I have been googling like mad this morning – looking at national days that are celebrated in many nations. So far I’ve hit up Mexico, Russia, Denmark, Croatia, and a few others. The results are all out there for you to see so wiki it up yourselves.
Most of the national days are related to the establishment of…wait for it…a nation. An actual nation – with a declaration of independence from everyone else. They often fozzle about with it in a poetical manner – some have a cry of independence or a mob assault upon a royal prison or some such. Others just get the wisest people they can in one place and state their piece. In any event, you can date your regard for whichever current nation to this starting point when they declare independence from someone or something.
Here in Australia we characterise January 26th as a national day, but it devolves from the first landing of a colonising fleet with a governor – Arthur Phillip – in what is now New South Wales. Probably with the dear old Union jack and file of marines, with jolly tars pulling the boats up upon the beach. Refer to your historical paintings and see if I’m right.
The local indigenous people at the time could do little to hinder it, and have not had much luck hindering his successors – though now they have writs instead of wooden spears and can throw them further. But they do keep asking for the national day to be shifted from that landing day – seeing it as an insult to themselves.
Their protests draw counter protests from people who are not indigenous and who do not want to be forced to change their ways on the basis of this protest. There are more than two sides to the thing and all the sides have lawyers and publicists.
Now I am going to take sides…read my next post to see which one…