving in the US.

Not only because we have a day off from work,  but because we Aussies respect Australia Day.

It's a day which is marked by many with time at the beach, barbecues, and having a beer or wine with friends;  and it finishes here in Perth with the annual Skyshow....fireworks over the Swan River.

We are a tolerant and multicultural society;  our Anglo Saxon roots no longer define us. In  fact, since I was a little girl going to school in the 60s most of my friends have always had family names which weren't Anglo Saxon. My children's  father is an Italian-Australian and I have recently had five years with a Frenchman travelling between two hemispheres. Sharing languages and cultures is part of the Australian psyche.

So what is it that makes me have a tear in the eye when I am choosing YouTube clips for this post?  What is it that makes me Australian?
It's an Australian bush hat
 
I think primarily it is the freedom.  My French friend defined it as not having centuries which are a burden...of history, cultural education, etc.  But so many of we Australians travel to find, and experience, that historical burden. To learn more because we have no real patina yet.

The first Australians were here forty thousand years before those from the West....and so we have a heritage of which I am immensely proud. I was delighted to read today that the new National Curriculum for children from Year 3 will include the topics of Australia Day, Anzac Day, Harmony Week, National Reconciliation Week, NAIDOC Week and National Sorry Day

Europeans tend to be impressed by our optimism.  Americans relate to us;  but we less so to them I think, despite the ever pervasive popular culture opportunities. Our Asian neighbors envy our space and our "laid back"attitudes.

We are a culture which defines itself with a self deprecating humour, a "get on with it "attitude, and a belief in the importance of giving everyone a fair chance...we tend not to be judgmental unless confronted by....(you know what I mean!)...

So, will I be entertaining my guests tomorrow with Australian lamb, an Australia Day staple?...actually no. At a forecast 41 degrees, we are suffering the worst heat wave since 1965!

My salmon with a light mayonnaise 

It's going to be a salmon starter followed by a light pasta alla vongole.  And lots of Margaret River sauvignon blanc! 

My pasta alla vongole....grazie nonna! 

Happy Australia Day! I hope you enjoy the musical moments...

Sunset in Esperance, Western Australia

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