The 26th of January is the equivalent of the forth of July for Australian’s and is attached to a long weekend holiday which makes it an extended party for everyone.
You would think after a decade of living in Sicily, missing out on a good part of those Australia day celebrations I wouldn’t really mind skipping another one.
This isn’t the case I sadly lament another lost occasion to celebrate Oz day deep in the southern hemisphere’s summer as I console myself in a Sicilian winter scattered with Carnival celebrations filled with silly masquerade and fatty fried sweets.
I’d happily take the day off sitting on the Perth foreshore (or the Sydney-sider equivalent!) barbecuing the day away, playing clumsy games of cricket or frisbee, drinking beer and lazying around listening to the countdown of the hottest 100 songs of the year as voted by Australia on Triple J radio until the fireworks come around to light the night sky and stagger home in the early morning drunken traffic.
The last Australia Day I remember fondly was spent with my brother, his then girlfriend and their friends. And I loved it.
It’s a simple enough celebration, nothing fancy it’s only another occasion to create fond memories of family, friends and home. It bugs me to think that I’ve missed it again even if I’ve been told it has become a bit ugly with confrontations between different racial groups and hot headed drunks that have made an alcohol ban come into place, so no more beer drinking allowed.
Being an expat doesn’t only mean adapting to a new country and in my case language but also finding the strength to leave behind many other things. It’s probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do and my wish is that I won’t have to miss out on too many other Australia Days. It’s hard to let go of Australia when it’s a part of you.