I have written a post previously about Australia Day. I have never celebrated Australia Day. It is a silent day of Commemoration for me. Other people surely understand the significance of the ongoing debate, since 1994, why January 26th is inappropriate? It was the beginning of a chain of events, displacing, occupying, murdering this lands traditional owners.
My heritage understands what occupation means. On June 14th every year, it is Commemoration Day, or a Day of Mourning to remember the thousands of people who were strategically removed from their homes in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania during this night in 1940 and sent to Siberia to Concentration Camps, where many were murdered, or died. Estonia was from thereon under Soviet Occupation. It is not a day of celebration. I observe this day as it impacted on my parents and family. It is important to remember history. Nor is 26th of January a day of celebration. It is a day of mourning.
Insert eye roll here…… if your response is ‘just move on’, ‘It wasn’t my fault’, ‘get over it’……I could go on with hundreds of defensive reactions. The truth is, atrocities occurred. We should acknowledge this countries ancestors who suffered, and as a consequence, ongoing generations who have suffered, and continue to feel the effects.
I do however, want to acknowledge Australia as a nation, for its cultural richness and diversity. Always acknowledging the traditional owners, where I live, the Kaurna people. I understand that I was born on this land and have a responsibility to respect and care for where I live. The most important thing I hold, I own and no one can take from me is my cultural identity. My Estonian heritage. I have reached a deeper understanding of my culture, my identity by continuing to gain a greater understanding of this lands traditional owners. All of this knowledge, empathy and learning makes me Australian, and proud.
I support #ChangeTheDate for Australia Day.
I support January 26th as Commemoration Day.