A lot of things got said on ‘Straya Day’, some of which just simply can’t be taken back.
Think Jacqui Lambie… but maybe have a few drinks first.
— Jacqui Lambie (@JacquiLambie) January 25, 2016
In the broader defence of our nation, some of it, of course, was glorious, such as this sign outside a coffee shop in Bermagui, on the South Coast of NSW.
You can read more about that here, courtesy of the good folk at the Bay Post/Southern Star*.
But amidst all the chaos, there’s one thing that was said that should be required reading for all Australians. This blog post from an Aboriginal woman in South Australia.
And a spoiler alert, NM readers are probably going to react most strongly to this part: “I stopped at the shops on the way back home from working on my street art piece, and my baby daughter got out of the car.
“In her typical, gives-no-fucks fashion, she ran off and I called her back, speaking to her, as I often do, in our native Pitjantjatjara language: “Awa! Ngala pitja! Pitja!!! Wanti! (Hey! Come here! Come! Stop!)
“A 20-something woman with Australian-flag novelty-leggings yelled at me: “Hey! It’s Australia Day! We speak English in Australia!!” I was aghast. I thought surely she must be joking. I’ve read stories of things like this on the internet but surely it doesn’t happen in real life.
“Pardon me?” I asked.
“It’s AUS-STRAYA-DAY. WE SPEAK ENG-LISH” she said obnoxiously, speaking slowly as to ensure comprehension because obviously I’m either intellectually disabled or stupid.
“I’m speaking my native Australian Aboriginal language. It’s Pitjantjatjara? I couldn’t get more Australian!!” She stared at me blankly before walking off.”
We’ve got a way to go, people.
* Declaration: NM editor Chris Graham was, in a previous iteration (about 15 years ago), editor of the Post/Star.