Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Australia Day!

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!
Oi, Oi, Oi!

Happy Australia Day! (or happy day the white's took over)

And a Happy Birthday to Ruth.

Today is the day that the Australians dig out all their patriotic apparel and line the streets. The outfit du jour was either similar to the flag (blue, white and some red) or the national colours of yellow and green. Many people just wore the flag - as a cape, dress, shirt... however it could be pinned up. Hey mom, is my flag in a box in the garage? I guess I should have brought it with me :P

This morning was marked by the People's March - a parade of all the different groups of people; guides and scouts; some of sports (eg. karate), some jobs (eg. security services) but most were ethnic groups. They were all wearing their traditional clothes and playing music. It was pretty cool to see all the differences, but everyone had Australian flags. (no floats) There were various activities all day throughout the city. After the parade, I walked to a free concert stage on the other side of town. What I didn't know was that on the stage was a kids show. It may have been cool if you were 4 years old, but not any older... oh well, I wandered around until the show changed and saw some very interesting street performers including a trio (tuba, drum and sax) where the guys were all riding stuffed animal horses.

The evening was a special performance in Federation Square. Again all the different ethnic groups participated. But since it is Chinese New Year and it is the year of the ox/cow, all the performances were about cows in one form or another. I learned alot about cows.... there are 29 million in Australia and 1.5 billion in the world. And I learned that if you don't have a cow you can't get married (guess I'm not getting married). There are many love stories that revolve around cows... apparently they are really important. Some of those groups can really dance (especially the Bollywood dancers) and play (like the drummers). There were big puppet cows walking around as well. The grand finally had everyone on stage (it wasn't a big stage). Everyone was dancing and the band was playing and the choir was singing.... then the fireworks started. They went off in three locations all around the square. It was pretty fantastic because the music kept going until the end of the fireworks.

So, Happy Australia Day everyone!

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