Friday, October 12, 2012


B became a citizen of Australia today. The last step in the process was to attend the citizenship ceremony at the Sutherland Entertainment Centre. Watching the families and individuals walk on stage to accept their certificates of citizenship warmed my heart, as I genuinely believe that Australia is a better place for its diversity of peoples. Certainly the Sutherland Shire could do with a greater mix, though many on stage were of Anglo-Celtic origin, as were all but one of the government and community guests.

Speaking of them, I was, as always, appalled by our Federal (Liberal) member who praised coal, iron and entrepreneurship as the greatest things about the country. Spends all his time complaining about taxes. Oh well, now B gets the chance to decide on his future and that of the rest of the country, including our son.

There are many things that diversity brings to Australia. One is definitely food. Prior to the ceremony we had a quick dinner of "modern Vietnamese cuisine", which was quite nice, despite the pan-Asian nature of their menu, plus a couple of nods to local tastes. After the ceremony it was mini meat pies, sausage rolls and ANZAC biscuits.

The entertainment at the ceremony consisted of a couple of guys dressed in stockman outfits singing typical Australian folk songs.

To me, that's not Australia anymore. I'm not quite certain what it means to be Australian anymore. I'm not sure I care much about nationalistic identities, but I do think it should be richer, more sophisticated and more diverse than it so often portrayed as by "True Blue Aussies". Let's cast off our cultural straightjackets and celebrate and share our many different cultures. Once you accept that culture is a living thing and traditions are not laws life is far more fun.

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