April 25th is a national holiday in Australia that commemorates Australians and New Zealand that served in armed forces. It originally was created to remember the landing of ANZAC troups on Gallipoli, Turkey in 1915 during World War I. Over 10,000 soldiers from both of the countries died, which was a huge loss for a very young democracies. The “digger’s” lives are honored with dawn services at different memorials around the country. I woke up at 4:30 to ride a bike in the dark to the¬†attended the service at the national war memorial at the Capital. When I got there I was surprised to see thousands of people gathered silent in the dark, some holding electric candles, waiting for the sun to rise. Although I am not Australian and had no relatives at Gallipoli, I still felt moved by this solemn remembrance. Other traditions involved with Anzac day include eating hard biscuits that wives and mother used to send across the ocean without spoiling, and playing a gambling game called “two up” at a local pub.


(finally, a kangaroo!)


Here is also some Australian music in celebration of democracy, protest, war, and memory:

  1. Bob Randall: Brown Skin Baby (They Took Me Away)
  2. Eric Bogle: The Band Played Waltzing Matilda
  3. Love and Justice, Women’s Anthem
  4. Kev Carmody: Thou Shalt Not Steal
  5. Ali Mills: Waltjim Bat Matilda
  6. Pauline Pantsdown: I Dont Like It
  7. The Herd: 77%
  8. Tiddas: Anthem
  9. Yothu Yindi: Treaty
  10. Helen Reddy: I Am Woman

*sourced from the Museum of Australian Democracy at the old parliament house



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