Saturday, January 26, 2013
Australia Day. Love it, or hate it. Call it Invasion Day if it suits.
But there's something bittersweet about discovering a land of amazing possibilities, that was inhabited already.
The spiritual use of indigenous land and the nomadic ways of life didn't mix with the way the new settlers did business, considered ownership, and grazed their sheep on acres of land.
There were misunderstandings. Cultural differences. War and massacres.
Two different cultures in one great land didn't mix. The heartache goes on today. There are swings to stop "Australia Day" entirely and change the date to make a "Unity Day". There are those who hold their ground and say that Australia Day is here to stay.
Today is Australia Day. And while I hadn't prepared a post specifically for today, while we were taking a twilight walk in our favourite beach town, the boys came across this monument. It was fitting that we had walked past it several times before, but stopped and noticed it today.
It reminds us that while we live in the world's best country (in my opinion, anyway), that the story of white settlement in Australia was a most difficult one for so very many.
We want our children to be so proud of their beautiful country, proud to be Australian. But we also want them to know the price that was paid for their life that is full of so many wonderful blessings.
As the Indigenous MC at the Australia Day concert just tonight in Sydney said, "Some celebrate arrival, we celebrate survival."
Happy Survival Day.