Monday, September 25, 2006

I am Australian!

More and more, in recent times, politicians and news articles have caused me to wonder exactly what this means. After all, I’m just me and I just happened to have been born here – it’s not a matter I’ve ever given a lot of thought.

I was brought up in the bush, that’s pretty Australian I suppose. I’ve got a bit of a clue about deadly snakes and spiders, I can climb trees and ride horses and I know one end of a sheep from the other. I’ve mustered cattle, I’ve slashed bracken, and I’ve helped butcher calves. But that only makes me a minority, despite the inherent Australian-ness of those things.

I’ve got a sense of humour which encompasses Monty Python, Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, and the Grant/Naylor combo. But even though many Australians share that humour, all of those people are in fact British.

I love my friends and family – but doesn’t everybody?

I appreciate my freedom and my rights... but even those who don’t have those things strive for them, I believe that to be a human trait rather than an Australian one.

I’m a hard-worker, but based on observation I wouldn’t say that’s typically Australian these days.

As for any other “Australian values” – see http://www.convictcreations.com/history/convictleg1.htm – most of these concepts seem to me to be 50 years out of date. Culture, like everything else, changes and evolves. I cannot deny that Australian culture still very strongly reflects our convict heritage, Irish immigrants, and so forth... but these are just layers in a deep and varied history. Every layer, every period of time, will have it’s impact on the country and the culture and I think that trying to adhere to values which were extremely relevant last century is only going to result in stagnation.

Wake up Australia! The world is getting smaller and we’re too busy guarding our borders against it all to notice! What are we afraid of? The country our grandfathers fought and died for is already gone in favour of Coca Cola, McDonalds, and reality television. What more can a few Muslims do? What are a few half-drowned asylum seekers going to do to this country that’s any worse than what we do to it ourselves?

We’re a young country, that’s for sure, and we’ve got a lot of growing up to do.

2 comments:

Aidan said...

STands and applauds......

Homo Escapeons said...

I should have been listening to Midnight Oil's This is Australia or Icehouse Great Southern Land!

We Canucks have struggled with our National Identity..but you lot are miles ahead.