Scenes at Bondi Seashore immediately made it clear: Australia Day definitely isn’t celebrated because it was once.
Certain, Aussies had been nonetheless out in droves hitting the seaside and flirting with potential pores and skin most cancers within the 36-degree scorching warmth, however they weren’t dressed up for the event.
Through the years, the official nationwide public vacation has develop into more and more divisive.
Some nonetheless see January 26 as a day for celebration. Nonetheless, for Indigenous Australians and plenty of different Aussies, it’s Invasion Day, a day of mourning.
Solely 5 years in the past, Bondi Seashore was coated in Australian flags, stick-on tattoos and the occasional large yellow and inexperienced thong … however these days are lengthy gone.
Solely six kilometres from the jap suburbs’ beachgoers of their sunhats and budgie smugglers, 1000’s gathered in Belmore Park for an Invasion Day rally.
Whereas there have been nonetheless crowds at Bondi Seashore, there have been no flags, hats, or painted Australia Day faces.
When you didn’t comprehend it was January 26, it’d seem like some other day on the well-known seaside and the shortage of celebration left vacationers confused and needing clarification.
Two ladies visiting from Eire who had no concept that Australia Day was seen as controversial had been left stunned that Aussies weren’t on the seaside celebrating in inexperienced and gold.
“If it was St Patrick’s Day in Eire, folks can be coated in stuff,” she defined to information.com.au.
As she glanced round on the seaside, she admitted it was very “clear” Aussies weren’t celebrating in such a daring means.
There have been no wild scenes, simply folks hanging out on the seaside.
Equally, a gaggle of English vacationers shared that this was their first Australia Day Down Beneath and declared the day was very “performed” down.
Had been they stunned?
Solely as a result of they’d frolicked with an Aussie early of their travels in Malaysia who had warned them the day was nothing to get enthusiastic about as a result of it was too “controversial” to take pleasure in.
They’d come all the way down to the seaside to verify it for themselves and admitted it didn’t precisely have celebration vibes.
A separate group of English vacationers shared that they’d nonetheless made their means all the way down to the seaside to benefit from the general public vacation after studying why Australia Day wasn’t so freely celebrated.
They stated they thought it was “nice” and dubbed it a “controversial” day for Aussies.
As for the Aussies who headed all the way down to Bondi, they had been all fast to make clear that whereas sure, they had been on the seaside on a public vacation, they weren’t truly celebrating that public vacation even when perhaps it appeared like they had been.
One man in a singlet and board shorts defined that he was heading to hang around with a gaggle of mates, nevertheless it wasn’t due to Australia Day.
“I’m not celebrating simply catching up with buddies,” he defined.
Equally, a feminine buddy he was with added that whereas she used to have fun, she wouldn’t anymore, and she or he definitely wouldn’t be caught wandering round with any Aussie merch.
Curiously, whereas loads of Aussies had been out and having fun with the solar and soaking all of it up of their high-cut swimwear, none stated they had been celebrating Australia Day.
Nobody was waving round flags, sporting Australian flag singlets or in teams cheering. The vibe was low-key.
A lady in a bikini strolling her canine alongside the well-known boardwalk stated she wasn’t celebrating immediately as a result of she didn’t assume there was a lot to “have fun”.
One other confessed that in the event that they noticed an Australian flag on the seaside, they’d assume it was a “dangerous” factor and positively not a patriotic one.
One shared that they’d seen an enormous decline in celebrations during the last 5 years, however they felt it was about time.
One Aussie in beachwear stated they wouldn’t be celebrating as a result of they noticed it as a “tough” day for Indigenous folks, they usually didn’t need to make it worse.
An Aussie admitted that solely final yr, she’d attended an Australia Day barbecue. She was stunned to see the celebration thrower had gone all out with Australian flags as decorations.
“I went to a barbecue final yr, and I used to be stunned as a result of they’d heaps of Australian flag stuff out, however they wouldn’t have achieved that in public,” she stated.
She stated she wouldn’t purchase an Australian flag herself to have fun anymore, however she questioned if that was just because she knew it might be socially taboo now. She identified it’d be more difficult to even purchase one.
“Would folks know the place to purchase them from now?” she requested.