Every country in the world is built on three key elements. We are talking about territory, government, and population. Today, we will focus on the last one of these three. The population can be either cultural and ethnic. That’s why there are countries where a certain nation makes the biggest chunk of the population.
At the same time, we can see that there are multi-ethnic ones, where a high number of different nationalities make the population. Both of these concepts have proved to be efficient. For them to be as effective as they need to be, citizens need to think about the country as their own. For this reason, there is a set of different elements that makes this possible.
One of them, which can be easily described as unavoidable, is a holiday committed to the nation, or national day. Surely, you have heard that some problems emerged in Australia because of this holiday. The date we are talking about is called “Australia Day”. It is created to make people proud of their country and heritage.
If you would like to take a look at it, be sure to check this site. Despite it is called “Australia Day”, it looks like that some percentage of the population doesn’t think about it as positive enough to be a national holiday. Let’s take a look at what this holiday means and why some people are not in favor of celebrating this date. Without further ado, let’s begin.
What is Australia Day?
“Australia Day” is a national holiday, when the citizens of this country reflect on what it means to be Australian. It is celebrated on January 26th. In 1788, the United Kingdom’s fleet has reached the shores of what is known as Sydney and raised a flag. The location where it occurred is called Port Jackson.
At first, it was called “Foundation Day”. The first year, when there was a celebration organized at this day, was back in 1818. However, we can see that the consistency wasn’t as high as it is the case in a majority of other countries. Since 1994, it is celebrated every year. At first glance, you will see that this is a classic national holiday.
However, there are many things about this date that doesn’t make all Australians happy. For instance, we are talking about Aboriginal people, natives on the continent. In 1938, roughly a hundred Aborigines have gathered in Sidney on the 26th of January to mourn. We are talking about the first public expression of opinion, which was against the idea behind this date.
If you start to research this date, you will see that it doesn’t have only one name. Many social and ethnic groups came up with some other names. There are three main alternatives. We are talking about “Survival Day”, “Invasion Day”, and “Foundation”.
Voices Against it
According to many historians from this country, we are talking about a national date that can spark a wide array of different emotions. The reason is that a lot of the indigenous population perceives it as the day when the occupation started. Surely, it is known that the first settlers battled Aborigines and have conquered their territories. So, it’s no wonder that many people are not as positive towards it.
Also, we can see that almost every 26th January there are many protests against this concept. The most massive protests were organized back in 2016. Also, we can see that some political parties agree with the statements indigenous people have. The most prominent party with this public opinion is the Australian Greens. They believe it is much more divisive than unifying.
What are the Claims?
The protesters have only one claim. They want to change the date to some other one that will not offend Aborigines and other indigenous people. Sure, there are many debates organized every year, but they are to no avail most of the time. But there are some indicators that it will be changed in the future. Mainly because of the protests where many different political aspects are combined into one. Sure, this combination can turn out to be a serious pressure sometimes.
What is the General Opinion?
Because of the emotions that can spark on this date every year, many people are uncertain if this should be the date for a national holiday. Still, a slight majority of people don’t think there is any problem with it. But that doesn’t mean that all of them agree the date is appropriate. In fact, a lot of people are not decisive when choosing that particular date.
If you take a look at official surveys conducted by the government institutions, you will see that around 56% of people that participated in these don’t care about the date. But almost 50% of them believe that it should be on any date that offends indigenous people. Over the years, many dates were proposed, but there were no serious movements towards making the change.
When we take a look at the demographics, we can see that mainly younger people are interested in changing the date. The reason is that this question has been heavily popularized in the last couple of years. There are a couple of alternatives that were presented to the public. Among them, we can find the 1st of January, 27th of May, and 8th of May. What will be the decision remains to be seen.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, even the most developed countries in the world have problems that divide them. In the case of Australia, you will see that it is the national day. Sure, this is a pretty unique case that only a handful of other territories have.
Despite all the issues, we believe that they will be resolved in the years to come. Solving this problem would be beneficial for all the citizens because they will be more unified behind the country’s flag and all of its citizens would be happy to experience this date every year.