Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Anzac day

Saturday was Anzac Day, a national day of remembrance of the Australian & New Zealand soldiers who have fought in various wars.

The Aussies are big on the "Anzac spirit" although I'm not entirely sure what that means exactly. Here's what Wikipedia says it is:

"The Anzac spirit or Anzac legend is a concept which suggests that Australian and New Zealand soldiers possess shared characteristics, specifically the qualities those soldiers are believed to have shown on the battlefield in World War I. These qualities cluster around several ideas, including endurance, courage, ingenuity, good humour, and mateship. According to this concept, the soldiers are perceived to have been innocent and fit, stoical and laconic, irreverent in the face of authority, naturally egalitarian and disdainful of British class differences.

The Anzac spirit also tends to capture the idea of an Australian "national character", with the landing at Anzac Cove often described as being the moment of birth of the nationhood of both Australia and New Zealand."

Hmmm. I'm sceptical about this. I've not seen any evidence that Aussies are particularly into "endurance, courage, ingenuity, good humour and mateship". And from the evidence on display in the bars of Sydney on Sat night, Anzac Day seemed to be more about the values of getting rip-roaring drunk, macho posturing, mild and not-so-mild racism and general obnoxiousness towards women.

But apart from all that, we had an entertaining night out with a group of pals who'd been drinking for 8 hours by the time we met up with them - we got thrown out of the first place we went to before K and I had even ordered a drink (due to one of my pals dancing behind the bar)!!!

1 comment:

Will Bryson said...

Never heard of 'mateship' before - I suppose 'comradeship' sounds a bit communist, and 'teamwork' has dry management-speak overtones these days.