Friday, October 14, 2011

Patriotism



There is really something to be said for American patriotism. As a non-American (Australian to be exact) I’ve always been fascinated by it. That is not because I don’t think America is a great place. On the contrary, I think it rocks its socks. But, the intensity of patriotism is a foreign concept to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love Australia. I love its beautiful coastline, the year round summers, the laid back culture, and singing along to the national anthem. We have plenty of reason to be patriotic. Australians simply do not show their patriotism in the same way as Americans. Not by a long shot.

Let’s see some examples (beware – severe stereotype alert):

1. Americans learn about their history at school, then at college, and typically have a good understanding of how their country came to be. Australians learn a little bit about history, but most graduate high school knowing very little history. Unless they choose to major in it, will most likely graduate college without thinking about history. They will, however, think about surfing, partying, and hair gel.
2. Americans choose a political party to support and will do so pretty much for life. It is mandated by law that Australians over 18 must vote, but many just go in and tick a box without any foreknowledge of what they’re doing. Actual quotes: “I voted for the guy with the coolest name”, or “I just put my form in blank.” Yikes!



3. Americans sing their national anthem standing with their hand proudly on their heart. Australians mumble the national anthem with their hand proudly on their drink and wonder if they should get a refill before the song finishes and the game starts. No one even knows that there are actually more than two verses. There are still arguments about changing our national anthem to ‘Waltzing Matilda’ which is literally a song about a guy stealing a sheep. Great anthem, wouldn’t you say? If you haven’t heard it, click here. Others think it should be “Do You Come From The Land Down Under”.

4. Americans are loyal to their football teams, paint their faces, and scream at the TV. Okay, Australians are that too. Beer and football are two things most Australians are pretty patriotic about.
5. Many Australians celebrate the Fourth of July but could not tell you when our own Independence Day is. January 26th people!

Maybe it’s the laid back Australian culture or maybe it’s just that we’re out riding kangaroos all day and haven’t got the time. Either way, kudos to you America.

1 comment:

  1. I really got a kick out of the Waltzing Matilda. : ) Great post Katrina! : )

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