Being unAustralian is an epithet often levelled at people who don’t tow the line or aren’t politically correct.
English: Orthographic map of Australia centered at 26.75° S, 133.25° E. Official territory. Claimed territories. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In that case I better explain myself.
- I believe in that Australia is a welcoming country where people of all races, colours and creeds put aside their differences to live as harmoniously as they can. Despite the stories we hear, harmony happens more often than not.
- I believe that Australia’s strengths lie in the diversity of its people. Only in Australia can a diverse company supply interpreters at short notice!
- I believe that Australia should help people from other countries as well as our own including the Aboriginals. As an immigrant country it is obvious to support those who emigrate here however they got here as well as those who were here first.
- I believe too that the fortunate should help the less fortunate. Australia has enough riches and resources (even now when we have a AAA+ Credit Rating) to assist the disabled, children with learning difficulties, etc, etc. We’ve done it in the past!
- I believe too that we should manage our resources from a long-term view (and sustainably so). After all as colonists and original owners of the land we had to!
Apologies in advance to those who believe that being Australian means being:
- discriminating by religion, race or sexual orientation.
- favouring the rich over the poor.
- depleting our resources in the short term unsustainably.
- being uncharitable to the unfortunate, original land owners and immigrants.
Such things make a small country smaller!
Empty street, San Marino (Photo credit: adrian, acediscovery)
Halfway through listening about that last overseas trip I wanted to interrupt. I had heard something new and quite different about travelling overseas.
While talking about meeting people in their own country I began to hear a quiet deference. Someone who wanted to tread lightly as an invited guest.
I’m no traveller. I’ve been to Singapore and New Zealand. I’ve never been out of my comfort zone. Until this conversation I had never even considered the idea of the introverted tourist.
I certainly don’t identify with the tourist that is the centre of attention. The loud one with the expectation that the whole country is waiting for their next request.
No what I heard was this. I am a curious guest. I am visiting your country. I do know something of course, but mostly there is much I don’t know. And I will learn more if I am respectful to all those I meet. That is what I received from my conversation with the introverted tourist.
We parked and left the car then entered the pub. Of course, after the long trip most of the party had things to do. Except me. I was transfixed.
At the back was a girl, her guitar and her song. And she was singing her heart out. Maybe it was her first gig. Who knows? But that didn’t matter. Then she finished. The whole pub clapped and cheered. And we all caught our breath and held it. Then very slowly the original singer/guitarist returned and started tuning up again. For some reason he couldn’t get started. He knew : what we knew.