Australia Day’s controversy: celebration, mourning, invasion, survival?
Today, 26th of January, marks the celebrations of the national “Australia Day” commemorating the landing of the first British fleet in Australia and the raising of the Union Jack in Sydney Cove.
Seen by the predominant white population – descendant of the first settlers in the 18th century – as the day marking the foundation of modern Australia, it is widely considered a day of celebration, festivities and an occasion to proceed to patriotic honors.
However, this date is perceived by a lot of Indigenous communities and Aboriginal descendants – reduced to barely 3% of the population – as a day of mourning and loss of their land, inhabited by such populations during 50 000 years. Thus, the 26th of January also marks the dispossession of Aboriginal land.
More broadly, it symbolizes the bad treatment endured by native Australian inhabitants over the centuries, leading them to a dreadful loss of their languages, culture and knowledge along high poverty levels. Consequently, for many human rights and defenders of Aboriginals associations, the “sugar-coating” of this day prevent the recognition of Aboriginal loss, current situation and culture that should be in foreground of commemorations.
A point of view that is not obligatory followed by all Indigenous people as many like to celebrate on January 26th the survival of aboriginal’s cultures. Though, many call to move Australia day to another date in order to have a proper celebration day that could include and fit to all Australians instead of the 26th of January that helps to hide Aboriginals recognition.
To learn more, read here.
"Il devient absolument urgent de mettre un terme à cette injustice. Il y a un manque de connaissances et de recherches. Il faut donc promouvoir le recueil de témoignages, mais aussi construire des mémoriaux, organiser des expositions..." - @BenjaminAbtan