• Updated : 2018.12.10 월 17:49
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Australia, Somewhere New and Exciting
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승인 2010.03.01  23:39:31
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn

   
▲ In front of Harbour Bridge with my friends

 People always hope for summer to come in winter and for winter to come in summer. Actually, the same rule applied to me for choosing Australia as my holiday destination. As we all know, seasons in Australia are opposite to those in Korea. How could it not be exciting to go somewhere warm when everyone is shivering with cold? 

Australia Day, Can Be Enjoyed by Anyone 
  Sydney had strong sunlight but a cool and pleasant wind blew all the time. It made it much easier to go around on foot. During the trip, luckily, I had a chance to celebrate Australia Day, January 26th which is similar with the National Foundation Day of Korea. About 220 years ago, on this day, the British fleet arrived at Botany Bay, which developed into Sydney later. Not long after, many immigrants rushed to Australia and formed Australia as now. The original purpose of Australia Day is to maintain the pride in their country. However I think it carries more important meaning as a festival to link a great diversity of Australia.
 

   
 
  ▲ A lots of people watching their favorite  
 
 When I think about the National Foundation Day of Korea, it reminds me of formal celebrations and simply just a day off. So I did not expect something special for Australia Day. But when I arrived at Circular Quay, I could not believe my eyes! There was the largest crowd of people that I have ever seen since I have come to Australia. Most of them were dressed up in Aussie colors, temporary tattoos, accessories and so on. They looked happy and seemed to enjoy Australia Day in their own way. I was really envious of the freewheeling atmosphere. I hoped our celebration could be as varied and exciting as theirs so that the whole nation can freely participate and have fun.
 

   
 
  ▲ Enjoying Australia day by having temporary tattoo of Australian flag  
 
 While I was walking around the streets, not only official events, but many street performances were held for people to enjoy in every corner. Among those performers, an aborigine’s play was highly impressive. Aborigines refer to the members of the tribes that were living in Australia when Europeans arrived there, and are also called as the invisible people of Australia. They play with a Didgeridoo, a traditional musical instrument, which sounds like a drum. I am not sure why but the sound made me feel so calm and peaceful in spite of its unusual looks. Aborigines were painted in white on their bare skins. It is to signify their will to refuse modern civilization and preserve their way of living even after their land had been taken by Europeans. Australia Day is the Foundation day for immigrants and invasion day for aborigines. Suddenly, I did not know whether to celebrate or cry.

As a Korean, As a Global Member


   
 
  ▲ With kangaroo, a symbol of Australia  
 
 The most worrying thing during my holidays was racism against Asians. I have heard that Australia has strong racial discrimination. I did my best not to provoke anyone and avoid any possibility to fall into trouble. Nevertheless, we were stopped by a drunken woman who screamed at us, “GO BACK TO CHINA!!!” I was scared stiff and walked as fast as I could, hoping she would not follow us.
 

 I was frightened at first but the feeling changed to anger and thought why I should undergo this kind of situation. Although most Australians were very nice and kind, I could not get her screaming voice out of my head. This shocking experience made me think about living as a Korean, as an Asian. I felt uncomfortable with the way foreigners looked at me which I have never felt in Korea. On the other way around, I realized my stares could have given the same feelings to those foreigners in Korea.
 

 The greatest virtues I respect for Australians are sense of freedom and enjoying their life. From this journey, I learned to see things differently and make a second thought about Korea. This gave a chance to think of me as a Korean, an Asian and a global member. I think it is time for everyone to cultivate the mature sense of global citizenship. 

By Lee Min-young, Guest Reporter
 

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