Saturday, 28 February 2015

becoming an australian

So proud of K; she is now an Australian citizen. The ceremony was in Sydney Town Hall and was a fabulous mix of the serious, amateur and surreal which I found completely touching. About 500 people from all around the world becoming Australians, and being welcomed by politicians using it as a chance to have a dig at Tony Abbott by calling for much more support for refugees.

Interesting to see how nations decide to define their identity at these moments. This one involved the Mayor, a small kind-of-jazz band playing Waltzing Matilda, a group pledge, the handing over of certificates with official photograph-takaing, and then a jolly version of Advance Australia Fair followed by tea and 'typical' Australian cakes. Which are lamingtons, anztac biscuits and miniature pavlovas. I think of these as Aussie 'battler' foods, by which I mean, poor people's comfort foods. So lamingtons are squares of stale victoria sponge, made palatable by rolling in cocoa powder and desiccated coconut (both dried foods that could be kept for ages in remote ranch kitchens). And all the Australians I know feel incredibly nostalgic about them. 

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