26.01.2016 – Day 26
Happy Australia Day (for some)
I have mixed feelings about celebrating Australia Day. And, it’s not because I’m a Canadian living here in Australia. On one hand I am grateful for this spectacularly beautiful land, for the place I now call home, for my friends and family, and for much of what this country offers all of its residents.
On the other, I am torn because it is a country where the division between it’s aboriginal people and it’s white settlers (and their descendants) is still far too wide. So wide that the day on which we choose to celebrate Australia, is a day when the oldest Australians, its indigenous people, suffered the most. Their land was stolen, they were slaughtered and their world was forever changed. A change that was thrust upon them and not one that they sought out.
I see the Google doodle today and I’m glad it has caused some controversy. Through it’s pervasive visibility, it has served as an instigator causing more people to openly discuss this historical date like +John Thomas has here on Google+. The doodle has many of us looking at things with a more balanced perspective, considering Australia Day’s positive AND negative connotations, as well as its historical, cultural and racial implications.
It also has a few us wondering just what the hell we’re celebrating.