We just wound up another January 26th in the fair country of Australia. A public holiday for all, as the nation remembers and celebrates the landing of British sailers of the First Fleet who landed at Sydney cove on this same date, back in 1788.
There’s been talk of changing the date to something more appropriate and along the lines of a more politically correct tact – for example, the date when Aboriginals were enfranchised by a national referendum (1967).
Sorry, but no. I’m quite happy to celebrate this important event in our country’s history, but Australia Day has always been the 26th of January for my lifetime, and I’d want a really good reason to change it (insensitivity to European settlement isn’t going to do it).
For the record – no, I don’t think Anzac day is an equivalent
celebration/rememberence, since it honours (specifically) our brave fighting men and women.
Anzac day also replaces Rememberence Day (November 11th) as our version
of veteran’s day (11am on the 11th is still honoured, but the day is
not a public holiday).
Perhaps thinking of Australia Day as celebrating European settlement isn’t the right way to view it. Date irrespective, having a national holiday to "be Australian" and celebrate what it is to live in Australia is the important aspect of our culture (yes, and also a good time to watch the cricket or tennis). January 26th is a fine date in my book.
We’re a very multicultural society now, and far fewer of Australian citizens are decendants of those few who travelled across the oceans back in 1788. Forget the original origin of Australia Day and concentrate on rejoicing in our free land and for being Australians. Enough said.