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Do Australians like being Australian citizens?
Take everything that Tracey Bryan said as read. Even if she does live in Brissie.
Why, yes. I like being an Australian citizen. Let me count the whys.
- I like that I get to be an Australian citizen, and not a British subject. I am happy that my country finally cut itself from the apron strings of Mother England. (It took a while.)
- I like that my Australianness gets to be defined by being an Australian citizen. I am happy that my country has embraced civic nationalism, and does not require a blood test for me to prove my bonafides; that no bastard gets to tell me they’re more Australian than me.
- I like that my country is multicultural. That (again, with a lot of pushing) it has become more open to different ways of cooking things, and conducting yourself, and (gradually) seeing the world.
- I like that my country has a culture; that cultural plurality has not led to cultural nullity. I love that we have a distinctive accent, and lifestyle, and popular culture, and shared mythology.
- I like that my country has learned to be skeptical of mythologies. At times, it looks like it needs reminding of it; but people are irreverent, and skeptical, enough of them are prepared to poke at sacred cows.
- I like that my country can still wave its flag: that its skepticism of mythologies has not turned it into Germany, terrified of saying anything good about itself. And I like that my country subverts its own flag, half the time waving the Boxing kangaroo instead of the Blue Ensign.
- I like that my fellow Australians can take the piss out of anything, and refuse to take themselves seriously. #censusfail, the grousing about the Bureau of Statistics allowing its online census to crash, became comedy gold—with Australian tweeters hoping that “Season 2 of #censusfail would be picked up on Netflix”.
- Including politicians: Kristina Keneally on Twitter (former premier of NSW, grew up in Toledo OH): “When my kids ask why I haven’t made dinner tonight, I’m going to tell them it’s not a failure, just a denial of service. #CensusFail”
- I like that my fellow Australians are secure enough to love their country even while acknowledging all that has gone wrong with it (as Tracey Bryan does here and elsewhere). That’s a mature nationalism you don’t see often enough in the world.