Commiserate, celebrate, or commemorate. There are so many ways you could choose to spend your Australia Day. But if you're so into 'tradition' that you won't #changethedate, here's some tips from comedian Kara Schlegl on how to party like it's 1788.
By
Kara Eva Schlegl

25 Jan 2017 - 2:47 PM  UPDATED 25 Jan 2017 - 3:12 PM

Everyone has their own way of marking Australia Day. Some people consider celebrating the decimation of an entire population a bit off-putting and choose to go to a protest or take a minute’s silence, while others like to have their mates around for a fun pool party and a cheeky bev.

 

While there is nothing like having a cold brew and a bbq with some friends to congratulate yourself on being white and having access to extreme privilege, it is still important to maintain some sense of history and tradition. After all, we wouldn’t have ‘Australia Day’ without history’s whitest dudes forcing other people to build this country on stolen lands.

 

In an effort to thank these white dudes, I’ve written up a bunch of cool and fun ways to celebrate Australia Day.

 

Be white

 

This is a very important first step to any Australia Day celebration. Hosting Australia Day on January 26th could be interpreted as a slap in the face to Aboriginal people, and to anyone who has suffered at the hands of British colonisation. So, pretty much anyone who isn’t white.

 

Host an 18th century colonial style BBQ

 

Sure, barbecues are a South-American import, but you can still fire up the ol’ BBQ with a bit of a coloniser twist. Just throw on a billowy shirt, an 18th century marines’ uniform, and maybe an eye-patch for some cheeky symbolism. Toss a native possum and some rotten potatoes on the grill, and Bob’s your uncle who is making racist jokes next to you while sinking the tinnies.

 

Be sure to keep the flames high, increasing your chances of accidentally starting a bushfire. And if you have a mate who is of Aboriginal, Irish, African or even French descent, deny them food and give them a flogging in between rounds of beers.

 

Trample on native wildlife

 

You can’t really celebrate Australia Day without destroying some of our vital natural resources. It is one of the most important legacies of colonisation after all. Feel free to chop down a few gum trees, barbecue a koala, release a bunch of cats into a national park, or just straight up poison our waterways. Who needs to drink water when you have beer, am I right?

 

Party on the beach

 

The First Fleet landed on the coast, so it’s only natural to go to the coast to celebrate. Bring an esky full of cold ones, tune into the Hottest 100 and kick back. Remember to dismiss the irony as you listen to January 26 by A.B. Original and Dan Sultan pump through your speakers.

 

Steal someone else’s land by planting a flag in it and declaring it yours just because

 

If the residents make a fuss, just shrug at them like you don’t understand their language. If the residents persist, start mocking their language and behaviour. Try mistaking the words ‘f*ck off!’ for the name of a large, hopping marsupial, just so future generations will have a fun anecdote to learn in an otherwise useless Australian history class.

 

Watch some Fireworks

 

If you think about it, fireworks are a nice homage to the spirit of Australia’s colonising past - they’re big, loud, threatening and if there’s one thing the First Fleet had a lot of, it’s gunpowder.

 

Play a bit of Cricket

 

Cricket was the national sport in England back in the 18th Century. The monotonous game, where a bunch of people stand around a field in the hot sun and sometimes catch a ball, was transmitted from British colony to British colony like a disease. The sport is impractical for the weather and the skin cancer you get in places like India or Australia, but trust the Brits to prioritise tradition over common sense and public health.

 

Give someone syphilis

 

It wasn’t only cricket the Brits transmitted around the world! Sexually transmitted infections were rife in colonies, as unprotected non-consensual sex was fairly rife as well. So throw away those prophylactics and see how many you can catch. It’s like Pokemon Go! except the only place you go is to the hospital. 

 

Have an orgy

 

Look, this one is almost certainly a myth, but the west is all about ‘alternative facts’ these days, so the ‘alternative fact’ that First Fleeter’s had a mass orgy shortly after arriving on these boundless plains definitely lends itself to a fun Australia Day party idea. Just be sure to drink a lot of rum, never ask for consent, and deny the child is yours nine months later.

 

Perpetuate systemic racism 

 

It is hard for me to work out a suitable symbolic gesture to pay tribute to the way British colonisers treated the Aboriginal people. Of course I can’t recommend you just walk into people’s homes and murder them in cold blood, which is what colonisation essentially was.

 

This, however, is a more mild gesture that helps remind us of what we are truly celebrating on the 26th of January. Not just the mass genocide of an entire people, but also the systemic and ongoing oppression of people of colour in this country. HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY!

 


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