الجمعة، يناير 27، 2006

Aussie Pride

We celebrated Australia day yesterday. The flag was burnt in an Aboriginal demonstration, flyers with white supremacist slogans were distributed at the beach in Sydney, Mr Iemma called for teaching kids about Aus values at school, and getting them to sing the national anthem every morning, Mr Howard talked about respect and loyalty to the Australian values and how to integrate migrants into our society….but mainly, Aussies around the country relaxed, had a BBQ and a couple of drinks…watched the tennis or went to the beach.

This has got to be one of the best countries to live in, no matter where you come from. We are all free to voice our opinions here, a right that is not afforded to many of us in our countries of origin. But lately, and especially after the Cronulla riots, there’s been a lot of talk about Australia being a racist country. What? What country are these people living in?

A couple of days ago, there was a news item about Mr Iemma’s proposal on the evening news. He basically wants tour children to learn the national anthem and understand the importance of having common Australian values. Nothing wrong with that. Yet, many people said “oh! Well, we wouldn’t want to get too “American” about it”. As if being patriotic is limited to the American people. As if it’s bad to be patriotic?!

Mr Howard’s speech on Australia day also raised a few objections. “He wants us to have shared values? He wants us to share Judeo-Christian white values? Noway!” they said.

It seems there are so many people in this beautiful country of ours, who believe we should sacrifice good old Aussie values “just so we don’t offend the migrants” or “just so we don’t foster an us and them atmosphere”

Well, my friends, I am a migrant. And I am telling you that even though you have the best intentions; it seems you might be the ones generating the us and them atmosphere. Why do you assume that all migrants want to isolate themselves from the rest of society? This is one country where people come from all corners of the world. It’s not fair to ask them to abandon their heritage…but it is equally unfair to expect this society to change just to suit everyone’s heritage, beliefs and values.

When my family and I came here over 15 years ago, we were happy to have the opportunity to live in a place where we had actual real freedoms…not just on paper. As long as we had the right to practice our faith, have our own opinions on issues, vote and generally exist here as respected citizens we were happy…happy to accept our responsibilities as citizens, respect others and most of all happy to be loyal to the country that offered us a chance for a better life. We never had the expectation that Australia must change to fit into our value system.

That’s the way it should be guys. Australians are by far the most tolerant people I have met, and I am ecstatic to be counted among them as a proud Aussie girl. This is our home and there’s nothing wrong about being proud of it and protecting its safety. Nobody forced anyone to come here. In fact many come here on boats seeking refuge in this great country. The law here protects everyone equally and if you work hard, you get rewarded no matter what your colour, ethnicity, sex or religion you are. The least we can do in return is to be loyal to this country…our country and our fellow Aussies.

Happy Australia Day All.

11 Comments:

Blogger Egypeter said...

Nice to hear that! I am 100% Copt and 100% American. Both parts are exactly who I am and cannot be seperated from each other. I'm so proud of my Coptic ancestery and a patriotic American. That is the beauty of countries like yours and mine. Countries where they respect you for who you are and all are treated equal.

Freedom is a gift from God.

By the way, I have family in Brisbane...can't wait to visit and see with my eyes how beautiful Australia is!

يناير 28, 2006  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

I know Pete. We have the best of both worlds :)
It just offends me when people assume we aren't capable of being patriotic Aussies (or Americans) or wanting to integrate. They think it's offensive or rather "not very PC" to expect us to be patriotic and loyal.

يناير 28, 2006  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

By the way, you'll love Brisbane when you come down...that is if you don't mind humid hot weather...but the beaches are amazing. Hope you'll get some time to visit the Whitsundays.

يناير 28, 2006  
Blogger ffff said...

Happy Invasion Day to you too. No not everyone came here of their own choice. No not everyone is free of the racism that is slowly pervading our beautiful nation. No not everyone has equal opportunity if they work hard. You are a wonderful addition to our nation. I am glad you feel the way you do. Just look beneath the surface to help those who are having a pretty hard time of it.
Glad to be able to read your blog and get another point of view. Keep it up. I shall check in now and again.

يناير 30, 2006  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

Thanx for visiting Alison, although I detect a bit of hostility in your words (it's hard to guess a person's tone when you can't see their face or hear their voice!).

I'll look forward to hearing what you have to say in the future. Just to clarify; I don't deny that there are racist people here....I just believe there is way more good than bad. That's been my experience here.
Cheers

يناير 30, 2006  
Blogger ffff said...

No No hostility at all. It is hard when the typed word cannot portray what you are really meaning. Shows how important nuances are. I really AM glad you are here in Australia. We need more lieke you and less of the other sort (Aussie yobbos).

يناير 31, 2006  
Blogger Marcguyver said...

Freedom truly is contagious and desirous for all people. Additionally, blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, but sin is a reproach to any people.

Just curious, how's the crime rate in Australia now? I haven't seen any 'new' statistics lately since all of the 'gun bans' have taken place.

فبراير 01, 2006  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

Hey Marcguyver,
Dunno what the crime rate is currently. Sorry, I was never one for statistics [I even failed it at Uni,:)]

فبراير 01, 2006  
Blogger Blue said...

Hey Marcguyver,

Can't answer for the rest of Oz - but down in SA - public crime is down - car theft - bag snatching - drink spiking etc

Private crime is up. This is where the frustrations of a nation make themselves known & is the saddest & hardest to defeat crime.

Only reason I know this is that we are coming up to an election & our pollies have been going hammer & tongs over it. We have a labour govt & the leader is a pretty good egg. He is one of those who has lodged papers with high court re: WorkChoices legislation. I think they are challenging it on separation of powers basis.... Probably more info than you wanted tho :-)

فبراير 04, 2006  
Anonymous Arabia Hurra said...

Ben AL Neel
It is nice to see you happy in Australia enjoying your freedom and your new way of life , But have you ever wondered whether the Aborigines are given the same rights and same freedoms and same opportunities ? Have ALL australians governments from the days of Edmund Barton till now ? i have read a few novels depicting the lives of the Aborigines and i can easily tell they dont see Australia as the land of opportunities For ALL , especially when you are an aborigine .

يوليو 26, 2008  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

Dear Arabia Hurra
I'm sorry I fail to see what your comment has to do with the subject of the post!! Nobody denies that the Aboriginal communities in Australia have been treated unjustly... but that admission in itself is a step toward improvement.

We have to believe that otherwise nothing will change.

يوليو 29, 2008  

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