Okay so now I'm super behind on having anything to say.. but it's been a couple months so probably time I broke the golden silence and chattered away for the sake of continuity.
I'm generally benign about having national days, mostly it's an extra shooting day, but I think they have a purpose and a good one. I think people should have pride in their national identity. And yes everyone's experience of nation is different, but it does include your friends, family, sunny days, uniquely Australian humour, turns of phrase that only we understand (like died in the arse and gob smacked) and lamingtons (cakey, chocolatey goodness).
So seeing an article on a national lamington bake off...I'm some what incensed by the need to create new fangled versions of a national icon. And for that matter anything that doesn't need fixing. I like the KISS principle. Keep It Simple Stupid. So many things (including archery) don't need to be messed with if they aren't broken. Lamingtons are sponge cake with raspberry jam, coated in chocolate and coconut. It works. Don't mess with it. If you don't like it there are other cakes out there. And the funny thing about filling it with mango, and dipping it in white chocolate, is it isn't a lamington any more. Like putting extra things in the Anzac cookies - leave it alone!
And I think Australia Day should be approached with the same principle. Don't spend the day ear bashing people about what you hate about our home (yours and mine). Celebrate the things you love about your home. For all that isn't right or perfect, make it a day to remember what you love about life here. Our Prime Minister being an embarrassing knob is hardly news (and an awful lot of you voted for him) and we could perform better on any number of international, ethical and environmental issues.... but they aren't the only things that make Australia home.
If an Australian guy pays a compliment or buys his girlfriend flowers, she will ask what is wrong and check that the cat is still alive. And we find too many compliments really weird.
'hi, how's it going' means 'hi'. Just 'hi'. And we might look at you funny if you actually proceed to tell us how it's going.
No other nation on the planet thinks Beached Az is funny.
We all know what 'bugger me' actually means and yet no one thinks it's rude to say it.
We cook Xmas turkey on the BBQ and pretty much anything else come to think of it.
Our beaches have sand on them (you need to get out more if you haven't seen what passes for beaches elsewhere)
Our winters have sunny days with blue sky.
Kangaroos - nuff said
We all got condolences when Steve Irwin died
We're one of the most irreverent countries on the planet and super easy going
So if you don't celebrate Australia Day, no big deal, but maybe it doesn't hurt to appreciate the good things in your life now and then and not just list all the bad. There's more to being Australian than how and when the country was settled and whether or not we have gotten right all the things that no other nation has actually perfected either. So eat real lamingtons, BBQ some dead animal and just enjoy the day.