G’day mate! How ya doin? I want you to imagine that I said that with an Aussie accent; I need to practice mine as I have a feeling I’ll be travelling to and from Australia a lot more in the future. This year I went to Australia (twice) for the first time in my 50 odd years, so why the sudden interest in going down under again? I’m married to an Aussie!
Now before you wonder what’s been happening in my life, I am still married to James (28yrs and going strong!) and he has just applied for, and been granted, Australian citizenship. How interesting, do I hear you say? Why would he do such a thing? (not casting any slurs on Australians you understand, I love ‘em!).
Well, let me reveal all. His parents left Adelaide to settle in the UK in the 1930’s and had they stayed in Oz, James would’ve been 5th generation Australian. So this desire to go back to his roots and seek citizenship has raised some interesting questions in our household.
What drove him to patiently persevere with the bureaucracies of a national immigration department (!) until he got what he wanted? Is he going to morph into a Crocodile Dundee? Are we going to be discussing the outback and long-drop dunnies over our ‘roo burgers? I’ll keep you posted on the answers!
The UK BBC TV show ‘Who do you think you are?’ which enables celebrities to trace their roots is very successful. Why? Because most people, as they get older, develop either an interest or a need to find out literally and metaphorically where they came from. Family and national traditions have their influences and until we understand, we can’t undo them, should we wish to. It has to be better for our futures if we can let go of old hurts and misconceptions and replace them with a pride in our heritage.
Whether it’s a parental, geographical or cultural influence, things change over time. (It’s hard for young people these days to comprehend that my generation grew up without computers or mobile phones!). Going back to the actual place where our forbears grew up creates the possibility of gaining some insight into what influenced their life experience. It’s to be hoped that if and when we have a greater understanding, we’re more able to accept the past, both good and bad, and the people in it.
So, can’t stop just now – off to chuck a prawn on the barbie – catch yer later mate!