Where does ANZAC Day fit in a culturally diverse Australia?
This question is answered thoughtfully by Tim Soutphommasane reflecting on what ANZAC Day might mean for children of newly arrived immigrant communities. “They’d be asking those questions not because they find Anzac Day offensive or because their parents do, but because they wonder how they could be included in it.”
The article highlights the need for “a more challenging national conversation. Not least one about what Anzac says about a contemporary, culturally diverse Australia.”
At the ANZAC Day March and Service in Hobart we were treated to a fine example of 1. the inclusion of cultural diversity and 2. a challenging national conversation.
1. INCLUSION OF CULTURAL DIVERSITY was wonderfully demonstrated by boy and girl students from Turkey participating in the March and Service. Different perspective
A group of Turkish students joined this morning’s ANZAC Day march in Hobart.
Seven students from the Lisesi school in Istanbul are in Hobart for 10 days to learn how Australians commemorate the Great War. They are staying with students from the Hutchins School and St Michael’s Collegiate who visited Gallipoli last month.
Turkish student Berke Tekay says it is a great learning experience. “I’m looking forward to it because it’s the other side of the picture for Australia. I only saw my side of the picture in Turkey – how we felt about Gallipoli wars, so I’ll see your side, how you feel about Gallipoli wars.”
Hutchins Grade 12 student Damon Heather says the trip has given him a much greater understanding of war. “It’s opened my eyes to service people are doing today, it’s opened my eyes to that. It really takes a lot to commit to something like that to fight for freedom in your country.”
Hutchins School Principal Warwick Dean says the exchange program is about creating tolerance and understanding. “Here is a new generation of young people who belong to countries that who once were at war and are now friends,” he said.
Excerpt from ABC News article, Lest we forget: Tasmania remembers
2. A CHALLENGING NATIONAL CONVERSATION
Governor Peter Underwood used his last Anzac Day address before his term ends next year to call on Tasmanians to go beyond honouring the sacrifice of the fallen each Anzac Day.
“Anzac Day is a day on which we should also ask those hard questions about the meaning of wars, their causes and outcomes in order to become resolute about peace as well as resolute about fighting when fighting is a genuinely necessary and unavoidable act of self-protection,” Mr Underwood said.
From The Mercury, Tassie salutes ANZACS.
I am greatly encouraged by these two responses to the helpful question, Where does ANZAC Day fit in a culturally diverse Australia?
How would you answer this question? What has helped you answer/ reflect on this question?