Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Australia Day

My human was home with me all day today, and I even had a little catnap on his lap.

Today is a public holiday in Australia to celebrate our national day called Australia Day. You can read more about it here.

Unlike most other countries, our national day does not celebrate the establishment of our country via independence from colonialism (whether through peaceful means or a war). Australia as a country did not exist until federation of the colonies (into states) on 1 January 1901.

The two closest countries to Australia's history are Canada and New Zealand. Canada's national day, Canada Day on 1 July, celebrates the establishment of the union of the north American provinces into Canada. New Zealand's national day, Waitangi Day on 6 February , commemorates the treaty between Maori chiefs and the British government (in 1840) which established New Zealand.

Australia Day on the other hand, is an anniversary of the landing of a ship in Sydney in 1788 which brought settlers and convicts mostly from Great Britain and Ireland. Some segments of the community mourn the day as Invasion Day where the rights of the local indigenous people were overlooked.

Whatever the differing views, the day is no longer focussed on the past and celebrates modern Australia where Australians reflect on what it means to be Australian.

Some people think it is all about eating lamb. They're not wrong! See the latest television commercial here.

If you enjoyed reading this, let me know. You can email me at keisercat@wildmail.com or send me Catmail from Catster. I love getting messages.

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