Yesterday, Saturday January 26, was a major national holiday…in Australia. Australia Day!
You should start by watching this short intro to get you into the mindset of realizing how great Australia is:
I suppose it would be helpful at first to point out that neither I, nor the friends I celebrated this day with, are Australian. Jacky (above, left) is English, and Anneli (below) is from South Africa. Jacky studied in Australia for 6 months, so she served as our Australia expert and organized the celebration. Since it was already decided that we had to have BBQ on Australia Day, we settled for Korean BBQ at Jan-Jaka in Minami-Iwakuni. Jacky brought the mini Australian flag, and we all took turns posing with it. Jacky actually went so far as to paint two flags on her face–the Australian flag, and the Aboriginal flag. (I didn’t ask what flag it was because I was afraid it was some really famous flag and didn’t want to admit not knowing it, and then Anneli asked about it and we both found out what it was, haha.)
Apparently, Jacky also did an Australia Day presentation for her high school English club. I unexpectedly got to learn a lot about Australia today. I learned that Australia Day marks the day that Britain came to Sydney and claimed Australia as a colony (haha, but they still celebrate it). I also learned there’s a really famous song called “Waltzing Matilda” that serves as the unofficial anthem of Australia. (I couldn’t remember the name of the song, so I typed in “unofficial australian anthem” and it was the second result haha.)–the song starts around 1:10. It’s really catchy, I dare you not to get the chorus stuck in your head:
I visited my friend’s apartment afterwards, and we watched the short “There’s Nothing Like Australia” video again, followed by Waltzing Matilda, and the “4 chord song” (sung by a group of Australians, some language but really funny). I checked my Facebook that day, and lo and behold, a friend of mine who’s studying abroad in Australia right now posted pictures from her host family’s Australia Day celebration–so there you have it, it’s REAL! I had lots of meat, daikon kimchi and a bulgogi eggroll, and all in all had a wonderful first Australia Day!^^
Happy Australia Day, everyone! :D